Sea Shepherd back from longest campaign

2014-03-23 09:25
Sea Shepherd. (AFP)

Sea Shepherd. (AFP) (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - Environmental activist group Sea Shepherd have returned to land after their longest-ever anti-whaling campaign in the Southern Ocean, claiming to have saved more than 750 whales in their annual high seas showdown with Japanese whalers.

Sea Shepherd's ships Bob Barker and Steve Irwin docked in Wellington and Hobart on Saturday after 94 days at sea, formally ending the group's 10th annual harassment campaign of the Japanese harpoon fleet.

There were three high seas confrontations during the campaign, described by Sea Shepherd as "ambushes" from the Japanese, and Bob Barker captain Peter Hammarstedt claimed the season had been a success.

"Although the whale poachers have not yet released the number of whales they have killed this season, we are confident that they have not even reached one quarter of their bogus self-allocated quota, and estimate that our efforts have saved over 750 whales," he said.

The group did not offer any details to support their claim and Japan's fisheries agency was not immediately available for comment.

'Scientific research' loophole

Sea Shepherd said this year's campaign, which began on January 5, had been its longest ever in the Southern Ocean.

"These whale poachers, heavily funded and backed by the government of Japan, have thrown absolutely everything at us and we have come out on top," said Jeff Hansen, director of Sea Shepherd Australia.

During the season the conservation group said the Japanese had twice been exposed butchering minke whales poached from the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

Japan catches the animals there under a "scientific research" loophole being challenged by Australia in the International Court of Justice, with a ruling due this year.

Steve Irwin captain Sid Chakravarty said the harpooners had used "aggressive" tactics to flee from the activists but "they could not hide from us".

Sea Shepherd estimates that it has saved 4 500 whales from slaughter in nine previous Southern Ocean campaigns.

Read more on:    sea shepherd  |  japan  |  animals  |  environment

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.