With the Japanese whaling fleet calling it quits in the Southern Ocean this season, a month early, Sea Shepherd is returning to Hobart to a heroes welcome.
“The Nisshin Maru made a significant course change immediately after the Japanese government made it official that the whaling fleet has been recalled,” said Captain Alex Cornelissen from the Bob Barker. “She looks like she’s going home!”
The Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker had been tailing the Japanese Nisshin Maru factory ship since February 9th making it impossible for the whalers to continue their illegal whaling operations.
“I have a crew of 88 very happy people from 23 different nations including Japan and they are absolutely thrilled that the whalers have headed home and the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is now indeed a real sanctuary,” said Captain Paul Watson.
“This is a great victory for the whales,” said Captain Watson, “but we did not do this alone. Without the support of the people of Australia and New Zealand, we would not have been able to send voyages out for seven seasons from Australian and New Zealand ports. We are grateful to Senator Bob Brown and the Australian Greens Party. We are very grateful to Mr. Bob Barker for giving us the ship that turned the tide in our efforts to force the Japanese fleet from these waters. We are grateful to all our onshore staff and volunteers, supporting members and ship crews. We are grateful to the Chilean Navy and the government of France for their support. It is a very happy day for people everywhere who love whales and our oceans.”
“It will be a great day for the whales and humanity when we come back to Hobart and thank the people that have helped make this campaign possible. We welcome everyone to come down and meet us on the docks and join in on the celebrations.” said Sea Shepherd Chief Cook on the Steve Irwin Laura Dakin of Canberra, Australia
The Steve Irwin and Bob Barker will arrive at Macquarie Wharf 1 at 8:30 a.m. AEST, with a press conference to be held at 11:00 a.m AEST, this time is to allow for customs.
Leader of The Greens, Senator Bob Brown will also join the press conference re-enforcing his commitment as one of Australia’s most passionate defenders of the whales.
About Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an International non-profit conservation organization whose mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protects ecosystems and species. Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately-balanced ocean ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations. Founder and President Captain Paul Watson, is a renowned, respected leader in environmental issues. Visit http://www.seashepherd.org for more information.