Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s fleet has found the illegal Japanese whaling vessels on the last day of the calendar year. In the vastness of the Southern Ocean, Sea Shepherd’s ships have now found the Japanese fleet before they even began killing whales. This is a momentous victory for the whales and precisely how Sea Shepherd’s President and Founder Captain Paul Watson had hoped to ring in the New Year.
By knowing when the Nisshin Maru left Japan and estimating the speed of the ship as it headed south, Captain Watson was able to get a rough idea of the whaling fleet’s daily progress.
He decided to take the Steve Irwin to Wellington, New Zealand and then down to Bluff on the southern end of the South Island. The Gojira stayed in Hobart and the Bob Barker moved to the middle and to the south of the Tasman Sea to show the Japanese that we were covering their path should they choose to go through it.
Captain Watson figured this would force the whaling fleet to the east to avoid being caught in the middle of the Sea Shepherd fleet in the Tasman Sea.