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This is HUGE!:

Japan suspends Antarctic whaling

Japan has temporarily suspended its annual Antarctic whaling after repeated harassment by a conservationist group, a government official has said.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ships have been chasing the Japanese whaling fleet for weeks in the icy seas off Antarctica, trying to block Japan's annual whale hunt, planned for up to 945 whales.

Japan has halted the hunt since February 10 after persistent "violent" disruptions by the anti-whaling protesters, Tatsuya Nakaoku, a fisheries agency official, said on Wednesday.

So far, the attacks have not caused any injuries or major damage to the vessels, he said, but the protesters are throwing rancid butter in bottles and once the protesters got a rope entangled in the propeller on a harpoon vessel, causing it to slow down.

"We have temporarily suspended our to ensure safety," he said.

The fleet plans to resume hunting when conditions are deemed safe, he added, but declined to say how long the suspension is planned for.

Sea Shepherd News

Friday, February 11, 2011  

Japanese Whalers Escorted out of the Whaling Grounds

The Japanese whaling fleet is heading eastward at full speed and is now east of the boundary for their whaling grounds. The eastern boundary of the Japanese whaling operations is 145 degrees west. The whaling ships and the two Sea Shepherd ships are now at 72 degrees south and 133 degrees west on a course of 145 degrees. With the Bob Barker and the Gojira in pursuit, the Nisshin Maru continues to head eastward at 14 knots.

Both the whaling ships and the Sea Shepherd ships Bob Barker and the Gojira are now closer to South America than to New Zealand and Australia. This position is 3000 nautical miles southeast of Hobart, Australia and 1700 miles southwest of Patagonia, Argentina.  

The Nisshin Maru is making erratic course changes. “It’s like they spin the bottle every watch to see what course to set,” said Captain of the Bob Barker Alex Cornelissen. “There is no rationality in these course changes. They go east, then south, then west, then north and then back east again. In short, they are burning quite a bit of fuel, going absolutely nowhere, and without being able to kill a single whale.”

I am so proud of the Sea Shepard Society. They are based in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island a nearby neighbor of my own Whidbey Island.  Send the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society some love so they can keep on with their heroic work deterring Japan's "research whaling" in the Antarctic with "Operation No Compromise".

Well Done Sea Shepherd and all who sailed on her, and her sister-ships the Bob Barker, and the Steve Irwin  

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