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The preparations are in place for the 9th round in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary against Sea Shepherd and the Japanese Whaling fleet. Operation: Zero Tolerance officially began on November the 5th as the Steve Irwin departed from Williamstown, Australia; it is Sea Shepherd’s ninth season in Antarctica on the campaign’s mission to stop the Japanese whaling fleet. The real action though will not start until the defenders and poachers meet.

 Sea Shepherd have named this campaign – Operation Zero Tolerance and it represents its biggest campaign to date against Japanese whaling. The Whale's Navy has a fleet of four ships, one helicopter, 120 international crew, small boats and even drones. The name of the campaign indicates the group's plan to send the whaling fleet home without a single whale being killed.

 In past campaigns Sea Shepherd’s tactics and direct action saved the lives of more than 3,600 whales and helped expose illegal Japanese whaling. The Japanese whaling industry is sinking and had been especially since commercial whaling was banned in 1986, yet it carries on due to government pride and massive subsidies. Hopefully with Japan's whale-meat industry struggling to stay afloat and in millions of debt it will not be long until it will become unable to continue.

 Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands and the United States had recently expressed concern over activities in the Southern Ocean and the safety risks incurred as the two sides clash. This concern led to Sea Shepherd issuing an invitation to those four countries. They are all cordially invited to send a representative on the Sea Shepherd ships whilst they are at sea and see for themselves.

 The Japanese government’s Fisheries Agency announced on Friday (28th) that the whaling fleet has departed for the annual hunt. This year’s fishing quota is up to 935 Antarctic minke whales and up to fifty fin whales. The fleet is composed of the factory ship Nisshin Maru, two harpoon ships and a security ship. The whalers are weeks behind their usual departure time. "With the Coast Guard on board and the all vessels underway it appears that they are finally leaving," said Paul Watson. Watson said he did not expect the whalers to reach the Antarctic until 21 January at the earliest. Sea Shepherd believes the whaling fleet was waiting for the ruling from an injunction before departing.

 Last week on Tuesday (18th) the Japanese whalers had the United States 9th District Court issue an injunction against Sea Shepherd. The injunction orders Sea Shepherd to stay at least 500 yards away from the whaling vessels. The preliminary injunction had previously been denied in February 2012 by a different judge. Now it was granted by three judges of the 9th circuit without a hearing. In effect a Japanese company got a United States Court to issue an injunction against Australian and Dutch vessels with an international crew, operating in international waters, when already the Japanese whalers are breaking the whaling ban. 

Sea Shepherd founder and Captain stands firm despite international pressure; “We will defend these whales as we have for the last eight years – non-violently and legally,” said Paul Watson.

There is 1 comment on this story...
Added By: Anarchiste. - 13th January 2013 @ 7:24 PM
Paul Watson ::the business.
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