Apparently Sea Shephard has chased the Japanese far outside their whaling grounds.
The Japanese factory ship Nisshin Maru is said to have left its whaling grounds far behind as it tries to shake off a conservationist pursuit, and instead is approaching the Antarctic Peninsula below South America.
Since being located in the north-east corner of the Ross Sea last Thursday, the whaling fleet’s key vessel has steamed mainly eastward at speed, closely followed by the Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker.
Today the Sea Shepherd leader, Paul Watson, said the Nisshin Maru was now more than 1000 nautical miles (1830 kilometres) outside Japan’s self-declared “research” zone for whaling, and still heading east.
He said the Bob Barker reported their location as near Thurston Island in the Bellingshausen Sea, or about 600 nautical miles from the peninsula.
“They may be thinking they can run the Bob Barker out of fuel,” Mr Watson said. “The Bob has more than enough fuel to return back west with them or to carry on east with them.”
Wow, sounds like a big win.
They occupied two of its three harpoon ships for weeks, delayed a refuelling operation, and, according to the ICR, fouled the propellors of one of the harpoon ship Yushin Maru No.3.
This ship was accompanying the Nisshin Maru, but dropped away yesterday, apparently unable to keep up, Sea Shepherd said.
The other two harpoon ships have not been located.
So in other words, the Japanese have lead the Sea Shepard far away from their whaling operations, which can now continue in peace.