08 February 2011

Sea Shepherd's mission has faced near misses with ships and even bamboo spears

Sea Shepherd’s Operation No Compromise has reached the halfway-point in the Southern Ocean as the group continues its efforts to stop Japanese whalers from whaling illegally. This is the seventh campaign to protect the whales with each year being more successful than the last. Over the last six whaling seasons Sea Shepherd has helped save the lives of 1900 whales, and last year they saved more whales than the whalers were able to kill.

The small victories do not come without risk. Last whaling season, the Japanese fleet in an act of frustration rammed the Sea Shepherd boat, the Ady Gil, causing damage that sank the vessel. The high speed vessel that replaced the Ady Gil, named the Gojira, had a close call of its own this year. The Japanese whaling vessel the Yushin Maru #3 turned into the Gojira attempting to ram and destroy the vessel. Both vessels were traveling parallel at the time when the Yushin Marun #3 turned hard into the direction of the Gojira missing it by 10 feet.

Sea Shepherd’s Delta speed boat had bamboo spears thrown at the crew on board. Luckily no was injured in this latest act of desperation by the Japanese fleet. Chad Halstead, the driver of the Delta boat, and his crew were able to recover some of the bamboo spears. You can see the video here.

To date this has been the most successful year for stopping the illegal killing of whales in the Southern Ocean. I admire the entire Sea Shepherd organization for taking action when others turn a blind eye. Lets hope they all return home safe.

John Himmelberger | @johnhimm
John lives in Maryland where he works as a sales manager. John and his wife Eileen’s pursuit to achieve optimum health combined with a desire to send a strong message to factory farming, inspired them to examine what they put into their bodies. Now a vegan, John has great admiration for groups like Farm Sanctuary and hopes to influence others by sharing his positive experiences. Follow John on his blog and Facebook.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/wietse