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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SEA SHEPHERD SCARES OFF JAPANESE WHALING FLEET

No Whales Will Be Killed While the Chase is On

SOUTHERN OCEAN, January 8, 2006 --/WORLD-WIRE/--
At 0800 Hours on January 8, 2005 (Australian Western Standard Time) the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s flagship Farley Mowat arrived at the position where the Japanese whaling fleet is operating. The conservation organization campaign to save whales began on December 9th, 2005, when the Farley Mowat departed Melbourne, Australia, headed for the Antarctic Southern Ocean to stop Japanese whalers from killing whales.

Today, when Sea Shepherd came upon the whale processing ship Nisshin Maru, the Japanese ship was accompanied by a large tanker, the Oriental Bluebird, and was waiting for the harpoon vessels (the catcher ships) to return. The Farley Mowat dispatched three inflatables and a helicopter to catch up with the Nisshin Maru in advance. When the Farley Mowat was less than one mile from the Japanese factory ship, the whalers began to run at full speed northward.

Presently the Farley Mowat is in pursuit. The Farley Mowat is not as fast as the Nisshin Maru but can keep the Japanese on the run for at least the rest of the day to prevent them from transferring any dead whales from the harpoon vessels. Those catcher ships will not kill any whales when they know they cannot reach their mother ship.

On Christmas day (Australian Time), the Farley Mowat intercepted the Nisshin Maru for the first time. During this confrontation, the whaling ship turned and purposefully headed on a collision course with the conservation ship. Captain Paul Watson, founder and president of Sea Shepherd, ordered his crew to deploy a mooring line, and when the Nisshin Maru saw this, they backed off to avoid their propeller from being fouled.

The Japanese whaling operation is in violation of many international laws and regulations, including:
  • Violating the Southern Ocean Sanctuary.

  • They are violating the International Whaling Commission (IWC) moratorium on commercial whaling.

  • They are targeting endangered fin and humpback whales that are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. (CITES).

  • The Japanese are also in violation of the Australian laws protecting the Australian Antarctic Territorial waters.

  • They are violating the IWC moratorium on the use of factory ships to process any protected stock which includes the whales they are hunting – minke and fin whales.
About Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
For pictures and more information, please visit: http://media-antarctica.seashepherd2.org/

About Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an International non-profit conservation organization whose mission is to defend, conserve, and protect the world's marine wildlife and ecosystems. Their website, www.seashepherd.org, documents SSCS research, direct action, public education and outreach programs, and illustrates how SSCS has continuously worked for decades to eradicate pirate whaling, poaching, shark finning, sealing, unlawful habitat destruction, and other violations of established laws intended to protect the world's oceans.

Captain Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd's founder and President, also co-founder of Greenpeace Foundation, is a Director of Sierra Club USA, and is a renowned, respected leader in environmental issues.

For more information, pictures, or to interview Captain Watson:
CONTACT:
Heather Callin
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Phone: 360-370-5650
Website: http//:www.seashepherd.org
Email: media@seashepherd.org

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