Anti-Whalers in Wellington

Andrea Gordon, ship manager

Sea Shepherd activists prepare boat for action in Antarctic waters

By Alan Tristram

The Sea Shepherd organisation says its ship the Bob Barker now in Wellington will soon join its biggest effort to stop whaling in Antarctic waters.

It says ‘Operation Zero Tolerance’ will be supported by four boats, four captains, and crews of over 120 committed conservationists from more than 23 nations. They’ll be assisted by UAV drones, a helicopter, small boats, new tactics and thousands of supporters.

“Sea Shepherd’s 2012-2013 Southern Ocean campaign Operation Zero Tolerance will be the strongest fleet in the history of Sea Shepherd to prevent whaling in International Whaling Commission protected waters,” the groups says.

About two-thirds of New Zealand is within the Southern Ocean territory.

The Bob Barker now berthed near the Civic Centre in Wellington, is an ice-strengthened ex-Norwegian whaling vessel, tailed the factory ship the Nisshin Maru for over 5000km before the whalers abandoned their hunt successfully curtailing the 2011 -2012 whaling season with only 25% of intended quota taken.

The vessel is open for ship tours until Wednesday, December 14,  before sailing to join the Sea Shepherd fleet.

When the Kāpiti Independent made a brief visit to the ship’s dock at the weekend, we were amazed by the youthfulness and dedication of the young crew members from around the world.

It almost seemed almost wrong that young men and women like them should have to risk their lives to struggle for a cause which so many Kiwis believe in.

Ship Manager Andrea Gordon says the whale migration to Antarctic feeding grounds for the Southern Hemisphere summer has begun and  that these migrating whales ‘are the same whales the whalers are going down to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary to kill.’

Sea Shepherd has a successful history of conservation and more than 3,600 whales have been saved during the past eight campaigns.

The whale kill diminishes each year and is attributable to Sea Shepherd direct action.

Captain Peter Hammarstedt of the Bob Barker says he’s embarking upon his eighth campaign to Antarctica and affirms that Operation Zero Tolerance aims to effectively shut down illegal whaling operations.

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Wow the previous comment is so Ill informed Robert attack. Sea shepherd is only one organisation, they can’t fix all the wrongs of the world as the article says they are not a massive global money making machine like green peace they are staffed by volunteers, they don’t solicit continuously for funds and they do it cos they are passionate self less people. The whales have stomach ulcers because they’re food supply is being absorbed and affected by the direct impact of humans, to say they should change their focus is small minded. Let’s not forget that the Japanese took money intended for the relief of their people after the natural disaster, they used it to fund a whaling campaign in the Antarctic. I bet a lot of her people would be furious to find out what their money was used for.Let’s also not forget the Japanese by selling this meat is endangering their own people, and for what? A ridiculous notion that they are doing scientific research because they get to do what they like without consequence. Sea Shepherd can pollute a bit in my book so that they can stop what everyone else is sitting around watching and doing nothing. when the whales are gone they are gone, like our own Maui dolphins which we are all currently standing by watching become extinct, for the fishing industry and some dollars.

If there are spelling mistakes I apologise — predictive is annoying.

whales should be given a virus that makes them poisonous to humans, pretty simple, so if the deal was really about the whales then whats really going on ?

The sad thing is, whales are going extinct because of our increasing the level of CO2, which we have done by burning fossil fuels like the ship and helicopter used by Sea Shepherd.
Good on the crew for actually having the courage to stand up for a cause, they are part of the less than .5% that actually get off the couch and try and change the situation, but unfortunately they are wasting their time, and helping the extinction of the whales.
What the Japs are doing is abhorrent, but then so are caged chickens, pigs, etc etc etc, (humans have a lot to answer for).
We are on an unstoppable course of turning the oceans into oxygen depleted cesspools = no fish.
We are currently seeing the 6th greatest extinction, with an estimated 200 spices a day going extinct, it is just a matter of time before humans and whales join the exodus, it will only take the pollinators (bees etc) to die off and we will not be far behind them.
The whales are dying from stomach ulcers, and brain damage, as well as harpoons. We are all responsible for pollution that is currently killing more whales than any Japanese hunting party. I’m not condoning the harpooning, just pointing out it is our lifestyles that are more to blame.
Sea Shepard might do more good picketing maternity wards.
The babies disposables will be around long after the whales …… and the baby.