By Rowena Dela Rosa Yoon Jan 06, 2014 10:15AM UTC
Former Greens Senator and now Sea Shepherd Australia (SSA) chairman, Bob Brown, spoke in Hobart this morning to confirm the Sea Shepherd Fleet has located all five Japanese whale poaching vessels, including the Japanese factory ship, the Nisshin Maru, inside the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary (SOWS).
Three SSA vessels – The Steve Irwin, The Bob Barker, and The Sam Simon – are now pursuing the Japanese whaling fleet. Their mission is to drive them away from the target poaching grounds, disrupt their hunt, prepare to shut down their whale-killing operations, and to ultimately send them back home.
The Steve Irwin’s helicopter first located the Nisshin Maru at 64°44′ S, 162°34′ W, in New Zealand’s sovereign waters in the Ross Dependency Antarctic region, and inside the internationally recognised SOWS.
Sea Shepherd claims it has obtained footage and images of three dead protected minke whales on the deck of the Nisshin Maru, taken at the time the factory ship was first located. A fourth whale, believed to be a minke, was being butchered on the bloodstained deck.