After five weeks of patrolling the Southern Ocean, Sea Shepherd says it located the Japanese whale poachers’ factory whaling vessel in the Australian Whale Sanctuary with a dead minke whale on its flensing deck.
The Nisshin Maru was spotted by the helicopter of Sea Shepherd’s MY Steve Irwin.
‘When the helicopter approached, the Nisshin Maru crew scrambled to hide the slaughtered whale with a tarp, while the fleet’s harpoon ships Yushin Maru and Yushin Maru #2 quickly covered their harpoons,’ said Captain Adam Meyerson of the Ocean Warrior, Sea Shepherd’s newest Southern Ocean patrol ship.
‘The whale killers from the Nisshin Maru were caught red-handed slaughtering whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary.
‘These are the first photographs documenting the Japanese whaling fleet’s killing of whales since the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled their whaling program illegal in 2014 and the Australian Federal Court found the Japanese whaling industry in contempt for killing protected whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary.
‘Sea Shepherd’s discovery of the factory ship and the slaughtered whale comes just a day after Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe was in Australia on an official state visit.’
Jeff Hansen, managing director of Sea Shepherd Australia, said, ‘The lack of action by the Turnbull government while whales are being killed in Australian waters just a day after Japan’s prime minister was on a state visit shows that the government has no spine.’