October 22, 2008
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Announces
The Society Will Launch its Fifth Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign Next Month
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has announced its fifth Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign to the Southern Oceans to defend whales from the Japanese whaling fleet. This year's campaign has been named Operation Musashi in reference to the legendary Japanese strategist, Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645) known as a great samurai warrior, strategist and tactician and a personal role model and hero to Captain Paul Watson, Founder and President of Sea Shepherd.
"We intend to sink the Japanese fleet economically," said Captain Paul Watson. "Our strategy is to prevent whales from being killed, to force the Japanese whalers to spend money on fuel without killing whales. We will once again intervene against illegal Japanese whaling and once again we intend to save the lives of as many whales as we can with the resources available to us. We have been the cause of the Japanese whaling fleet losing profits for three years in a row. We intend to make it a fourth year of red ink for the whaler's books."
The name Operation Musashi was chosen to reflect Sea Shepherd's approach of aggressive, yet nonviolent, confrontation and the increasing global awareness of Japan's ongoing illegal whaling activities. However, as with all Sea Shepherd campaigns, all strategies and tactics are designed to avoid any physical injury to the whalers. Musashi's Book of Five Rings included the approach of the Twofold Way of Pen and Sword. The society adopted a campaign logo of the crossed feather pen and katana (sword) under the skull with the imbedded sperm whale and dolphin yin-yang symbol with a Banzai flag background which gives reference to the ecological imperialism that the Japanese whalers are committing against the whales of the Southern Ocean.
The Japanese whaling fleet will depart from Japan next month. The Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin will also depart at the end of November from Brisbane, Australia. The Japanese fleet and the Steve Irwin should arrive in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary around the same time. Sea Shepherd will not depend on the government of Australia to help the whales. Greenpeace may or may not send a ship southward. The Sea Shepherd crew have been preparing the Steve Irwin for the return to Antarctica and are prepared to take on the Japanese whalers alone. A new helicopter deck and hangar has been added and the helicopter has been completely overhauled. New equipment has been secured including a new hydraulic crane and fast interceptor boats. The international crew will be Australian, Canadian, American, British, French, Dutch, South African, Swedish, Chilean, and even include a Japanese crew member.
"We have a few surprises for the whalers this year," said Sea Shepherd 2nd officer Peter Hammarstedt of Sweden. "We intend to be more aggressive and even more relentless in our interventions. We do not intend to witness the killing of any whales; we intend to make sure no whales are killed on our watch."