Captain Paul Watson from the controversial marine conservation group #Sea_Shepherd says that a lack of resources and technology compared to the Japanese whalers has made it impossible for the group to effectively combat the killing of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
As the Japanese whaling fleet embarks on its annual whale hunt in the Southern Ocean, for the first time in 12 years Sea Shepherd will not be sending ships to the whale sanctuary. The group initially announced the decision to end the yearly campaign in August.
“The reason that Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is not now pursuing the Japanese whaling fleet is simple. Sea Shepherd cannot match the surveillance and military technology of the Japanese government and their fleet of criminal poachers,” said Captain Paul Watson in a commentary published Wednesday.
During Sea Shepherd 2016-2017 anti-whaling campaign, Sea Shepherd ships were able to locate the Japanese whaling fleet but were unable to close in on them due to military real-time satellite technology employed by the Japanese fleet.
“We have no way to compete with that. This is government military level technology completely unavailable to us,” said Watson.
During last season, the Japanese fleet was able to hit its quota of 333 minke whales despite Sea Shepherd’s efforts.
Japan has also instituted “new anti-terrorism laws specifically to stop Sea Shepherd and these laws would have allowed the use of lethal force and would allow severe punishments to our crews,” according to Watson.
“In other words, the world changed and not in favour of the whales or us,” he said.