Sea Shepherd’s Win Is Japan’s Loss: Whalers Have Worst Season Ever
Whale conservationists are applauding the dismal kill season, while the Japanese government is calling it ‘sabotage.’
by David Kirby
This year, Japanese whalers had their least successful hunting season on record, taking fewer than half the animals they killed during 2011-2012. The Japanese government blamed the meager harvest on “unforgivable sabotage” by the anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an accusation that Sea Shepherd claims as a badge of honor.
It was a short, dismal season for the whalers, who were followed and harassed by four Sea Shepherd vessels across the waters off southwest Australia. They returned to Japan with their lowest Antarctic catch ever: just 103 minke whales, far short of their stated goal of 935. The whalers had also set out to kill 50 humpbacks and 50 fin whales, but took none.