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Greenpeace ships depart Southern Ocean

Greenpeace ships depart Southern Ocean to continure campaign on land

Auckland, Friday 20 January 2006: The two Greenpeace ships that have been shadowing the whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean are preparing to leave as the organisation switches the focus of the campaign to the corporates behind the commercial whaling industry.

Greenpeace New Zealand whales campaigner Pia Mancia said that the two ships Arctic Sunrise and the Esperanza, have spent more than a month exposing the reality of the Japanese commercial whaling operation to the world, and it is now time to focus action on those controlling the whaling fleet.

“Today we launched a campaign calling on the iconic fishing company Sealord to use its influence to persuade its 50% shareholder company Nissui to get out of commercial whaling”, she said.

“Nissui is one of the biggest players in the slaughter of whales that we have been witnessing in the Southern Ocean Whales Sanctuary this summer’, she said.

Greenpeace Southern Ocean Expedition Leader Shane Rattenbury said, “Logistically we cannot remain in the Southern Ocean any longer, but this certainly isn’t the last you’ll hear of us.

“The 57 crew – including New Zealanders Phil Lloyd and Naomi Petersen - on both Greenpeace ships want to thank everyone who has supported our work down here by writing letters of support to newspapers and websites. It's thanks to our new faster ship, the Esperanza, that we were able to keep up with the whalers the whole time. We now need the public to focus their attention on the corporates linked to the commercial whaling.

Anyone wanting to send a cyber protest to Sealord should go to http://www.greenpeace.org.nz

“For a month now we have dogged, delayed and disrupted the whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, and have no doubt that they have fallen far behind in their bid to slaughter 935 minke whales and 10 endangered fin whales. It is our hope that this struggle will inspire people to help us defend whales, so that it goes down in history as the last time the peaceful silence in the Sanctuary is broken by the sound of a grenade-tipped harpoon,” Mr Rattenbury said.

The /Arctic Sunrise /and /Esperanza/ will continue the year long 'Defending our Oceans' voyage, the single largest expedition that Greenpeace has ever undertaken. For more information, visit http://www.oceans.greenpeace.org

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