Another Japanese whaling ship leaves hunting grounds
Southern Ocean, January 18, 2008: A second ship from the Japanese government whaling fleet has left the hunting grounds as the Greenpeace ship Esperanza continues to keep the fleet's mother ship, Nisshin Maru out of action.
The Yushin Maru No.2, one of the harpoon carrying "catcher boats" rendezvoused with the Nisshin Maru hundreds of miles north of the whale hunting ground.
Sakyo Noda, Greenpeace Japan Whale Campaigner on board the Esperanza said "We are very happy to see that yet another of the fleet has left the whaling grounds, and we will do everything we can to ensure they do not return to hunting."
The Esperanza has been chasing the Nisshin Maru since it discovered the whaling fleet in the early hours of January 13th. The Nisshin Maru ran from the whaling grounds, leading to six day chase during which no whales have been killed. Without the factory ship the fleet has been unable to hunt, because the whales must be transferred to the factory vessel, cut up and frozen immediately that they are harpooned.
"We saw a number of whales surfacing and blowing in front of the catcher boat, and it's fantastic to know that they are still safe from the harpoon, because we have kept the factory ship out of action and out of the hunting grounds," said expedition leader Karli Thomas.
Dave Walsh, Greenpeace International communications officer on board the Esperanza. Sara Holden, Greenpeace International Whales Project leader, on board the Esperanza. Tel: +873 324 469 014 and +47 514 079 86
Junichi Sato, Greenpeace Japan Whales Project leader, Tokyo. Tel:+81-80-5088-2990