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Gruesome whale kill continues...

Gruesome whale kill continues...


Southern Ocean Saturday, 07 January, 2006 : Greenpeace activists last night witnessed the slow and bloody death of yet another minke whale,
fully documented by photos and video footage.

"While we have seen a number of whales die since being in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, this one was particularly unpleasant to watch as the whale fought for its life for over 30 minutes," said Shane Rattenbury, Greenpeace expedition leader in the Southern Ocean.

Whalers failed to get a clean first shot with their grenade-tipped harpoon, leaving the mortally injured male minke bleeding profusely. It took several harpoons and rifle shots before the injured whale was eventually killed and pulled up onto the hull of one of the catcher ships, the Yushin Maru No.2.
[for a fuller description read the weblog entry at: http://weblog.greenpeace.org/oceandefenders/archive/2006/01/mercy_shot.html]

Yesterday four inflatables from two Greenpeace ships in the Southern Ocean, the MY Esperanza and the MY Arctic Sunrise, continually disrupted the hunt by placing themselves between the harpoon and the whale, buying many whales enough time to escape. Sadly, there are too few activists and too many catcher ships and at least 8 minke whales were killed yesterday.

Greenpeace denies any plans to board Japaneses whaling vessels, as claimed in the latest press release by the Institute for Cetacean Research (ICR).

“We have no intention of boarding whaling vessels, or engaging in any activity which could be deemed ‘piracy’ by International marine law,” said Steve Shallhorn, CEO Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

"Our focus is on the whales, not the whalers, so by staying in our boats and putting ourselves between the whale and the harpoon, that's the most effective thing we can do to stop the whales being killed," he said.


The ICR has also stated that its whaling fleet is using high power water canon against Greenpeace activists 'for their own safety' and that the international environmental organisation activities are being monitored by US Naval Intelligence,

"Saying that the whalers' water cannon are for Greenpeace's safety is about as believable as the giant new RESEARCH sign emblazoned on the hull of Nisshin Maru, the fleets factory ship where the whales are cut up and boxed for market. Next they will be telling us that grenade tipped harpoons are
good for whales," said Rattenbury now on board the Esperanza.

"The claim that we are being monitored by US naval intelligence also shows how desperate the whalers are getting to divert attention from the reality of their activities in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. The senseless and bloody slaughter of whales under the guise of science." added Rattenbury.

Flying in the face of international protest and repeated calls from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to stop its annual 'scientific' whale hunt, this year the Fisheries Agency of Japan has more than double its planned catch of minke whales to 935 and added 10 endangered fin whales.
Over the next 2 years 40 more fin whales will be added to the annual kill along with 50 humpback whales. Fin whales are the second largest creatures on earth, after blue whales.

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