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Sea Shepherd Launches New Southern Ocean Campaign



Tuesday September 16th, 2014 – Hobart, Australia.

Following Sea Shepherd’s victory of saving 784 threatened, endangered and protected whales during the 2013/14 whaling season, the International Court of Justice delivered a landmark ruling declaring that the Japanese whaling program in the Antarctic is illegal.

Shortly thereafter, the Japanese Government announced that despite the momentous decision by the highest court in the world, the Japanese whaling fleet will return to the Southern Ocean in the 2014/15 Austral summer season; to conduct non-lethal surveying of whales, with the intention of resuming full scale lethal whaling in the 2015/16 season.

Sea Shepherd is preparing its fleet of ships to once again confront the Japanese whale poachers, should they decide to resume their illegal whaling operations this coming season.

However, if the whale poachers abide by their promise to not kill whales, then Sea Shepherd will take the opportunity to target the illegal fishing of Patagonian and Antarctic Toothfish in the Southern Ocean, shifting focus from saving endangered whales to protecting vulnerable fish and the delicate marine ecosystem that they inhabit.

“Operation Icefish will be the first campaign of its kind, using innovative direct action tactics to fill a law enforcement void exploited by illegal toothfish operators. The Bob Barker and the Sam Simon will leave Hobart, Australia and Wellington, New Zealand, respectively, to shutdown illegal toothfish operators in Antarctic waters. Illegal fishing operations will be documented, reported and confronted. Unlawful fishing gear will be confiscated and disposed of.

In the course of Operation Icefish, Sea Shepherd will patrol the Southern Ocean ‘shadowlands’ in a bid to make a citizen’s arrest of the half dozen illegal toothfish operators who continue to exploit these vulnerable fish populations outside of the full reach of the law,” said Captain Peter Hammarstedt, Director of Ship Operations for Sea Shepherd Global
“During several of our past Southern Ocean campaigns, we have encountered illegal longlines. It has been on our agenda for many years to intervene against these fishing boats.The illegal and unregulated fishing of Patagonian and Antarctica Toothfish needs to be stopped and Sea Shepherd has the passion and the resources to do so,” said Captain Alex Cornelissen, Chief Executive Officer for Sea Shepherd Global.

"Whether it will be whale poachers or toothfish poachers, Sea Shepherd is determined to maintain a spotlight on what is often known as the "last frontier", Antarctica's Southern Ocean Wilderness, which is of global significance and deserves the outmost protection. There are few places left in this world with nature on a grand scale," said Jeff Hansen, Managing Director Sea Shepherd Australia.

Press Conference:
Who: Jeff Hansen, Managing Director Sea Shepherd Australia.
Where: Parliament House lawns, Hobart.
When: Tuesday, September 16th at 11:30am.


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