Japan has released the two anti-whaling activists who boarded their vessel and they have returned to their Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship.
Japan had originally said it would not release the two men unless the anti-whaling ship agreed to immediately end its harassment of the Japanese whaling fleet. While they didn’t get that result, they now have a different plan to take on the activists.
Their plan is to basically outlast the activist vessels pursuing them. The whaling fleet has its own supply ships with it, including a fuel tanker. The two ships pursuing them, one from SSCS and one from Greenpeace, have no such resources. While they may be able to stop the Japanese from whaling for the moment, at some point they’re going to have to go back to port.
Despite that, both ships are determined to continue their activities. Australian Benjamin Potts, one of the activists detained on board the Japanese harpoon ship, said: “”We’ll continue to harass the Japanese fleet and prevent them from whaling.” Chief executive of Greenpeace Steve Shallhorn said “We’ll stay down here as long as we can and crawl into port on the last fuel vapors.”
The situation between the whaling fleet and the activists has become immensely heated in recent days. The incident involving the detained sailors has caused an international fervor, with anger directed at both the Japanese and the radical anti-whaling activists. The Australian government, which has been actively involved in the whaling saga since the beginning, is investigating both sides in relation to the incident.
Even the activists are fighting amongst themselves. Greenpeace and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society are strongly at odds on how exactly to prevent Japanese whaling. Paul Watson, the captain of the SSCS ship, accused Greenpeace of filming “whale snuff flicks” and not taking direct action.
Japan will attempt to return to whaling today regardless of the activists’ presence. It remains to be seen what the activists have in store to try and stop them.