Season may have ended early for damaged whaling ship

Posted by jossc — 16 January 2009 at 5:18pm - Comments

Damaged? Whaling fleet catcher boat Yushin Maru II in Surabaya harbour for repair

Damaged? Whaling fleet catcher boat Yushin Maru II in Surabaya harbour for repair

According to intelligence received by our investigators in Surabaya, East Java, the Japanese whaling ship Yushin Maru II, which has been forced into a port in Indonesia for repairs, may be returning to Japan, and not the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

Rumours are rife about the ship's condition. It left port this morning without switching on its Automatic Identification System, and our information suggests that ship had arrived in Surabaya with damage to its propeller, rudder and navigation systems. Apparently they were able to repaire the propeller yesterday, but we couldn't find out whether the rudder and navigation had also been fixed.

There are conflicting reports of her destination, but our Southeast Asian office was informed by authorities in Surabaya that Yushin Maru II, which acts as a catcher boat for the whaling fleet, will be returning to Japan. Which would of course be great news for the whales.

"If it is true that she is returning to Japan, it will make a significant dent in the number of whales killed in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary this season and we are delighted by that," says our international whales campaign coordinator Sara Holden. "But one ship out of action is not enough. A full investigation of the whaling operation should be begun immediately and the government of Japan must make a commitment to stop squandering taxpayers' money on this sham whaling programme."

Take action

Free the Tokyo Two! Two of our researchers or currently about to go on trial in Japan as a result of their investigations into the illegal sale of whalemeat supposedly collected for 'scientific' purposes. Please, if you haven't done so already, take a couple of minutes to add your voice to the protest against Juno and Toru's unjust incarceration.

About Joss

Bass player and backing vox in the four piece beat combo that is the UK Greenpeace Web Experience. In my 6 years here I've worked on almost every campaign and been fascinated by them all to varying degrees. Just now I'm working on Peace and Oceans - which means getting rid of our Trident nuclear weapons system and creating large marine reserves so that marine life can get some protection from overfishing.

Follow Greenpeace UK