Japanese Whalers Say Sea Shepherd Is Their Main Obstacle
For most TreeHugger readers and watchers of Animal Planet's Whale Wars, that Sea Shepherd has been having a huge impact on Japanese whaling in the Antarctic is well known. Now the whalers admit that it sees the harassment from Sea Shepherd as the biggest obstacle it faces and that it will step up efforts to circumvent all the tactics used to prevent whaling. Joji Morishita, Japan's deputy commissioner to the International Whaling Commission, told the BBCM:
We are now discussing how we can send our fleet back to the Antarctic Ocean. Simply put the attack from Sea Shepherd organization is the one we have to consider how we prevent that to happen again. [sic] The attack this part year became so severe that we didn't have any choice to try to prevent the worst from happening.
Mr Morishita noted however that there are a number of other factors that hinder the whaling fleet: New regulations on maritime pollution limit how much fuel the fleet's factory ship can carry and the financial situation in Japan means it's costing more to carry out the hunt.
At the IWC meeting in Jersey, the Japanese whalers showed delegates videos and photos of Sea Shepherd harassment activities, which this past year allowed just 170 whales to be killed, out of a planned 850.