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Correspondence from Antarctica: View from the Sea Shepherd Ship the Bob Barker

(photo credit: Glenn Lockitch / Sea Shepherd)

(photo credit: Glenn Lockitch / Sea Shepherd)

An update on the current Antarctic campaign, from Sea Shepherd crew member Andrea Gordon.
This message was sent from the Bob Barker vessel via satellite, on:
Mon, Feb 8, 2010 at 6:12 AM

Hey Tod!! I am soooo happy we found the whalers and got them running! I can’t even tell you what a relief it is to know the whales are safe for now. We hadn’t seen the Nisshin Maru since the Ady Gil was sunk a month ago. Then, three days ago, we knew we were getting close to finding them because there were whale guts in the water. Grim, but we were hot on their trail. Peter [Hammarstedt] asked for someone to go up on the mast to do watches up there for about four hours. One crewmember, Darius, was just at the end of a watch, and was taking his gloves off to come down, when he took one more look and spotted the NM! Wow! We were so lucky to find the factory ship before any of their other ships found us first. They must have been in the middle of processing too because there were more whale guts in the water and they weren’t moving. It took them a little while to get moving, so we caught right up to them.

There were four other ships with the NM- the three harpoon ships and the Shonan Maru #2- the ship that sunk the Ady Gil. They stayed a little bit back at first, and then when I was out on bow watch, they started moving in. They formed this tight circle around the ship, cutting in front of our bow, so they put themselves between us and the NM. That’s when the Yushin Maru #3 came in and rammed us. I was right out on the bow on the side of the collision, so that was pretty cool. I didn’t even realize there was any damage at all, because it didn’t feel very hard, but it was minor. So we were fine and the Yushin disappeared and hasn’t been seen since! Ha!

A little while after they rammed us, the Shonan came up and started making close passes to us. They were essentially doing drive by’s, blaring the LRAD and the water cannons. Neither of which bothered us, and they got hammered with butyric acid! Ok, and that stuff is so super stinky. Its really nauseating and we could totally smell it on their ship as they passed us.

Now, we’re just pursuing the NM through some ultra rough weather. I’m writing this from my cabin, which is on the lowest level of the ship and I’m still levitating. Yikes. Trying to catch up on some rest now because I hardly slept for 48 hours.


  1. Comment by

    Ieyasu Toyotomi

    on #

    Sea Shepherd are violent thugs. May Japan send them to the seabed and restore peace and order to the high seas.

  2. Comment by

    Hurray for Sea Shephard

    on #

    Japanese whalers are violent thugs. May Sea Shepherd send them to the seabed and restore peace and order to the high seas.

  3. Comment by

    Sink the Poachers

    on #

    The militant Japanese are criminal killers. They are eco-terrorists who have proven that neither humor or nonhuman life is worth preserving. Sink their death ships and let them swim for their lives for a change.

  4. Comment by

    Dave Head

    on #

    Thank you Andrea Gordon [& friends] for risking all to stop the illegal killing of whales by the Japanese criminal whalers.
    Japan’s continued and expanded program of scientific whaling is inconsistent with its obligations under the Law of the Sea Convention, the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling Convention, the Convention on the
    Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).
    It is inconsistent with Japan’s obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity because reduces the sustainability of whale species and has “adverse impacts on biological diversity.” It is unquestionably an abuse of
    right because it invokes Article VIII of the Whaling Convention in a manner that certainly was unanticipated by the framers of the Convention and has been repeatedly condemned by the majority of the other contracting parties
    to the Convention.
    Japan’s actions can be challenged by concerned states in the International Court of Justice or through the dispute resolution procedures of the Law of the Sea Convention and the conciliation procedures of the Convention on Biological
    Diversity. Plus a few breached of IWC regulations.

  5. Comment by

    Chris Dixon

    on #

    Bollock On Sea Shepherd you are doing a fantastic job!

  6. Comment by

    Mr Philips

    on #

    Much respect to sea Shepherd for standing up to the Japanese whalers, who are cowards and bullys. Who do you think you are Japanese whalers, going around the oceans like parastites, killing innocent creatures who have the right, by natural and human law, to live free of violence?
    Get out of the Southern Ocean, better still get off this planet, no living creature needs you, you have no value to evolution, history will remember you as a mistake, an evil which we are better off without.

  7. Comment by


    on #

    Yes, the illegal whalers need to be stopped.

    Of course the perfectly legal whalers need protection from the vigilantes.

  8. Comment by


    on #

    Stop crying about aggression you initiate in international waters. I feel about as sorry for you as I do for someone who starts fights in a bar, and then gets their ass kicked.

  9. Comment by


    on #

    My heroes!!! You should get more media attention. those Japanese ships are filled with cruel, inhumane people unworthy of a great nation.
    Remember what Mahatma Gandhi said: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

  10. Comment by


    on #

    Being vegan (which I am) and thus “enlightened” on one topic is no excuse for painful ignorance on others!

    Racist vitriol has no place in this discussion. These comments are disgusting – is Supervegan not going to moderate such hatred?

  11. Comment by

    Jason Das

    on #

    Annabelle, I’m not sure I can forgive you for making me read through all those comments to make sure there’s nothing racist in them. Please be more considerate of your moderators’ attention!

    There wasn’t any overt racism that I saw, though I suppose there was enough general jackassery that it’s impossible to rule out a possible racist undercurrent here and there.

    Nationality ≠ race. And Japan has horrible laws and policies in regards to whaling which is exactly why it’s Japanese fleets are out there doing this.

    I am quite certain that all those commenting here against industrialized-governmentally-sanctioned-whaling would feel the same way regardless of the nationality (or, for that matter, race) of those doing said whaling.

  12. Comment by


    on #

    “Get out of the Southern Ocean, better still get off this planet, no living creature needs you, you have no value to evolution, history will remember you as a mistake, an evil which we are better off without.”

    “Sink their death ships and let them swim for their lives for a change.”

    ..Sure, if you want to get into semantics, such statements are probably more accurately described as genocidal, not racist. (Though in American discourse, please recognize that the word “racist” has expanded far beyond the already discarded concept of “race.” Your attempt to scholarly dissociate nation from race falls a little flat to people who have already accepted that race is a social construct… racism, however, is common parlance for ethnically, genealogically and regionally-based bigotry. Forgive my use of the word if it offends your sensibilities.) Additionally, you might take the time to look at renditions of the Japanese by the US during World War II and note some parallel language, not just in these comments but in other vegan discussions of this issue, as well. You may be surprised.

    Your point that those upset at the Japanese whalers would have been upset regardless of the origin of the perpetrators is accurate – I, too, am entirely sure this is true. I don’t , however, think that at all excuses ignorant, inaccurate and irredeemably violent characterizations of said perpetrators.

    Again, forgive me for expressing so much frustration over what may seem to you like a bunch of overly-enthusiastic but ultimately well-meaning animal lovers, or whatever it is such commentators are perceived to be. I’m just continually shocked and disappointed with the dearth of intellectual effort and moral consistency in the vegan community. It’s as if avoiding animal consumption is a carte blanche in all other areas of life, rendering the vegan so righteous that s/he need not put any effort into understanding other complex political/moral/ecological issues.

    I find it personally frustrating, not to mention tragic, that so many representatives of the vegan community stop moral inquiry at the level of Bambi.

  13. Comment by

    Jason Das

    on #

    I’m not defending those comments as friendly or ethically admirable. But I am reading them as directed at the whalers, not the Japanese people.

    But to address a larger point (and to answer your original question), we’d much rather have your discussion of these issues here than erase anybody’s comments.

  14. Comment by


    on #

    Sea Shepherd Conservation Society have done an outstanding job in ridding the southern ocean of the japanese whale poachers.
    Persistence pays dividends !!
    Great job guys & gals – a hero’s welcome awaits you in Australia !!

  15. Comment by


    on #

    I think that ignoble fleet should be hounded all the way back to Japan.
    I found out over 50% of Australians in a recent poll would be boycotting Japanese products in response to their governments inaction.
    If governments won’t act then its up to ‘people power’ to make a firm stand.

  16. Comment by


    on #

    “I found out over 50% of Australians in a recent poll would be boycotting Japanese products in response to their governments inaction.”

    Then why aren’t they? It is easy to say you will do something when a pollster asks you but obviously very few of those people are actually boycotting Japanese products.

    And if the SSCS and their followers would be just as upset no matter what country the whalers came from, then why has it been decades since the SSCS has used direct action against any whalers except the Japanese? What about the whalers in Norway or Iceland or Greenland or Russia or the United States? Why aren’t the Steve Irwin and Bob Barker going after any of them?

  17. Comment by


    on #

    Quite whining about why the japanese are being picked on – they are the only ones poaching in an internationally designated whale sanctuary.
    I personally know Australians who have already committed to boycott japanese products – like the illegally gained profits from whaling even the japanese will understand the bottom line when it hurts.