Three dead, protected Minke Whales on the deck of the Nisshin Maru. Photo: Tim WattersFile Photo: Three dead, protected Minke Whales on the deck of the Nisshin Maru in 2014. Photo: Tim WattersIn the vastness of the Southern Ocean, the Japanese whaling fleet has likely been able to illegally slaughter their reduced quota of 333 Minke whales.

Because of the expanded area of operations and the fact that they were targeting only a third of their quota, the Japanese whalers were able to get away with violating the verdict of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that Japanese whaling operations in the Southern Ocean should be shut down.

Sea Shepherd Global had expected that the signatory nations to the United Nations and especially New Zealand and Australia would uphold the verdict of the ICJ.

They did not.

Failing that, Sea Shepherd Global expected that the New Zealand or Australian governments could at least provide Sea Shepherd Global with the coordinates of the Japanese fleet to enable Sea Shepherd Global to gather evidence on this continued illegal activity.

They did not.

It was especially imperative that such evidence be collected this year to stop these illegal Japanese whaling activities.

Sea Shepherd Australia asked both the Australian and New Zealand governments for the coordinates in order to help them to do the job that New Zealand and Australia refuse to do.

The bloodied deck of the Nisshin Maru, stained from the butchering of a whale. Photo: Tim WattersFile Photo: The bloodied deck of the Nisshin Maru, stained from the butchering of a whale in 2014. Photo: Tim WattersDocumentation of Japan’s continued violations of conservation law and continued contempt for Australian Federal Court was Sea Shepherd Global’s goal for this season.

“We need evidence of Japan’s blatant disregard for the authority of the International Court of Justice,” said Captain Alex Cornelissen, CEO of Sea Shepherd Global. “The collection of such evidence is absolutely crucial to stopping Japan’s ongoing, illegal slaughter of the whales.”

“We are very disappointed in the Australian and New Zealand governments,” said Sea Shepherd Australia Director, Jeff Hansen. “They initiated a court case against Japan for illegal whaling. They won the case. Japan ignored the case and in response, both Australia and New Zealand have simply turned their backs and walked away, seemingly content to allow the Japanese crimes against the whales and humanity to continue. It is a shameful lack of response.”

Sea Shepherd Global’s Flagship, Steve Irwin, will continue efforts this season to oppose other illegal activities in a sea where crime reigns unopposed by governments and where poaching is a profitable enterprise by criminal operations that believe themselves to be above the law.

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