Hobart as an important scientific hub and gateway for Antarctic and southern ocean marine research, not only for Australia but for other national scientific expeditions. That is the vision of a new policy initiative launched by the Greens today to boost the research and logistics capacity of Australian Antarctic, climate and marine scientists based in Hobart.
The Australian Government has an official policy of opposing the Japanese whaling operation in the southern ocean whale sanctuary, but officially it is very quiet. Not so much as a peep from the media releases on the Federal Minister for the Environment Tony Burke MP or the Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Senator Bob Carr's websites. This is despite several ship collisions between ships of the Japanese whaling fleet and 3 Sea Shepherd Australia vessels that have already occurred near Antarctica in the Australian Antarctic Territory and in Australia's marine search and rescue zone.
More ship collisions have occurred in the Southern ocean with the Nisshin Maru ramming the Bob Barker up against the fuel tanker Sun Laurel while blasting the ship with water cannon to try and flood their engines and exploding concussion grenades on the decks of the Bob Barker and the Sun Laurel.
Related: Sea Shepherd: Whaling Factory ship rams Korean Fuel Tanker and 3 activist ships | Video: Nisshin Maru whaling factory ship bearing down on Sea Shepherd Sam Simon | Whaling Fleet committed multiple breaches of international law says Sea Shepherd Director Bob Brown | Human rights of Tanker crew under question as Japan suspends Whaling in Antarctica
One of the Directors of Sea Shepherd Australia, Bob Brown conducted an interview Wednesday afternoon in which he called for the Australian Government to intercede directly with Tokyo over the Nisshin Maru ramming of 4 ships in the Southern Ocean and also called for an Australian naval presence to uphold international law in Antarctic waters. Bob Brown is a former leader of the Australian Greens and a former Tasmanian Senator.
Sea Shepherd are reporting that the Japanese whaling fleet is heading home, with the season coming to an end with weather starting to worsen. Sea Shepherd have again been effective in reducing the lethal efficiency of the illegal Japanese commercial whaling operation that uses a scientific loophole in the International Whaling Commission that allows them to slaughter whales for 'research' and sell the meat as part of their commercial operation.
Conflict at night on the high seas of the southern ocean whale sanctuary as two Japanese harpoon ships harass Sea Shepherd activists on board the Bob Barker in an attempt to throw them off the tail of the Nisshin Maru whaling factory ship. The weapons in this mini conflict were Tow lines, lasers, spotlights and rockets (flares). The harassment occurred as night was rapidly falling with snow flurries in the air, and within hours of the Bob Barker sighting the Nisshin Maru.
Related youtube videos: Sea Shepherd: The Japanese whaling fleet attacks the Bob Barker - March 5, 2012 | ICR: Bob Barker fires rockets at Yushin Maru 2 - March 5, 2012
The Japanese whaling fleet is facing a second year of poor whaling in the southern ocean whale sanctuary due to the dogged perseverance and tactics of two Sea Shepherd vessels: the Steve Irwin and Bob Baker. A third sea sheperd vessel, the Brigitte Bardot, was forced to retire early in the whaling season when it sustained damage from a rogue wave.
"The whale war in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is over. The whales have won!" announced Captain Paul Watson from the Sea Shepherd vessel Steve Irwin on Saturday.
The Nisshin Maru whaling factory ship late last week made a pivotal course change north, as the Japanese Fisheries Agency announced that the whaling fleet had been recalled for this season.
This has been a disasterous year for the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has fielded 3 ships taking out of action two harpoon vessels while the Nisshin Maru fled accompanied by one harpoon ship. Now the Nisshin Maru has been found in the Ross Sea.
For the first time in seven years of campaigning in the southern ocean Sea Shepherd have been able to locate 2 harpoon vessels in the whaling fleet before whaling was able to begin.
The Sea Shepherd vessels Bob Barker located on New Year's Eve 2010 an unidentified harpoon vessel on the edge of the Antarctic ice at 148 degrees west. Shortly after the Sea Shepherd flagship, the Steve Irwin, found the Japanese harpoon vessel Yushin Maru #2 sitting in the ice some 60 miles to the north.
Update: Indybay IMC: Whaling stymied by Sea Shepherd: First clashes among the Antarctic ice | Video: Dancing with Death Machines at the Bottom of the World
Wikileaks: Garrett stood his ground on whaling compromise; Sea Shepherd tax status targeted