The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society assisted Forest Rescue Australia early this morning in a detailed and daring move to get onboard the Shonan Maru Number 2 in the waters off Bunbury, Western Australia.
Paul Watson with Nisshin Maru in the background
Geoffrey Owen Tuxworth (47) of Perth, Simon Peterffy (44) of Bunbury and Glen Pendlebury (27) of Fremantle, all from Forest Rescue came by boat from shore to intercept the Japanese vessel the Shonan Maru Number 2 which was tailing the Sea Shepherd ship the Steve Irwin 16.2 miles off the coast and 22 miles Northwest of Bunbury, Western Australia. The Shonan Maru's position when boarded was 32 degrees, zero minutes south and 115 degrees, 21 minutes east. They were met by two small boats from the Steve Irwin. The boats approached the Shonan Maru under the cover of darkness and the three negotiated their way past the razor wire and spikes and over the rails to sucessfuly board the Japanese whaling vessel.
They came with a message. 'Return us to shore in Australia and then remove yourself from our waters.'
At the present time, three Australian citizens are being held as prisoners onboard the Japanese vessel the Shonan Maru Number 2. They are being held in the twenty-four mile contiguous zone of Australia by an invading Japanese vessel containing armed Japanese military personnel.
Paul Watson on bridge
Statement from Forest Rescue: We have come from the forests of Australia to defend the whales being slaughtered in Australian territorial waters.
Sea Shepherd got a look of the deck of the Shonan Maru no 2 5524586
We are Australian citizens and we have boarded the Japanese flagged Shonan Maru Number 2 in Australian territorial waters at a position of (32 degrees zero minutes south and 115 degrees 21 minutes east) We have taken this action of boarding the Shonan Maru Number 2 to protest the fact that this vessel is part of a whaling fleet that is operating in contempt of the Australian Court and is in Australian waters in defiance of the Australian Federal court ruling and the will of the Australian people.
'We are onboard this ship because our government has failed to uphold its pre-election promise to end whaling in the Southern Ocean.' said Simon Peterffy.
Forest Rescue has decided to take action to prevent the Shonan Maru Number 2 from tailing the Steve Irwin back to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
The delta and the Forest Rescue small boat in the moonlight before the boarding
Forest Rescue is making a stand to assist Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in their campaign to end illegal whale poaching in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
We are taking this action to remind the Australian government of their obligation to enforce existing laws pertaining to the prohibition of whaling ships in our waters.
We as Forest Rescue are insulted and disappointed in our government for allowing the transit of whale poaching vessels in Australian waters.
Humpbacks Whales - Gold Coast Australia
The three Forest Rescue Activists who boarded the Shonan Maru #2 while they were visiting the Steve Irwin in Fremantle
The Forest Rescue Activists visit the Steve Irwin in Fremantle while it was in port (these three later boarded the Shonan Maru #2)
The stern of the Shonan Maru #2 with anti-boarding spikes and razor wire
Side view of the Shonan Maru #2 withanti-boarding spikes and barbed wire
About Sea Shepherd Conservation Society - Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an international non-profit conservation organization whose mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species. Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately-balanced oceanic ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations. Founder and President Captain Paul Watson, is a world renowned, respected leader in environmental issues. Visit www.seashepherd.org for more information.