Sea Shepherd leaves Antarctica.10/02/2009 14:19:08 February 2009. The Sea Shepherd ship the Steve Irwin and her crew have withdrawn from the Japanese whaling fleet to begin preparations to return with a faster and longer range ship.
"I have said always said that we would do everything we can short of hurting people to end illegal whaling in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary," said Captain Paul Watson. "We have done everything we could with the resources available to us this year. We have shut down their illegal operations for over a month in total. We have cost them money and we have saved the lives of a good many whales. And although we are willing to take the risks required, even to our own lives, I am not prepared to do to the Japanese whalers what they do to the whales. The escalating violence by the whalers will result in some serious injuries and possibly fatalities if this confrontation continues to escalate."
Operating at a disadvantage
"We need to block those deadly harpoons and we need to outrun these hunter killer ships and to do that I need a ship that is as fast as they are and I intend to get one and I intend to return next year," he said. "We will never stop intervening against their illegal whaling operations and we will never stop harassing them, blockading them and costing them money. I intend to be their on-going nightmare every year until they stop their horrific and unlawful slaughter of the great whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary."
2000 mile chase
Two minor collissions
"Our story will be told on a weekly series on Animal Planet with the show Whale Wars. People can watch and judge for themselves. The camera is the most powerful weapon in the world and we intend to demonstrate that power."