Keeping up the pressure on six Japanese whaling vessels, which returned to Shimonosek after a five-month Antarctic hunting expedition marred by standoffs and confrontations with activists like Sea Shepherd, Greenpeace activists held up signs that read: “SOMEBODY HAS TO BE ON SHORE TOO!” and “SOUTHERN OCEAN WHALING: COVERUPS, LIES, 1.2 BILLION YEN IN TAXES!”
Japan is already embroiled in “Whalergate,” which are back room negotiations being conducted under the auspices of the US and Australia that could resume commercial whaling as early this summer if a crucial vote goes the pro-whaling nations’ way at the May meeting of the International Whaling Commission. But anti-whaling forces received a boost when Mr. Pete Bethune, skipper of Earthrace, promised to join Paul Watson and his Sea Shepherd group of militants. Bethune would use his faster bio-diesel powered vessel like a strike weapon around the Sea Shepherd’s slower Steve Irwin.
The next whaling season could see a real “whale war.”