The whale that inspired Greenpeace The organization that would become Greenpeace started off as an advocate for peace and as an anti-nuclear group. It expanded its activities into fighting whaling and had a major influence on the virtual cessation of the commercial fishing of whales which made Greenpeace a household name. That change in direction can be traced to a single whale. Allow me to introduce to you, Skana.
A complex situation has arisen in the Southern Ocean where the Japanese Whaling fleet run by The Institute of Cetacean Research is attempting to slaughter nearly a thousand whales for the much scoffed at purpose of scientific research. Greenpeace located the fleet and claims to have chased the whalers out of hunting grounds. An Australian Federal Court judgement meanwhile has ruled the expedition illegal and imposed an injunction against the illegal whaling in Australian waters. The Japanese do not recognise Australia's claim. The Japanese responded by ignoring the judgement. Now Sea Shephard an activist group have put two of their members aboard a Japanese Ship and claims they were tied to the mast. Despite the Japanese Government saying the activists would be released the ships captain refuses to do so. Recent related post.
The Nisshin Maru is on fire. After being rammed by the Greenpeace Ship Sunrise, chased and harassed by anti-whaling activist Captain Paul Watson, and playing set to contemporary artist Matthew Barney's film Drawing Restraint 9 (which co-starred Barney's wife Bjork), the Nisshin Maru, flagship of Japan's whaling fleet has been crippled by an onboard fire fueled by whale oil, spelling a possible end to whaling in Japan.
Yarrrr/Banzai! All you "Talk like a pirate day" keyboard swashbucklers take heed: The Sea Shepherd Society's flagship Farley Mowat is now officialy a pirate vessel after Canada, Britain, and Belize revoked their registration. As the Japanese winter Antarctic whale hunting season begins (previously), the M/V Farley Mowat is setting sail to meet them, armed with a hydraulic "can opener" battering ram, a pie cannon, and moral conviction. With the Japanese whaling fleet now majority owned by the Japanese government, a subject of international diplomatic intrigue, and after last year's confrontations, this could get ugly!
(Knock, knock) "Candygram!" We don't know if ZDF has shown early SNL skits (nostalgic photo here), but German Greenpeace made a dramatic delivery to the Japanese Embassy in Berlin: a 55-foot-long fin whale that had been stranded in the Baltic. The dramatic gesture underscored the organization's contention that Japan's whaling, long defended as research, is in fact unnecessary: sufficient numbers of beached whales are available for research. The leviathan — 20 tonnes of blubber — was craned onto a truck and driven 150 miles from Rostock-Warnemünde to Berlin, and was due to be returned to the coast for study. (German-language stories on Greenpeace.de website here, here, and here, including logistical details for those curious about arranging their own special deliveries.)
Got access to a daily satellite feed? Win $10 000. Not quite Sink the Bismarck, but the Sea Shepherds have offered a $10 000 reward for anyone who can tell them where the Japanese whaling fleet is this summer, as it prepares to scientifically study 950 minke and fin whales.