Japan suspends whaling because of Sea Shepherd

The upcoming season of Whale Wars will chronicle Sea Shepherd’s most successful campaign yet, as Japan’s government has suspended whaling in the Southern Ocean, where Sea Shepherd boats, with camera crews aboard, have been preventing the fleet from whaling all season, and there’s talk that whaling might end permanently.

That seems to be at least partly due to the threat of intervention by Chile, because the whaling ships were near that country’s protected waters. But The Sydney Morning Herald reports that “shift in fortunes for the whalers has been blamed on activist harassment.” In addition, “financial restrictions meant a reduced fleet without the usual protection of spotter and security ships to keep the Nisshin Maru clear of activists,” and “The Fisheries Agency of Japan said it was studying the situation, including the possibility of cutting its season short.”

The Australian reported that “confidence is growing among conservation groups in Japan that the now-suspended Japanese whale hunt may be the last one in Antarctic waters as financial and diplomatic pressures take their toll.”

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