Sea Shepherd Moves Refueling Operation to Auckland Island

The Yushin Maru No. 3 stays close to the Bob Barker near Macquarie Island. Photo: Carolina A. Castro

The Yushin Maru No. 3 is sitting on the East side of Macquarie Island and the Shonan Maru No. 2 is sitting on the West side of Macquarie Island. This will make it difficult for the Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker to undertake a fuel transfer while also trying to prevent both Japanese ships from continuing to tail Sea Shepherd and prevent them from closing in on the Nisshin Maru.

Despite being ordered to stay out of Australian territorial waters, the two Japanese vessels have not only entered the 200 mile Economic Exclusion Zone, where they have been prohibited, but have also come within twelve miles of Macquarie Island in order to not lose the Steve Irwin and to try to catch the Bob Barker.

Captain Paul Watson has decided to redirect both Sea Shepherd ships to Auckland Island where it will be more difficult for the Japanese ships to approach because they will not be allowed inside the twelve mile limit and Sea Shepherd will be able to use the bays at Auckland Island to move out of the radar range of the ships.

The New Zealand authorities have assured us that the Japanese whaling ships will not be allowed inside the New Zealand Economic Exclusion Zone. Auckland Island, therefore, is a more secure location for a fuel transfer.

After refueling, the two Sea Shepherd ships will return south to pursue the floating abattoir, the Nisshin Maru, off the coast of Antarctica. Due to fog and distance we have no pictures of the Japanese ships with the island in the background. The Yushin Maru No. 3 was 11 miles off and the Shonan Maru No. 2 was 14 miles off Macquarie. These photos were taken a month ago when the Yushin Maru No. 3 was last at Macquarie with the Bob Barker.

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