Sea Shepherd Uses Drones Against the Whaling Researchers

The Sea Shepherd is an environmental organization that defends whales against the Japanese Whalers who are hunting them down under the pretense that they conducting “research.”

Over the years the Sea Shepherd and the Japenese fleets have gone head to head against one another. One trying to kill over 1,000 whales a year, the other trying to save as many as they can. Usually, the Sea Shepherd has problems finding the fleets. But the organization has a new sweet tool on their fleet – an unmanned aerial vehicle. Using this new drone they actually located a Japanese whaling fleet about 1,000 miles north of the Southern Ocean – the whale sanctuary.

This drone is so awesome at doing its job that it actually intercepted this fleet well before they started hunting. The Steve Irwin, one of the Sea Shepherd’s ship, is on the way to intercept the Japanese fleet. Now that they have the “Eyes in the sky, they can cover hundreds of miles with the drones” before they had these ships they had to rely on the traditional methods,  a helicopter, and binoculars, by the time they actually spotted the fleets, it was usually too late to stop the hunt.  But now, they can see them coming and head straight onto an interception course.

Jeff Hansen, from the Sea Shepherd, stated that “right now we’ve deployed a drone which has gone up and taken aerial surveillance which has located the factory vessel, but we’ve also picked up three harpoon ships on our tail and security vessels but that’s not going to deter us in our mission.”

Hansen said “This is a very effective tactic that we did last year, it was so effective that the whalers went home over a month early and called it quits and we saved 858 whales out of a possible 1,035.

“This year we’re sitting for a full, complete victory in the sense that no whales will be killed and that’s our mission. Sucks that they can’t bring these ships down all together using a torpedo, in the past they’ve thrown ropes at the propellers but the Japanese sued the Sea Shepherd – so you can imagine what the hell would happen if they used a torpedo.

The Japanese whaling group asked a federal judge to freeze the assets of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and bar the environmentalists from “violently and dangerously attacking” ships engaged in “research whaling.”  The Institute of Cetacean Research – the name used by the whale hunters – has filed  lawsuits in the United States to protect its research whaling vessels and crews against attacks by Sea Shepherd. So what have they done in the past?

(1) directed vessels and their crew to drag ropes and other devices in front of and around plaintiffs’ vessels to disable or slow the vessels;

(2) launched acid-containing projectiles against plaintiffs’ vessels and crew, causing injury and damage;

(3) launched incendiary devices against the vessels and crew;

(4) rammed plaintiffs’ vessels with their vessels; and

(5) navigated their vessels in a manner endangering plaintiffs’ vessels and crew and resulting in collisions between vessels,” according to the complaint.

 Let’s hope that this year, they can actually stop the hunt altogether and save the whales from these “researchers.” Celsias News,  ABC News Australia