The battle in the Southern Ocean rages on between the Japanese Whaling Fleet and the ships of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Reports from Japan, according to the BCC, state that, "Japan says it suspended its hunt on February 10th. It is unclear whether the expedition, which would usually end mid-March, will be called off permanently." Tatsuya Nakoaku, an official at the fisheries agency to Reuters, "Putting safety as a priority, the fleet has halted scientific whaling for now. We are currently considering what to do hereafter."
This, however, could be an act of deception, and was evidenced in recent days. Many experts believed the Japanese whaling factory ship was headed to the southern tip of South America, but The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society reports, "After heading eastward at full speed for 2,000 miles, and just before entering Drake’s Passage into the Southern Ocean, the illegal Japanese whaling factory ship the Nisshin Maru recently made a complete u-turn and is now heading due west back the way it has traveled over the last week. First Officer Peter Hammarstedt of Sweden, on board the Bob Barker following the Nisshin Maru, reported that the whale poachers acted suddenly once they reached the position of 64 degrees 4 minutes south and 074 degrees 10 minutes west at 1700 (GMT). The whalers also decreased their speed and are heading westward at 11 knots, down from a speed of 14 knots they were traveling as they headed east."
This has to have the Sea Shepherd crew, and their three ships (Steve Irwin, Bob Barker, and Gojira) on red alert, for this means the battle is back on, or that the whaling vessel is headed home. The latter isn't really likely, however, for the season isn't over and it's still a long way back to Japan from where they are, so they may be heading back to the hunting grounds for one last attempt harvest some whales.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has created the needed havoc to disrupt the entire Japanese whaling season, and is one of the most successful years on record for the activists. Captain of the Steve Irwin, and leader of the operation, Paul Watson said, through their website, "Sea Shepherd had already enforced a suspension of operations by blocking all whaling operations since February 9th and blocking 75% of all whaling operations for the month of January. We will not allow the Japanese whalers to kill another whale down here in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.” He went on to say, through the BBC on the possibility that the whaling season is over for the Japanese, "If that's true then it demonstrates that our tactics, our strategies, have been successful. I don't think they've gotten more than 30 whales... certainly they haven't got many whales at all."
The SSCS's mission statement reads: Our mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world's oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species. Their effort this year is more than admirable as they continue to make headway against the illegal whaling. They've stated that their mission isn't totally complete until no whales are killed, and if they continue on this trend, their mission will be completely accomplished very soon.
A song, more than fitting for their triumphant season, can be seen below, by Australian, Xavier Rudd, who is staunch supporter of the Sea Shepherd cause. The song is entitled, "Better People," and it's people like them that stand up for what's right, and continue to bring positive change to this world.