The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is about one day away from making contact with the Japanese whaling fleet.
"We know where the Greenpeace ship Esperanza is and if Greenpeace is in contact with the Japanese fleet, Sea Shepherd will be there as quickly as we can cover the distance between our two positions," said Captain Paul Watson from onboard the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin.
The Greenpeace ship Esperanza is with the Japanese fleet. Peter Hammarstedt, the 2nd officer of the Steve Irwin called the Esperanza to speak with the Captain but was informed that the Captain was sleeping and was not to be disturbed. Mr. Hammarstedt spoke with Karli Thomas the Greenpeace expedition leader and congratulated her on finding the Japanese fleet and said that since Sea Shepherd gave Greenpeace the coordinates last year would they repay the favor and provide Sea Shepherd with the coordinates this year? Ms. Thomas replied that as expedition leader she did not have the authority to release that information nor did the Captain of the Esperanza. She added that Greenpeace was withholding the information for security reasons.
Although The Captain of the Esperanza and the expedition leader are under strict orders by Greenpeace International to not release the coordinates to Sea Shepherd, Captain Watson is a co-founder of Greenpeace (1972) and co-founder of Greenpeace International (1979).
"We have our sources in Greenpeace. There are quite a few disgruntled Greenpeacers who are opposed to Greenpeace's policy of non-cooperation. They are being very helpful," said Captain Watson.
There is not much cooperation down here in this region known as the Cooperation Sea (4500 hundred kilometres southwest of Fremantle) amongst anti-whaling groups. The Australian government is refusing to provide any information to Sea Shepherd while providing information on Sea Shepherd to the Japanese government. Greenpeace absolutely refuses to provide information to Sea Shepherd.
The position of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is that we will provide information as we get it to the world at large, to other groups and to the government of Australia.
"The least we can do in the Cooperation Sea, is to do our best to cooperate with everyone," said Captain Watson. "After all, this is about saving whales from illegal whaling activities. We encourage Greenpeace to be aggressive and wish them well with their opening act in this high seas drama. Sea Shepherd is preparing for the Grand finale."
(Greenpeace confronts whaling fleet, 11th January)