News comes out this morning that the Japanese have suspended their whale hunt operations, for now:
AFTER decades of bitterly opposed Antarctic ''research whaling'', Japan has suspended its hunt and is near to formally pulling out only halfway through the season.
Following a sustained pursuit by activists from the anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd, the whalers have had their kills slashed at a time when financial demands are tightening in Tokyo and diplomatic pressure is rising.
The sudden shift has raised hopes that Japan may be moving to end its 23-year program, which has killed about 10,000 Antarctic whales. - The Sydney Morning Herald
I have to say that I am somewhat surprised that the Sea Shepherd activists managed to stop the Japanese from whaling. Simply put, they managed this because they were more willing to endanger their lives than the Japanese were willing to fight back, despite managing to ram and sink a Sea Shepherd vessel last year. I do not think the Japanese were beyond sinking another ship this year, if the right accident opportunity presented itself, like in the photo below.
"The Gojira abnormally coming close in front of the Yushin Maru No. 3 bow." - Link
I guess we will just have to see what the Japanese plan next. I would not be surprised if they wait for Sea Shepherd to leave the area and then turn around, or just relocate to some other area. After all, this is a huge loss of face for them, not that killing whales is any better in that respect, but now there is an added level of shame, especially for the sailors who lost to a bunch of mostly disorganized, reckless and poorly trained opponents. Really, it is amazing that none of the Sea Shepherd group has managed to kill themselves all this time. I wonder how they would stack up against pirates...