Photojournalism / Blog

Sea Shepherd Waltzing Matilda Antarctic Campaign 2009/2010

The Sea Shepherd Waltzing Matilda Antarctic Campaign 2009/2010 was the most successful Antarctic campaign in the organisation’s history saving 528 whales and cost the Japanese whalers over $100 million.

For 3 months I photographed on board the Bob Barker, the new addition to the Sea Shepherd fleet. I met up with the ex-1950’s Norwegian whaling ship in Mauritius where it was prepared for the epic journey down to Antarctica to stop whales being slaughtered in the name of ‘research’.

Our journey had many surprises. After three weeks at sea the futuristic Sea Shepherd ship the Ady Gil was rammed and sunk by the Japanese government security ship, the Shonan Maru 2, threatening the six crew’s lives. Our ship the Bob Barker was also intentionally rammed tearing a one metre gash in its hull. The Captain of the Ady Gil, Pete Bethune, was taken back to Japan and detained in solitary confinement for five months. No one has yet been interviewed or charged for the sinking of his ship. In the name of ‘trade’ international governments remain silent. This sets a dangerous precedent for governmental conduct on the high seas.

Antarctica is the last great wildernesses on earth. While there is a lot of good scientific research on climate change being done in Antarctica, there is also a strong suspicion that governments, fishing corporations and research institutions are maintaining links to Antarctica with the intention of staking claims to its resources when the protocol governing its environmental protection, the Madrid Protocol, is reviewed in 2041.

© Glenn Lockitch (can be used for non-commercial use only)

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