Sea Shepherd prepares for new patrol mission: Operation Icefish

Sea Shepherd ship, the Bob Barker, has arrived into Hobart today, November 20, continuing preparations for a two month patrol mission in the Southern Ocean.

Provided there is no whaling this year, Operation Icefish will target the poaching of Antarctic and Patagonian Toothfish. There is believed to be at least 6 vessels operating illegally fishing for these vulnerable species.

Long lines will be confiscated and the pirate fishing boats will be blocked from operating while Sea Shepherd works with relevant authorities to have the vessel confiscated and crew arrested.

Captain Hammarstedt will lead Operation Icefish which will begin on December 1 with two ships, the Sam Simon departing from Wellington, New Zealand, and the Bob Barker departing from Hobart.

With the Japanese Governement announcing a return to the slaughter of whales in 2014-15, Sea Shepherd has made it clear to the whalers that if they return then they will be there to stop them.

“Operation Icefish will be the first campaign of its kind, using innovative direct action tactics to fill a law enforcement void exploited by illegal toothfish operators. The Bob Barker and the Sam Simon will leave Hobart, Australia and Wellington, New Zealand, respectively, to shutdown illegal toothfish operators in Antarctic waters.

“Illegal fishing operations will be documented, reported and confronted. Unlawful fishing gear will be confiscated and disposed of.In the course of Operation Icefish, Sea Shepherd will patrol the Southern Ocean’s ‘shadowlands’ in a bid to make a citizen’s arrest of the half dozen illegal toothfish operators who continue to exploit these vulnerable fish populations outside of the full reach of the law,” Captain Peter Hammarstedt, Director of Ship Operations for Sea Shepherd Global, said.

“Sea Shepherd is committed to defending the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.The ICJ has ruled that the Japanese whalers are acting illegally. The IWC has ruled against whaling in the Southern Ocean. Japanese whalers are in contempt of the Australian Federal Court.

“This is not about numbers. It is about upholding the rule of law and protecting an internationally established whale sanctuary. Sea Shepherd has successfully obstructed illegal Japanese whaling activities every year since 2005.

“Sea Shepherd will continue to defend the whales in the Southern Ocean until not a single harpoon blast ever again disturbs the serenity and peace of a place where no whaler should ever be,” Jeff Hansen, Sea Shepherd Australia Managing Director, said.

Image Source: Captain Peter Hammarstedt, Director of Ship Operations for Sea Shepherd Global in Hobart, The Mercury.

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Ryan Fritz

Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities with another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years of experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities.

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