Capt: Bob Barker doing Govt's dirty work
Saturday 22 Mar 2014 5:39 p.m.
Sea Shepherd is asking the Government to practise what it preaches when it comes to whale conservation.
The Bob Barker docked in Wellington today after battling Japanese whalers for 95 days. But the ship's captain says it should be the Government's job, not Sea Shepherd's.
For the past three months Sea Shepherd's Bob Barker has been confronting Japanese whalers in Antarctic seas. Today in the much calmer waters of Wellington's harbour she sailed into dock, still carrying the battle scars.
"It's mostly cosmetic [damage], but we have about 12 frames that are badly damaged that we will have to repair," says Captain Hammarstedt.
The Bob Barker will be docked on Wellington's waterfront for the next 10 days and will be open for public viewings. It will then make its way to its home in Melbourne where it will get much-needed repair work.
Mr Hammarstedt says the wounds have been worth it, as Japanese whalers will have reached less than a quarter of their goal of killing around 1000 whales.
"I'm confident at least 750 whales are swimming free in the Southern Ocean right now because of our interventions," he says.
But Mr Hammarstedt says Sea Shepherd is doing the dirty work the New Zealand and Australian governments should be doing.
"We're hopeful our interventions will set an example and will ultimately lead to the Australian Government and the New Zealand Government sending down ships of their own to uphold the laws and to do the job that we're currently doing for them."
The New Zealand Government has joined Australia in taking Japan to the International Court of Justice in a bid to prohibit whaling in the Southern Ocean. The court's decision is due in just over a week.
Mr Hammarstedt is confident the court will rule against Japan, but he says the time for diplomacy is over and if the ruling does not stop them, the Government needs to.