An anti-whaling group patrolling the Ross Sea off Antarctica is offering a 25.000 US dollars reward to any person or group that can provide coordinates of the Japanese whaling fleet operating in the area.
The US-based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society announced the reward in the midst of its "Operation Leviathan" mission to disrupt Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean. "This information will save us considerably in fuel costs," said Founder and President of Sea Shepherd Captain Paul Watson. "We know the Japanese whaling fleet is within 500 miles of us. We are willing to pay 25,000 for any information that successfully leads us to the fleet", he added. Information can be relayed to head office in Friday Harbor, Washington, at 360-370-5650 or faxed to 360-370-5651 or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org (If desired, informant's identity may remain confidential). "We're here to stop them from killing whales and we will do all we can without risking human lives to do that," said Captain Alex Cornelissen from the ship Robert Hunter, one of two Sea Shepherd ships involved in the anti-whaling campaign. "We're waiting for more information about the coordinates of the Japanese fleet to track them down, and hope the reward will help deliver that news soon". Paul Watson, who is the Captain of the second ship Farley Mowat, told a local Australian radio the New Zealand Government knew the location of the Japanese whalers because its air force had filmed the fleet. "We know there are people who have this information and the coordinates for the Japanese fleet and quite frankly it will save us that much in fuel if we can get those coordinates," he said. The Sea Shepherd ships have another three weeks before they must leave the area to refuel and pick up supplies. A global moratorium on commercial whaling has existed since 1986, but Japan kills hundreds of whales each year under a scientific whaling programme. Iceland and Norway are the only countries to ignore the moratorium and conduct commercial hunts