• environmental issue


PRNewswire May 2, 2024

Legendary activist announces a new ship to protect whales in Antarctica as Japanese whalers to resume poaching. 

Video and Photos

HOBART, Tasmania, Australia, May 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Ocean conservation organization Captain Paul Watson Foundation, which sails under the banner of Neptune’s Pirates has just acquired a new vessel, The Bandero, a former Japanese Fisheries Patrol ship, to combat illegal whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. The vessel, which has just sailed from Busan, Korea, will dock in Hobart, Tasmania on Wednesday.

The Bandero, now under the banner of Neptunes Pirates, is a former Japanese Fisheries Patrol ship, which will nowto combat illegal whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. The vessel, which has just sailed from Busan, Korea, will dock in Hobart, Tasmania.

Japan ended its Antarctic whaling program in 2018 after the relentless pursuit by Watson’s ships and later, a ruling by the International Court of Justice concluding Japan’s whaling program in the Antarctic (JARPA II) was in breach of obligations assumed by Japan under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (‘ICRW’). Despite this, Japanese whaling company Kyodo Senpaku, recently launched a newly built 50$ million dollar whale processing factory ship, the Kangei Maru, in Shimonoseki, which has been designed with the ability to travel as far as Antarctica to hunt whales.

“If Japan decides to return to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, the Captain Paul Watson Foundation will target illegal whaling activities in Australia’s Antarctic Territory,” said Omar Todd, CEO at The Captain Paul Watson Foundation.

Captain Paul Watson is known for his fight against whaling in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary and his actions have saved the lives of thousands of whales throughout the years. Under the new foundation bearing his name, he is joined by volunteers and activists from around the Globe in the effort to protect whales and the delicate balance of life in Antarctic waters.

“The previous organizations I founded have moved to the mainstream, but my team and I remain loyal to our cause and continue with the same course of action, utilizing our proven strategies of aggressive non-violence,” stated Captain Paul Watson.

The Bandero, sailing on a single permit voyage to Australia as the NORTHERN HORIZON, under a Mongolian Flag, was recently purchased covertly by Watson’s Foundation from the Japanese government. “Months of preparation went into acquiring a suitable vessel to restart Southern Ocean campaigns. Though this vessel will be used to curtail whaling in Antarctic waters, there is no denying Japan builds some of the best quality vessels, in fact this ship is tailor-made for what we do” said Captain Locky MacLean, who has helped acquire 10 ships for Captain Watson over the two decades he has sailed with him, including the former Japanese Oceanographic Research vessel Seifu Maru in 2012, which was also unveiled in Hobart and named SAM SIMON, after the Producer of the Simpsons television show, who donated funds toward the vessel’s acquisition.

The Bandero, named after the Tequila brand of American Billionaire, John Paul DeJoria, Founder of Patron Tequila and John Paul Mitchell hair care products, is a 64-meter ship with a gross tonnage of 499 tons, and will be stationed in Hobart, Tasmania in the coming weeks while undergoing reflagging and survey work. Skipper Mark Gibbs, who sailed the ship down from Korea in 17 days, stated “Its a big ocean out there, and thanks to benefactors like John Paul DeJoria, we’ll be able to do our bit, protecting marine wildlife”. Gibbs, a marine scientist from Queensland, works with coral reef restoration when not on the high seas helping out at the Paul Watson Foundation.

In 2022, Mr. DeJoria also donated funds for the purchase of a former Scottish Fisheries Patrol vessel now named the John Paul DeJoria. The activists will be taking the ship to Iceland this summer to oppose the illegal hunting of endangered Fin whales. The John Paul DeJoria will then reposition to Australia to join the Bandero at the end of year for the campaign to defend whales in the Southern Ocean.

 “The Captain Paul Watson Foundation was established in September 2022, but the passion, courage, and imagination that built our reputation continues with a new name, new ships, and the original objectives and strategies developed by Captain Paul Watson over decades of non-violent direct action” stated Haans Siver, Australian Director of CPWF based in the Sunshine Coast.

At the time of writing, the NORTHERN HORIZON remains at anchor in the Derwent River pending a review by Tasports of their berthing fee at Princes Wharf in Hobart for clearance, and a safety assessment allowing the vessel to proceed to its berth at Prince of Wales Bay Marina.

Notes to media:

Video footage and photos here

Images Credit: CPWF

ABOUT CAPTAIN PAUL WATSON FOUNDATION: The Captain Paul Foundation, founded in 2022 by esteemed environmental and conservation activist Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace and founder of Sea Shepherd, alongside tech entrepreneur Omar Todd, is a US-based non-profit dedicated to marine conservation. Committed to halting habitat destruction and wildlife slaughter in the world’s oceans, the foundation aims to safeguard marine ecosystems and species. It uses innovative direct-action tactics to expose and confront illegal activities at sea. Visit www.paulwatsonfoundation.org for more information.

For media inquiries please contact Locky MacLean at locky@neptunes.navy (+61) 0451572015 or Paul Watson at captain@paulwatson.com

The Captain Paul Watson Foundation has just acquired The Bandero, a former Japanese Fisheries Patrol ship, to combat illegal whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. The vessel, which has just sailed from Busan, Korea, will dock in Hobart, Tasmania. Photo: Captain Locky MacLean (left) and CEO, Omar Todd (right).


The Captain Paul Watson Foundation Logo

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SOURCE The Captain Paul Watson Foundation

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