THE conservation group Sea Shepherd Global has a new weapon to save whales. It is a ship called Ocean Warrior which will help stop poachers. The group’s earlier vessels did not have enough speed and endurance.
Chief executive Alex Cornelissen said: “With Ocean Warrior we have a ship that can outmatch any poaching vessel. We’re able to follow them anywhere and even run away if they become too aggressive.”
The 54-metre-long vessel, designed by a Dutch shipbuilder, took 18 months to build at a cost of 8.3 million euros (HK$72.3m). It is now on its way from the Netherlands (荷蘭) to Australia (澳洲) to save whales in the Southern Ocean (南冰洋).
The ship has four powerful engines, a helicopter landing pad and a water cannon to obstruct whalers. Over the past three decades, Sea Shepherd has played deadly serious cat-and-mouse games with ruthless whalers.
Most countries respect a ban on whaling. But Japan (日本), Norway (挪威) and Iceland (冰島) still kill 2,000 whales between them each year.
Apart from poachers, pollution is also threatening the whales. Sea Shepherd has launched a research expedition in the Gulf of California (加利福尼亞灣) to determine the level of pollution there and how it is affecting the whales.
The organisation said: “We all must strive to learn how to best care for and protect life on this planet so we can live in a healthy environment and preserve the Earth for future generations.”
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 1 October 2016)
Sea Shepherd Global