Sea Shepherd goes high-tech

Drones help locate Japanese whalers

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has a new tool in its arsenal when it comes to intercepting Japanese whaling ships. Two unmanned drone airplanes were able to locate the Japanese Nisshin Maru off the coast of Perth, Australia, over the weekend. Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson told Reuters on Christmas Day that his crew was headed to intercept the Nisshin Maru. It will be their first contact this season.

The two military-style drones—donated by Bayshore Recycling and Moran Office of Maritime and Port Security, both in New Jersey—are equipped with cameras and able to detect ships. Their biggest asset is that they allow Sea Shepherd to monitor the Japanese whalers from a distance. Sea Shepherd has for years mounted an attack on the Japanese fleets that they say are killing whales for consumption in the name of scientific research. There has been an international moratorium on whaling since 1986.