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Sea Shepherd crew being watched closely by Japanese whale hunters

December 10, 2009 | 10:18 am
Watson1 Capt. Paul Watson and his Sea Shepherd Conservation Society crew are only three days into their mission to locate the Japanese whaling fleet and disrupt its annual Antarctic region hunt, and they themselves have been located and are being watched.

Watson reported that an unidentified aircraft -- a possible spotter plane -- had circled the Sea Shepherd vessel Steve Irwin and that a white harpoon vessel began following the Steve Irwin from just beyond Australia's 200-mile boundary.

Watson changed course several times, and each time, he said, the harpoon vessel followed suit. “It looks like we have an escort to Antarctica,” Watson said on the group's website.

Watson added that he believed the fleet of whaling ships was accompanied this year by a security force. If that's true, this season's installment of Animal Planet's popular "Whale Wars" series could be the most dramatic yet.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Paul Watson. Credit: Adam Lau / Sea Shepherd

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