Documenting the Slaughter in the Southern Ocean

Tim Watters, a photographer aboard The Steve Irwin, gives his personal account of finding the Nisshin Maru and documenting the grisly scene aboard the decks of the factory vessel. On the 5th of January, The Steve Irwin’s helicopter found the Nisshin Maru with three protected Minke Whales on its decks, dead and awaiting butchering. The decks were smeared with the blood and remains of a fourth whose body had already been carved and processed into uniform pieces of meat, with the undesirable selections dragged across the decks and tossed overboard.

Operation Relentless is Sea Shepherd’s tenth Antarctic Whale Defence Campaign to intervene in the illegal slaughter of protected and endangered whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary by the Japanese whaling fleet. In our previous nine campaigns, Sea Shepherd has saved the lives of over 4,500 whales.


Sea Shepherd is an international, non-profit marine conservation organization that engages in direct action campaigns to defend wildlife, and conserve and protect the world’s oceans from illegal exploitation and environmental destruction.

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