This turnabout could mean one of three things:
(1) it may be on a great circle route back to Japan
(2) it may be returning to the Ross Sea to continue killing
(3) it may just be shit-scared of what the Chileans might do.
Y'see, NM's headlong bolt brought it very near Chile's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), in international waters declared a whale sanctuary. As the vessels moved closer, the Chilean govt and public grew increasingly upset. Sea Shepherd was passing location data to the Chileans, who intended to take action if NM entered its EEZ. So perhaps the butchers saw the writing on the wall...
Meanwhile the report of the hunt's suspension has not specified how long this suspension will last. For the season? Two weeks? A few days? Despite requests from several govts and organisations, there's been no confirmation from Japan. But OMG - he squeaketh! "Ginza Glenn", Glenn Inwood (NZ-based mouthpiece for the Japanese Institute of Cetacean Research) says no decision has been taken to end this year's illegal slaughter. Ok, so he didn't actually say "illegal slaughter". He very-PC-like called it "research". Puh-leez!
|The hunters: Gojira and Bob Barker|
+ Chile is not the only Sth.American country to take a strong stand against illegal whaling. This week, many members of the International Whaling Commission urged Japan to stop its "scientific" whaling in Antarctic waters and to respect sanctuaries: among them - Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay.
Chile is clearly willing to show the world it's serious about illegal whaling. What a shame the NZ govt can't follow its fine example, and demonstrate the same willingness to enforce conservation laws in our own waters.