The BBC has reported that the Japanese whaling fleet has suspended its hunt in the Southern Ocean. Their hunting season usually ends in mid-March, so it seems unlikely that they will resume. The fleet has actually cited the interference being run by Sea Shepherd as the cause of the suspension. The fleet had planned to harvest over 900 whales this season, but it seems that they may have only managed to catch 30. Sea Shepherd picked up the fleet very early, and were able to prevent the factory ship, the Nisshin Maru, from receiving whale carcasses from the harpoon ships, rendering the fleet’s operations ineffective.
It should be stressed at this time though that the hunt is only suspended, in fact the NZ Herald has quoted Sea Shepherd activists as saying that this is a bluff, and Captain Paul Watson has also highlighted this possibility in his blog. The whaling fleet may simply be re-positioning to attempt to carry on its hunt.
UPDATE: Sea Shepherd reports that Japan has officially ended it’s whale hunt for this season. A fantastic result for whales.