GOOD

Meet the Ship Set to Disrupt Whaling in the Antarctic Ocean

How the 170-foot long Steve Irwin plans to stop Japan’s recently launched whale-hunting fleet.

Image via (cc) Flickr user Yosef Silver

Last week a fleet of Japanese whaling vessels set out toward the Antarctic Ocean for that country’s first whaling expedition in over a year, having stopped the practice at the behest of the International Court of Justice in March of 2014. The ships—three harpoon vessels that hunt the whales, and the Nisshin Maru, a massive floating “factory” that processes the carcasses once the animals been killed—are conducting what is described by the Japanese government as a scientific mission, in which 330 minke whales are slated to be killed, ostensibly for the purpose of oceanographic study. It’s a move that has been widely condemned by multiple countries as well as the international scientific community, who argue that the umbrella of “research” is merely a ploy by Japan to circumvent maritime regulations on whaling.


Once they reach their destination, however, the Japanese vessels will not be alone. Meeting them in the Antarctic Ocean will be the Steve Irwin, a 170-foot ship named after the famed wildlife expert and sent by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society with a single mission: Disrupt the Japanese fleet.

It’s a tricky proposition: The Japanese fleet has multiple boats with which they intend to carry out their directive, while the Steve Irwin will be going it alone. But the conservation group has a tried-and-true tactic they’ve used in the past for similar operations. As Jeff Hanson, managing director for Sea Shepherd Australia, explained to Inverse, the plan is to position the Steve Irwin between the Nisshin Maru and the ships doing the hunting. That way, the harpooning vessels will be unable to offload their kills into the larger ship and, accordingly, will be unable to continue hunting until they can do so. “If they can’t load the dead whales, they can’t kill the live ones,” Hanson told the publication.

Here’s what that looks like. Be warned, this video features brief footage of dead whales:

There are, of course, risks. In addition to the physical harm to ship and sailor that can come from maritime jostling, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society this summer agreed to pay over $2.5 million to Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research, to settle a 2011 lawsuit between the two organizations over the Society’s tactics. In receiving the fees, the ICR will drop its lawsuit against Society founder Paul Watson, reports Yahoo News.

In fact, while the Steve Irwin may be putting itself on the line to protect the lives of minke whales, the courts may be where this latest whaling foray is ultimately put to an end. In a blog post responding to Japan’s current expedition on the Sea Shepherd website, Watson writes that “the Japanese whalers made a major mistake in bringing their case [against Sea Shepherd] in U.S. federal court, because this gives Sea Shepherd the legal grounds to countersue them.”

For now, though, the Steve Irwin and the Japanese fleet continue toward the Antarctic Ocean—and each other.

[via inverse]

Articles
via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading
Business

Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

Keep Reading
Health

A meteorite crashed into Earth nearly 800,000 years ago. The meteor was 1.2 miles wide, and the impact was so big, it covered 10% of the planet with debris. However, scientists haven't been able to find the impact site for over a century. That is, until now. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal believes the crash site has been located.

Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

Keep Reading