Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

News from an editorial, corporate, portrait, reportage photographer. Based in Scotland, tel. +44-(0)7831-138817

Whale Tales

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A little mini-series of photographs of the Japanese whaling fleet in action, and Greenpeace protesting it, in the Southern Ocean. Posted recently on my Instagram account.

#WhaleTales no.1 – Over two winters I went on assignment for @Greenpeacepix to the Southern Ocean, off of Antarctica, to photograph and document the Japanese whaling fleet in action as they went about their annual winter business of catching up to 800 minke whales. The Japanese Fisheries Agency say that it carries out the whaling as 'research', yet even the International Whaling Commission which regulates whaling activities, says that lethal whaling methods are not needed for the research which is carried out, i.e. the research could be done without killing the whales. Environmentalists such as @Greenpeace accuse the JFA of conducting 'commercial whaling' disguised as research. In this image the Yushin Maru catcher/harpoon ship of the Japanese whaling fleet has injured a whale with its first harpoon attempt, and took a further three harpoon shots before finally catching, but not killing, the badly injured and fleeing whale. Finally to end it all, they drowned the mammal beneath the harpooon deck of the ship, and as it was hauled back up to the surface I shot this image of the tail. Out of all the whale killings I saw, in two whaling seasons in the Southern Ocean, this was by far the most distressing and horrible to watch. This was in no way a clean kill, once caught the whale thrashed and fought for it's life for a good twenty minutes or so, turning the sea literally blood red. #whaling #whale #whales #Whalers #Japan #Japanese #commercialWhaling #SouthernOcean #mammal #IWC #Oceans #Ocean #environment #environmental #environmentalism #nature #Greenpeace #JeremySuttonHibbert #JSHarchive

A photo posted by Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert (@jshphotog) on

#WhaleTales no.2 – Inflatable and crew (foreground) from the Greenpeace ship 'Esperanza' try to hinder the hunting of minke whales by the 'Yushin Maru No.2' catcher ship (background) of the Japanese whaling fleet. The whaling fleet consisted of 5 vessels, a spotter/research ship that went on ahead to scout the seas, three catcher harpoon ships, and the Nisshin Maru mother ship which was a factory ship. In this image @Greenpeace activists are out trying to hinder the days work of a harpoon ship, sometimes it would work and they would manage to disrupt things significantly, but at other times the whalers would take us a merry dance, taking us away from the theatre of operations of all the other ships and letting them get on with their deadly killing of whales. On occasion these explosive tipped harpoons would be trained on the Greenpeace inflatable's, a thoroughly scary moment… Over two winters I went on assignment for @Greenpeace to the Southern Ocean, off of Antarctica, to photograph and document the Japanese whaling fleet in action as they went about their annual winter business of catching up to 800 minke whales. The Japanese Fisheries Agency say that it carries out the whaling as 'research', yet even the International Whaling Commission which regulates whaling activities, says that lethal whaling methods are not needed for the research which is carried out, i.e. the research could be done without killing the whales. Environmentalists such as Greenpeace accuse the JFA of conducting 'commercial whaling' disguised as research. #whaling #whale #whales #Whalers #Japan #Japanese #commercialWhaling #harpoon #SouthernOcean #mammal #IWC #Oceans #Ocean #environment #environmental #environmentalism #nature #Greenpeace #JeremySuttonHibbert #JSHarchive #photojournalism #Reportage #activism #activists @NatGEo @GettyReportage #鯨

A photo posted by Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert (@jshphotog) on

#WhaleTales no.3 – It was a few days before Christmas and we were inside the Antarctic circle, the evening before I had stood on deck with my muse of the moment and watched the sun descend at an incredible rate. The sun barely touched the horizon before it started its ascent again, all around us were icebergs and a calm sea. Sublime evening and beauty of nature. The next morning we awoke and very early spotted the Japanese whaling fleet straight ahead of us. The actions against them and documenting of their activities began immediately. Myself and videographer @instahpa, took off in the helicopter, straight out to the whaling fleet to announce our presence. As our heli came level with the flensing deck of the Nisshin Maru this was the site we saw, the sickening site of 7 minke whales lying, waiting to be flensed. And around us the catcher ships were bringing in more dead minke whales… Over two winters I went on assignment for @Greenpeace to the Southern Ocean, off of Antarctica, to photograph and document the Japanese whaling fleet in action as they went about their annual winter business of catching up to 800 minke whales. The Japanese Fisheries Agency say that it carries out the whaling as 'research', yet even the International Whaling Commission which regulates whaling activities, says that lethal whaling methods are not needed for the research which is carried out, i.e. the research could be done without killing the whales. Environmentalists such as Greenpeace accuse the JFA of conducting 'commercial whaling' disguised as research. #whaling #whale #whales #Whalers #Japan #Japanese #commercialWhaling #SouthernOcean #IWC #Oceans #Ocean #environment #environmental #environmentalism #nature #Greenpeace #JeremySuttonHibbert #鯨 #JSHarchive

A photo posted by Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert (@jshphotog) on

#WhaleTales no.4 – This image was shot I think the same day as the previous one, and this was a crazy full on day. This picture shows the Nisshin Maru factory ship (at top), of the Japanese whaling fleet, waiting to receive dead minke whales from a catcher ship (foreground left), and the ship on foreground right is Greenpeace Esperanza. The Esperanza was trying to manouver itself between the two Japanese ships, but the Japanese catcher ship would not alter it's course, in contradiction of maritime law that says all vessels must give way to vessels on their right. So, the catcher ship broadsided the Greenpeace ship. Meanwhile I was in the helicopter, couldn't believe what I was seeing. It wasn't the first time a Japanese catcher ship had deliberately collided with a Greenpeace ship… Over two winters I went on assignment for @Greenpeace to the Southern Ocean, off of Antarctica, to photograph and document the Japanese whaling fleet in action as they went about their annual winter business of catching up to 800 minke whales. The Japanese Fisheries Agency say that it carries out the whaling as 'research', yet even the International Whaling Commission which regulates whaling activities, says that lethal whaling methods are not needed for the research which is carried out, i.e. the research could be done without killing the whales. Environmentalists such as Greenpeace accuse the JFA of conducting 'commercial whaling' disguised as research. #whaling #whale #whales #Whalers #Japan #Japanese #commercialWhaling #SouthernOcean #mammal #IWC #Oceans #Ocean #environment #environmental #environmentalism #nature #Greenpeace #JeremySuttonHibbert #JSHarchive #鯨 #日本

A photo posted by Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert (@jshphotog) on

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