Gladstone region woman helps uncover Japanese whaling vessel
A SEVENTEEN Seventy woman helped uncover an illegal Japanese whaling ship last month near Antartica.
Wyanda Lublinnk, a 1770 LARC worker, is on board the MV Steve Irwin and has spent five weeks in Southern Antarctic waters searching for illegal Japanese whaling ships.
The Sea Shepherd vessel found Japanese whale processing ship the Nisshin Maru, with a dead whale on its deck.
Ms Lublinnk, who was the skipper of MV Steve Irwin at the time, made contact with the Japanese ship with the help of the Sea Shepherd helicopter crew.
"We have caught you whaling illegally in a protected whale sanctuary in Australian waters. You are in contempt of the Australian Federal Court and the International Court of Justice, and we demand you stop your operations," she said from the deck.
Sea Shepherd said it had handed its vision to the Federal Government and urged it to take immediate action.
"They're hit with an explosive harpoon that goes straight into their body, hooks come out and shrapnel is sent through their body, it's a terrible bloody deathâ€¦ these whales can take up to 30 or 40 minutes to die," Jeff Hansen from Sea Shepherd told the ABC.
Lublinnk, an ex-navy lieutenant. has been on board Sea Shepherd vessels since late-last year in a bid to stop Japanese whalers.
1770 LARC Tours owner operator Neil Mergard said he and his team supported Ms Lublinnk's ventures.
"All the team at 1770 LARC! Tours are so very proud of their workmate Wyanda and her efforts on the MV Steve Irwin for Sea Shepherd," Mr Mergard said.
"I support all that Sea Shepherd does for our oceans worldwide. Here in the Town of 1770 we live in paradise surrounded by ocean and life, and in my opinion the protection and preservation of our oceans is paramount to a healthy planet."
Listen: Wyanda spoke to The Observer late last year