Japanese Whaling Harpoon Vessel in Port Louis, Mauritius
Also in port arriving from Colombo on the same day and scheduled to depart on the same day, (Dec 30th, 2019) is the Japanese research vessel ‘Mirai‘. The ‘Mirai’ is operated by JAMSTEC (Japanese Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology) and carries a full spectrum of oceanographic research equipment.
This is most likely an innocent port call to refuel and possible take on crew/scientists, however we will continue to monitor both vessels movements so long as they keep their AIS transponders switched on as required by maritime law whilst at sea underway. Shortly after these images were taken the Yushin Maru No.2 switched off it’s AIS yet it is currently still in Port Louis. We will be watching to see if the ‘Yushin Maru No.2 switches its AIS back on before departing, as running without would be illegal and raise questions as to it’s plans and intentions.
We are hopeful that “real” research may actually be undertaken this year, as opposed to the previous decades of bogus research conducted by the Japanese ICR whaling fleet as a cover for illegal commercial whaling. If the ‘Mirai’ is to be operating with the ‘Yushin Maru No.2’ this may be the start of actual research, however we must remember that whaling is still being carried out in Japan’s waters where this year a quota for 227 whales will fall victim to Japanese harpoons.