On the 17th of February at approximately 4:00 pm AEDT the Sam Simon recorded an audio transmission between the Captain and Bosun of the Sun Laurel – the Japanese whaling fleet’s refuelling vessel. In this recording, the Captain of the vessel refers to the oil spill that the Sam Simon had documented and collected samples of hours earlier. The Sun Laurel Captain informed his Bosun to take care covering refuelling hoses, and that if oil dropped into the water there would be a “big problem”, as the Sam Simon had caught them leaking fuel behind them earlier that morning.
Sea Shepherd Australia believes this transmission is further proof of an oil spill by the Sun Laurel in Antarctica’s pristine waters, and has reported the incident to Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
The Sun Laurel is in direct violation of international law. Marpol Regulation 15 Subpart B, Discharge in Special Areas Point 4 states: “In respect of the Antarctic area, any discharge into the sea of oil or oily mixtures from any ship shall be prohibited.” In addition, The Sun Laurel has failed to issue a statement on their spill to AMSA, which puts them in breach of MARPOL’S Pollution Incident Reporting Regulations.