ANTI-whaling group Sea Shepherd, which has clashed with Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean, will end its protest today as its ships are running low on fuel.
But environmental group Greenpeace said its ship, the Esperanza, was in the Southern Ocean and now searching for the Japanese fleet to begin its actions to disrupt whaling, according to Reuters.
"We are probably going to have to disengage today. We have eight days of fuel left and we have eight days to the nearest port," said Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson, who had earlier threatened to ram a Japanese whaler.
"We really can't physically stay down any longer without putting everyone in danger. We have been down here for seven weeks," Watson told Australian media from his ship.
On Monday, the Sea Shepherd's ship Robert Hunter and the Japanese ship Kaiko Maru both suffered minor damage after a collision which both sides blamed on the other.
Sea Shepherd is unable to refuel its ships and return to the Southern Ocean as its flagship ship, the Farley Mowat, was deregistered by Belize in December and Britain has said it will deregister the Robert Hunter within 30 days.
"We can't refuel and come back because we have lost our flag," said Watson. "So once we get into port we will be restrained from leaving. I think we have done what we can with the resources available to us."
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