Posts Tagged ‘Sea Shepherd’
Sea Shepherd have just reported their first encounter of the “season”, locating a Japanese harpoon boat inside Australian waters off Antarctica. Obviously, some people will take the notion of ‘Australian waters’ off Antarctica to task. The economic exclusion zones off Antarctica are recognized by a relatively small number of nations, but they are also well established and well known to Japan, whose whaling fleet has been deemed to have a legal case to answer in Australia for killing whales there previously.
Will Peter Garrett break into his holidays (which began in November 2007) to register his official concern with the Japanese government, or, more strongly still, will he ask them to order their government-sponsored whaling fleet to stop breaking Australian law? Or, even strongerer (!? yeah, sure) will he go with the plan that he announced when he was simply trying to win votes and send Australian naval vessels to intercept returning whaling vessels and board them for the purpose of documenting evidence of their illegal whaling activities.
Time will tell, but don’t hold your breath. At most, it’s likely that he will aim to deliver 5% of a rebuff by 2020, with the possibility of demanding 15% of an apology if whales can be heard dying from marginal electorates.
From Sea Shepherd
Captain Paul Watson
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship Steve Irwin now has the entire Japanese whaling fleet on the run.
At 2345 G.M.T. the Steve Irwin intercepted the Japanese harpoon vessel Yusshin Maru #2 inside the Australian Antarctic Economic Exclusion Zone at 64°26 South and 132° 40’ East.
The encounter took place in dense fog and in dangerous ice conditions. The Steve Irwin launched a Delta boat with a crew to attack the Yusshin Maru #2 with rotten butter bombs. Unfortunately the wind increased to fifty knots with blizzard conditions. Captain Paul Watson called the small boat crew back for safety reasons when they were halfway to their target some three miles away.
The Yusshin Maru #2 then headed due North to lead the Steve Irwin away from the whaling fleet. The decoy did not work. The Steve Irwin is now in pursuit of the whaling fleet.
They have ceased whaling operations and they are now running from the Sea Shepherd crew.
The Yusshin Maru #2 was the same vessel that the Steve Irwin crew boarded in January 2007. This year the crew observed that the Yusshin Maru #2 has set up large netting to be run along the side of the ship to prevent boarding parties from going over the side. When the whalers realized that the Steve Irwin was onto them, they immediately ran on deck to deploy the netting.
“It looks like Whale Wars, season #2 is officially underway.” Said Captain Paul Watson. “We’ve got them on the run. They are not in the Ross Sea where they said they would be. They are in Australian waters. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is officially calling on Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett and Foreign Minister Stephen Smith to order the Japanese fleet to comply with the orders of the Australian Federal Court and to cease and desist from killing to whales in Australian waters.”
Captain Paul Watson
Master – The Steve Irwin
Master – The Farley Mowat
Founder and President of the
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Just read the latest open letter to Americans from Capt. Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd. As the Shepherds head into the Southern Oceans to once again parry with the Japanese Whaling Fleet, guess who’s not helping.
From ,a href=”http://www.counterpunch.org/watson12122008.html”>this article:
But with all the talk about risks and dangers and all the talk of violence between whale defenders and whale killers, we must not lose sight of the fact that we are not talking about risk when it comes to the whales.
With the whales we are talking certainty of death. Unless we intervene, 935 Piked (Minke) and 50 Fin whales will die an agonizing death. We may not be able to save them all but we can save as many as we can with the resources we have available to us. If Greenpeace had agreed to work in cooperation with us, with two ships we could have the opportunity to shut down the killers 100%. But Greenpeace despite raising millions of dollars to send a ship down to the Southern Oceans has taken their cue from Peter Garrett and like Garrett they have reneged on their promises. Garrett gets to remain in office despite the disappointment of the voters who elected him to defend the whales and Greenpeace, well, Greenpeace gets to keep the money.
grabbed from Counterpunch because I know that even the supposed greenies who are mostly huffy and pissed off about people ragging on Greenpeace still have at least some interest in adventure stories and animals.
The Art of Finding Whalers
By Captain PAUL WATSON
Back in the early days of Greenpeace under the leadership of the late great Robert Hunter we resorted to plenty of unorthodox methods of locating whaling ships on the high seas. Strangely many of these methods actually worked. Stranger indeed has been our record of finding whaling ships on vast oceans armed with little else but our intuition and pure luck.
Bob Hunter used to call this karma. Bob was a Buddhist and a mystic and most likely a saint. He believed in reincarnation. I used to believe in reincarnation also but that was in a previous life.
But in May of 1975 we set out in a small little fishing boat of only 85 feet looking for the Soviet whaling fleet. They were operating in the North Pacific somewhere between the northern end of the Queen Charlotte Islands down to somewhere off of San Diego. We knew that they were somewhere within 200 miles because this was before the 200 mile limit law was introduced and the Soviets delighted in killing whales off the coast of the United States. It also provided a great cover for espionage activities and judging from the incredible array of electronics displaying antennas they were certainly doing more than just whaling.
We started out from Vancouver and journeyed north to the Queen Charlottes. We swam with Orcas in the Straits of Bella Bella and visited an abandoned whaling station in Rose Harbour, on the Charlottes. We saw whales but not a sign of the whalers.
We then headed south and Bob began to throw the I-Ching and in what was probably a first in the history of navigation we began to navigate by the messages received from the I-Ching readings.
This divided the crew into two groups, the mechanics or non-believers under the leadership of Patrick Moore and the mystics under the leadership of Bob Hunter. As a sailor and navigator I kept one foot in the camp of practicality and as a person who had experienced a vision quest under the guidance of Wallace Black Elk during the occupation of Wounded Knee, I had my other foot firmly planted in Bob’s camp of merry mystics. Read the rest of this entry »
The following is the latest blog entry posted by Sea Shepherd on their MySpaz page.
Japanese Whaling Fleet On the Run With Two Sea Shepherd HostagesThe Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s ship Steve Irwin is in full pursuit of five vessels of the Japanese whaling fleet including the Japanese supply vessel Oriental Bluebird.The Japanese harpoon vessel Yushin Maru No. 2 has taken two Sea Shepherd volunteer crew members hostage. Benjamin Potts 28, an Australian citizen and Giles Lane, 35, a citizen of Great Britain are being held hostage onboard the whaling vessel. Both men were assaulted and then tied to the railings of the whaler. Read the rest of this entry »
Astounding! Last year around this time, things were really getting dramatic in the Sea Shepherd pursuit of the Japanese whaling fleet across Antarctica. Crew missing at sea, shipboard fires, the risk of a pristine environment being chemically decimated, and even one human death as an accompaniment to the slaughter of hundreds of mammoth sentient beings.
Not to be outdone, the 2007/08 season of resistance has just kicked into overdrive. Read the rest of this entry »
Captain Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd has just posted this horrific recounting of a recent tortuous death inflicted by wannabe customary warriors:
(excerpt) The unsuspecting whale had no reason to fear the approach of the boat. After all, the whale had been in these waters for years without threat. People and boats were harmless. So when Parker drove the first harpoon into the whale’s back, the whale screamed in pained surprise and jerked on the line causing Wayne Johnson to drop the .50 caliber gun into the sea. In desperation the shocked amateur whalers sank three more harpoons into the whale and then they opened fire with a .460 Magnum rifle shooting 16 bullets into the whale’s body and failing to hit a vital organ.
It’s a tale that’s as disgusting and disturbing as it is aggravating and clarifying, but definitely worth taking the time to read.
The New Yorker, the prestigious journal known best to some through the fim Capote recently did a deeply dug profile on Watson & Sea Shepherd which you can check out here.
The Shepherds are in Australia at the moment preparing for this summer’s Operation Migaloo. Named after a white humpback whale (Migaloo is one tribe’s word for “white fella”) who seasonally travels the east coast of Australia, this Sea Shepherd operation has particular significance.
Under authority from… well…. from themselves, Japan have not only approved the slaughter of 950 minke and fin whales, but have added for the first time since their hunting was stopped 50 humpbacks. Still an endangered species, humpbacks have perhaps a greater emotional attachment and significance for mainstream Australians than any other whale. Furthermore, Migaloo follows on from last summer’s operation which saw Sea Shepherd prevent the deaths of around 500 whales by the Japanese, but also saw Greenpeace deliberately withold information about the whaling fleet from Sea Shepherd.
The Japanese whaling fleet was inconvenienced by fire and one human death aboard its all-important factory ship, the Nisshin Maru. More importantly, however, the pristine Antarctic ecosystem was threatened by the possibility of a massive industrial toxic spill.
This time around, Greenpeace are tracking the Japanese whalers with updates posted constantly – removing the p.r. need for them to block Sea Shepherd. Furthermore, before election the new Australian government made a commitment to use air and naval vessels to, at best, stop the slaughter. At lamest, they will monitor it.
Here’s hoping for a complete shutdown of the Maru crew this Summer. May their boats rust and their captains, owners and government minister f%&$ing starve.
This Australian summer, the Japanese whaling fleet will once again be trying to kill up to a thousand whales in the Antarctic. The difference this time is that Japan has added the endangered and iconic humpback to the menu.
Kevin Rudd and Peter Garrett have promised that Australian naval vessels shall be used to interfere with and board any Japanese vessels breaking international or Australian law. Attorney-General Phil Ruddock, on the other hand, has again sought to derail legal action by Humane Society International by more or less dismissing legal action against Japan as futile.
Captain Paul Watson and his fleet helped to prevent the deaths of over 500 whales in Antarctic waters last summer. And they’re back, apparently with even faster intercept capabilities.
“We are obsessed with stopping the Cetacean Death Star, that viciously cruel killing machine otherwise known as the Nisshin Maru, and her ruthless fleet of hunter/killer boats armed with their explosive deadly blunt harpoons,” said Captain Watson. “Because if we kill the whales, the sharks, the seals, and the sea turtles, we will destroy the very foundation of life in the oceans-and in so doing, we will destroy humankind.”
“I did not establish the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as a protest organization,” said Captain Watson. “I have not gone to sea over all these years to simply bear witness to the atrocities that whalers continue to inflict upon the most gentle and intelligent beings in the seas. We are sea cops-operating legally under the guidelines of the United Nation’s World Charter for Nature, which allow for the enforcement of international conservation law by non-governmental organizations in international jurisdictions.”
The Shepherds will again be enforcing international law this summer although there is a slim chance that they may receive commendation rather than criticism from the Australian government this time around.
Supporters are welcome to donate food (vegan), equipment, and finance. There are also opportunities to volunteer as crew, with part of the fleet currently docked in Tasmania.
Visit seashepherd.org for information, or contact the Melbourne Sea Shepherd office.