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Sea Shepherd's "Whale Navy" vs whalers in the Southern Ocean

On Wednesday (20th), the whaling ship Nisshin Maru collided with four Sea Shepherd ships in the space of one hour whilst loitering in the Southern Ocean, in an all out desperate initiative to take the Sea Shepherds out of action. However their plan failed- no injuries were sustained on either side. The Whale Navy may have touched a nerve with the whalers over the years. This sequence of events materialised during a refuelling mission for the whaler's mother-ship, the Nisshin Maru.
The blubbering fools had ordered the Sea Shepherd boats to leave the area, the message must have got lost in translation and chaos ensued. In a television interview, Sea Shepard's Master and Commander Paul Watson said: “We were in a position to block the refuelling of the Nisshin Maru because it is illegal to transfer heavy fuel in the sanctuary, the Nisshin Maru rammed into the Sam Simon once, the Steve Irwin twice and then they hit their own tanker four times crushing their own life boat. They continued to move in even with more aggression as they turned to the Bob Barker which resulted in it being seriously damaged”. There are 22 days to go until the whaling season ends. This means a likely victory for the whale warriors as the Japanese fleet have now suspended their killing as they seem to be experiencing refuelling problems and there really is not much time left to go hunting afresh. Japan's institute of Cetacean Research has stated publicly it will stop work for the time being as it is too difficult to refuel. A few other reasons spring to mind.

Peter Hammarstedt, captain for the Bob Barker told a commercial broadcasting television network that it was the most dangerous confrontation he has ever experienced. "The Nisshin Maru collided with my vessel several times and I think we were about 15 to 20 seconds away from being rolled over completely," he said. Sea Shepherd director and former Greens leader Bob Brown says the confrontation is the worst in the Southern Ocean in three years. During the confrontations there were reports of Japanese coastguards throwing concussion grenades on the marine activists. Japan's fisheries have vehemently denied these slanderous allegations, conceding that they may have rammed "a boat or two" belonging to Sea Shepherd. The Japanese insist the Sea Shepherd boats came too close when they were refuelling. Evidence gathered by the Sea Shepherd crew tells a different story though. One would think that citizens of the country that gave the world the Sony Corporation would understand a thing or two about evidence on film.

A more detailed sequence of the events can be found here.

These acts can be nothing other than desperation as the whalers are losing tens of millions of dollars and worldwide public support. Tokyo is certainly stirring up the waters with a cool front. Australia's Maritime Safety Authority says it is investigating the latest incident. Sea Shepherd are also taking court action against ICR (that's Japan's Institute for Cetacean Research - a government-subsidized front for commercial whaling). During a press conference on Monday(18th) at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Sea Shepherd announced that they have filed an application with the US Supreme Court against ICR in retaliation to a slightly dodgy injunction that was handed down in December by the US court of appeal.

And of course let's not forget that Admiral-General Captain Paul Watson was honoured with an Original Nation passport in a ceremony in Melbourne on January 19th.. As things stand he is still not allowed to step onto US soil. This came about partly due to the injunction and Interpol arrest orders the eco-warrior had managed to accumulate for allegedly endangering a fishing vessel crew in 2002 and then he eventually counter successfully by resigning as head honcho of the Sea Shepherd Society which then meant a US court could not really touch him. He resigned as “Captain” and remained on board the Steve Irwin vessel to document the campaign but probably did not participate in any other way, honest guv.


Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has filed 2 petitions on the White House. The 1st petition titled “Take strong action to stop the Japanese from killing whales in the Southern Ocean Antarctic Whale Sanctuary” can be accessed on http://wh.gov/Vnbu, whilst the 2nd titled “Provide Safe Haven to Captain Paul Watson, Founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society” can be found at http://wh.gov/VnRf. The petitions are trying to counter the  two active Interpol notices after Paul Watson. Sea Shepherd are convinced Costa Rica and Japan are playing the puppet masters who are pulling the strings of this politically motivated request.

Get involved! Save Paul Watson, for the oceans.

There are 3 comments on this story...
Added By: Avalon - 22nd February 2013 @ 1:55 PM

Added By: Tim - 22nd February 2013 @ 6:55 PM
Could you all please sign the 2 petitions to the whitehouse for Sea Shepherd. It is sort of a bit urgent really. You'll find all the info you need on their website. Thanks.
Added By: Jo Makepeace - 22nd February 2013 @ 10:08 PM
The article has been updated and the petition information has now been included with links,
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