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Sea Shepherd

dancing on ice

The Yushin Maru 2 has relieved the Shonan Maru 2 and has taken up the task of chasing the Steve Irwin this week. The Shonan 2 headed west towards the ACV (Australian Ocean Protector) customs vessel to deposit the three Australians held onboard. The trio boarded the Japanese vessel, Shonan Maru 2, on Sunday (8th). Geoffrey Owen Tuxworth (47) of Perth, Simon Peterffy (44) of Bunbury and Glen Pendlebury (27) of Fremantle, all from Forest Rescue came by boat from shore to intercept the Shonan Maru that was hot on the trajectory of the Steve Irwin. By Friday (13th) afternoon the transfer was complete. No parties were injured on either side. The action is meant to highlight Japan’s inexorable and very much illegal whaling activities in the Southern Ocean and remind of the Australian government’s hollow pre-election campaign promise to tackle whaling. Their demand was simple “Return us to shore in Australia and then remove yourself from our waters.” The presence of any whaling vessel off the shore of Bunbury is in direct violation of the 2008 Federal Court ruling prohibiting whaling vessels from entering Australian territorial waters. Yet the Australian government turns a blind eye.

Meanwhile the Yushin Maru 3 remains at Macquarie Island, illegally within Australia’s twelve mile territorial limit, which means the Nisshin Maru has only one harpoon left, the Yushin Maru. Drone contact with the Nisshin Maru is null and void at the present time so there is no concrete proof whether whaling has begun. The Nisshin Maru is the primary research vessel of the 7 vessel strong fleet and the world’s only whale factory ship. If whaling has indeed begun Sea Shepherd will proceed with two of the three harpoon vessels not involved in killing operations. “If we had one more ship, there would be no possibility of any whales dying,” said Captain Paul Watson. “In July I met with Greenpeace representatives at the IWC and requested of them that they send one ship to support us. I told them that one more ship would shut down this entire fleet. They refused, and that is deeply disappointing, and as a result whales may die.” Greenpeace still not cutting the mustard it seems. Sea Shepherd’s fast scout, Brigitte Bardot, is still licking her wounds after being struck by a rogue wave that cracked the hull and severely damaged one of the pontoons on the vessel on the 28th December. The ship is docked in Fremantle and in a state of repairs till next season.

A word from the Captain: “We have demonstrated that we can shut these poachers down and every year we become more effective than the year before”, said Paul Watson.

There are 3 comments on this story...
Added By: Dave Rideough - 17th January 2012 @ 10:52 PM
Added By: Writer of Sea Shepherd article - 19th January 2012 @ 3:38 AM
I found your comment engaging and wished to reply. In response, these were my thoughts.

"Their whaling is actually perfectly legal."

I believe this is not true for commercial purposes. They have chosen to ignore the legitimacy of Australia's claim in the area, that is a different matter altogether. They are whaling under the pretense of a scientific research programme- which is a questionable claim (even if it were their true purpose) given it is not necessary. (Apart from my personal opinion of the necessity of this scientific research, which I'd be happy to go into if asked, I have read statements released by Japanese scientists as to how this is not needed anymore which I can try and find to show you, please let me know). And in even if it were still necessary do they need 1000 whales per year quota for that? We are not talking about a species that is overabundant anymore (who would we be to judge anyway). The detriment this is causing goes further than whale's numbers, further than the negative effect this will cause to other wildlife due to the interdependence that exists between animals and the food chain.

I found this article very fascinating; New Scientist: Vital giants: Why living seas need whales-12 July 2011 by Marine Biologist Steve Nicol.
In it Steve Nicol starts by saying "whales dont just eat fish, they make the oceans far richer". In brief one point made was that the reduction in whale numbers has reduced the numbers of other marine wildlife even ones they eat. Killing large predators such as seals and whales does not increase fish numbers as thought.This is because they play a more critical role in maintaining and enhancing the productivity of the sea. The amount of life the oceans can support ultimately depends on how much food plants make. Photosynthesis can only occur on the top sunlit levels of the sea. A problem here is that due to gravity plants cells sink. Strong winds can churn up the waters, however so do large animals. They mix ocean waters through swimming (not drifting) and rising to the surface to breathe and then diving to the bottom to feed. Another way is by feeding at depth and defecating at the surface. I recommend reading the article.

Whether he asked Greenpeace representatives for drama or with the real hope of receiving help would this make their refusal the less real? To assume a result doesn't mean you should not bother with asking to see the result. This has a purpose has it not? Sea Shepherd has an ultimate goal. I do not find this action dishonest, it has ulterior motives that are not concealed. Why not also discuss the honesty of for example the Japaneses government? This article wasn't meant as an analysis piece though. I was merely quoting him.

This article here is meant to provide the coverage of events from a pro direct action perspective that adheres to animal rights. Truthfully and factually, without editorial influences, external control and political affiliations yet with the writer's perspective. How could it not? On this newsheet, stories will always be written by the hand of one who supports environmental, animal, anti-capitalist values, that is not hidden.

Ultimately I wrote this to cover Sea Shepherd's perspective.
Added By: Rosa - 1st May 2012 @ 3:05 PM
Interestingly, the video shows the Adi Gale dead in the water, with the Shonan Muru heading on a coruse that would easily clear the smaller vessel. The reason for the collision was not ignorance of the physics, but the rapid coruse change by the Shonan towards the smaller boat which again is DIW at the time.I spent 13 years at sea as a US Navy surface warfare officer, and any court that does not find the Shonan's captain guilty of reckless endangerment is clearly being paid off by the whaling industry. Previous harassment by the Sea Sheppard vessel nothwithstanding, the Shonan appears to have intentionally destroyed a vessel with 6 crew members in the Antarctic. This was a malicious and irresponsible act on the part of the Japanese, that could have easily resulted in the death of that crew.
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