Paul Watson resignation doesn't stop Sea Shepherd from shutting down Japanese whaling operation

FormerGeorgia Straight writer and animal-rights crusader Paul Watson is no longer captain of the SSS (Sea Shepherd Ship) Steve Irwin, but that hasn't slowed down the group's antiwhaling efforts.

Photos

According to a Sea Shepherd Society news release, the ship and its sister, the SSS Bob Barker, pursued a whaling-industry "factory ship" called the Nisshin Maru close to the coast of Antarctica directly south of India.

"The harpoon vessels Yushin Maru No. 2 and Yushin Maru No. 3 are nearby but are not whaling," the Sea Shepherd Society stated. "All five ships are in the Cooperation Sea."

SSS Bob Barker crew spot the Nisshin Maru. Glenn Lockitch/Sea Shepherd Australia photo.

The Straight has previously reported that a Washington state court decision recent granted Japan's "Institute for Cetacean Research" an injunction stopping the Sea Shepherd Society from coming within 450 metres of any Japanese whaling vessel.That caused Watson to resign his official positions with the group, though he has been aboard the SSS Steve Irwin.

The Japanese government maintains that its ships are engaged in "research"—and this word is emblazoned across the hulls of the vessels. But Watson and his colleagues have never accepted that explanation, alleging that what's really happening is "poaching".

"The temperature is negative nine degrees centigrade, the sea around the ships is filled with numerous icebergs, and the winds are increasing," the society said in its latest news release. "Despite the bitter cold, the crews are in good spirits, the Steve Irwin having been at sea for 103 days since departing Melbourne on the 5th of November."

A third Sea Shepherd Society vessel, the SSS Sam Simon, is tailing a South Korean fuel tanker about 300 miles to the east. The society maintains that it would be illegal under the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships to fuel another vessel unless it was "engaged in securing the safety of ships or in a search and rescue operation"—something that the Japanese whaling fleet clearly isn't doing.

From the SSS Sam Simon, a refuelling vessel is seen on the horizon. Billy Danger/Sea Shepherd photo.

“Back in September 2007, the up and coming Australian government stated that it had the guts to stand up to the whalers," Sea Shepherd Society co-campaign leader Bob Brown said in the news release. "Well, it’s been over five years now and if it were not for Sea Shepherd, over four thousand whales would have had their lives extinguished as a result of these cruel and barbaric poachers. Sea Shepherd is doing the work that the Australian people want to see done, they do not want to see Australia's whales being butchered by these whale poachers from Japan."

Crew aboard the SSS Bob Barker claimed that they observed the Yushin Maru No. 2 "illegally harpoon a whale at a position of 68°02' South, 75°44' E at 1753 on 15th February, deep in the Australian Antarctic Territory".

Comments (34) Add New Comment
Ron S.
I wish I could be there. We all have to share to prevent the law breakers of poaching and other destructive environmental
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Ron S.
should have added "behavior" to the end of the last post.
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Tyler
Great work! Keep it up guys!!!
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Klaus
The deceit and lies of the Japanese whalers when excusing their foul deeds are quite breathtaking, and it is beyond my ability to comprehend how they actually believe any half reasonable person would accept the proposition that their whaling is for “scientific research.” That very proposition is an insult to anyone with an IQ registering on any scale. But that’s not all.
To go whaling in a declared sanctuary is a throwback to the arrogance and misguided superiority complex of mid-last century. Will some Japanese ever learn?
We all know that virtually all of Japan and its people have changed decisively from those dark days of the past. There is no room for thumbing your nose at declared international law, and against an overwhelming tide of a disapproving world. It is indeed time for the vast majority of modern thinking and fair minded Japanese citizens to tell their Government to put a stop to the whalers disregard for international law and the cruel practice of whale hunting, which does not balance with an otherwise modern society as is theirs.
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Greg Murphy
The Japanese must stop this barbaric hunt and stop it now. Their actions are criminal and the world should not stand for it. Also... the Australian government needs to finally take a stand against the Japanese who illegally enter our waters.
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Jamie
Why can't anyone find that law that states whaling is illegal? Because it's not illegal.

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Infantryman
Leave the whales alone! They are intelligent creatures who have been on this planet a lot longer than us humans. I am not a hippie, I am a Conservative Republican here in America. I can tell you that a lot of us in the US support Sea Shepherd. Stop the Japanese! We are proud of y'all!
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Christy
Jamie... I am so sad that your lack of intelligence Leeds you to think whaling is not illegal.... I just hope you don't wake up one morning and your children can only see whales in a book. So disappointing :(
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toshio yashiro
Whaling industry of Japan looks complicated.
However, a conclusion is very simple.
Whaling of Japan of the Antarctic Ocean exists only in the act which "kills whales ".
It is the industry of only" killing whales".
1) A fishery prefecture has a 5000-ton stockpile.
2) It was reported by ifaw that Japanese people hardly consume whale meat.
The act which kills this whale gives a 2 billion yen economic effect to a fleet-of-whalers port of call.
A meaning will not be made, if this whaling is "research whaling" for the Fisheries Agency and it will be "commercial whaling."
Although the whale meat which is a by-product of the "research whaling" which they say will sell, it will not sell, but this does not have a meaning, either. The Japanese government has continued claiming "Food culture" and "tradition" as an overseas-oriented announcement. The act of this "whale murder" is just the truth that they want to continue. However, this cannot be announced to the world honestly. The government of one country is making industry continue only the murder act of other races. ( A tax is used and revival money is appropriated for the budget. )
The Yamaguchi prefecture is the greatest whaling promotion prefecture. In order for Prime Minister expression Abe from Yamaguchi Prefecture to affirm this slaughter industry, the maximum tries hard. The Abe whaling Cabinet was supported by the powerful whaling lobby group, and was inaugurated. Please note that the diplomacy of the future Japanese government is made for the purpose of whaling industrial continuation.
If it does not yield to the pressure from the world but whaling of the Japanese government continues to industrial continuation of only this slaughter, I will suspect "the Japanese government is a stockpile of the whale meat for the third World War."
This war preparation must be a threat to the world.
The Western countries which have not yielded to oda of Japan should examine to Japan.

from tokyo
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iSheep
You go! Fight the good fight & may the wind be in your sails.

Boycott Made In Japan, Don't buy Honda, Toyota, Nissan or other Japanese owned Brands, SONY, Panasonic, Fujitsu etc.
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LeonardGreen
Christy - it is too bad you believe the lies fed to you by the SSCS. Whaling is allowed under ICRW Article VIII which clearly an dplainly states "Notwithstanding anything contained in this Convention
any Contracting Government may grant to any of its
nationals a special permit authorizing that national to
kill, take and treat whales for purposes of scientific
research subject to such restrictions as to number and
subject to such other conditions as the Contracting
Government thinks fit, and the killing, taking, and
treating of whales in accordance with the provisions of
this Article shall be exempt from the operation of this
Convention." So whaling is legal. And Klaus might want to notice it puts no restriction on the research, it could be whether whale is better raw or deep fried.

The Sanctuary was not established in accordance with the ICRW but exempts permits under Article VIII. So whaling is still legal.

And only 5 countries recognize Austarlia's claim. Heck the Australian Federal Court even said Australia can't enforce their laws in the Antarctic and the Australian government specifically removed consideration of this issue from their ICJ case against Japan over whaling. So whaling is still legal.
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Patrick Smyth
No mention of Costa Rica's extradition request?
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richard snedden
our australian govis too busy drafting mining leases to profit grubs and o seas mining companies no money in saving whales for our corrupt politicians
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Klaus
Leonard Green – I do owe you thanks for enlightening me that “scientific research” for the Japanese whalers may mean to determine if it is more beneficial to devour whale meat “raw or deep fried”, and thus justifies their activities in the Arctic. Clearly it must be a monumentous task; not yet possible with only 5000 tones of whale meat held in cold storage in Japan. (Toshio Yashiro) This is all-the-more important, as Toshio also reports “hardly anyone eats whale meat in my country nowadays.” (Whale Schnitzel and chips, anyone?)
As to the legality of whaling (under certain circumstances) and the validity of the Arctic Sanctuary (in law), may I point out to you that in history there are numerous examples of bad laws being changed by good and forward thinking people taking action. (Slavery in the USA comes to mind.) To this end, the first step was for Australia to declare the Arctic Sanctuary. The next step will be to defeat commercial and political opposition (due to vested and archaic interests) which eventually will result in complete abolishment of whaling world wide.
The SSCS (and their millions of supporters) is doing an immensely effective job for that purpose.
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D in BC
There is an excellent documentary DVD available in our local public libraries (Victoria and, hopefully, other areas)entitled Eco Pirate, the story of Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherd Society. If you want to know more about the man and his beginnings with Greenpeace up to fairly recently this is a must.
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D in BC
In the above mentioned DVD, the Japanese whaling ships have the word 'Research' emblazoned in huge letters on numerous parts of their ships. It looks like something Hollywood might have produced. Sad and funny at the same time.
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joe
Americans have imposed an injunction on the Sea Shepard. Maybe if the Americans followed UN international laws, the rest of the world might consider taking the injunction seriously.But not yet...
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Klaus
Tony Burke(Australia’s Minister for the Environment) today (21/02/13) on AM radio, in reference to the Japanese whaling issue, after serious clashes between SSCS and the whalers in the Arctic:
……”we settle these issues in court. We don’t settle them in the car park.”……
Every year, Tony, the Japanese try to steel 1050 “cars” in the “car park.” Rather than sending in the police, you KNOWINGLY let them go on with the deed unhindered. SHAME ON YOU. This year, it looks like the SSCS prevented more than 1000 “cars” from being “stolen”, because THEY ARE THERE, YOU ARE NOT !!
Give some thought to their relevance, Tony, before you use embarrassing analogies.
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Al
The Japanese govt. has appropriated funds earmarked for reconstruction of the area in northern Japan destroyed by the 2011 earthquake for the whaling voyage mentioned above.

Meanwhile, many Japanese continue to live in temporary housing, and the Fukushima nuclear plant continues to leak deadly radiation. Absolutely unforgiveable!
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Pender Guy
I am sure our Japanese commentor would concur that the main reason it is still allowed in Japan is because the average person either doesnt care or feels that it is an attack against the Japanese way of life. In speaking with many older Japanese folk about this issue they get irrate when the name of Sea Sheppard or even Greenpeace is brought up. Japanese Xenophobic and closed society is alive and well and until the more globally minded younger generation comes to power, nothing will change.
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