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

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      Former Georgia 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.

      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".


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      Ron S.

      Feb 16, 2013 at 11:58am

      I wish I could be there. We all have to share to prevent the law breakers of poaching and other destructive environmental

      Ron S.

      Feb 16, 2013 at 12:03pm

      should have added "behavior" to the end of the last post.


      Feb 16, 2013 at 12:57pm

      Great work! Keep it up guys!!!


      Feb 16, 2013 at 8:40pm

      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.

      Greg Murphy

      Feb 16, 2013 at 11:38pm

      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.


      Feb 17, 2013 at 3:25am

      Why can't anyone find that law that states whaling is illegal? Because it's not illegal.


      Feb 17, 2013 at 7:29am

      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!


      Feb 17, 2013 at 9:20am

      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 :(

      toshio yashiro

      Feb 17, 2013 at 12:15pm

      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


      Feb 17, 2013 at 12:27pm

      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.