WHALES ON THE NET
The Sea Shepherd continues to follow the Japanese whaling fleet. Following the collision of the Nisshin Maru and Arctic Sunrise on January 8, the Japanese factory ship fled the scene at high speed. Whaling has recommenced on January 11, with Greenpeace activists disrupting the hunt. Here follows a report from Captain Paul Watson on board the Sea Shepherd Conservation Ship, Farley Mowat steaming toward the location of the Nisshin Maru factory ship.
For Sea Shepherd, fuel is a critical constraint, with perhaps nine days fuel left before the Farley Mowat must run for port. The Japanese fleet are drawing Sea Shepherd (and Greenpeace) further west, between Australia and South Africa, farther away from land-fall. This is a strategy, because the Japanese know their opponents are limited by fuel. - Takver.
Report from Captain Paul Watson Thursday, Jan. 12, 2006 at 6:59 AM
Things are heating up in the cold war to save the whales. New Zealand is sending Air Force Orion aircraft to monitor the situation. Japan is threatening to send something called the "Airborne Police" to protect their outlaw whalers. Politicians are fuming and so-called experts are pontificating. Australian politicians are sitting on the fence conflicted between representing the will of their anti-whaling citizens and their allegiance to their corporate buddies in Tokyo.
Lots of talk, lots of posturing, and lots of opinions.
The bottom line - whales are dying! They are being systematically slaughtered by a highly illegal operation.
The regulations and the moratorium of the International Whaling Commission are being violated. The Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is being violated. The Antarctic Treaty territory is being violated. The Australian Antarctic Territory is being violated. The rules of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) are being violated.
This Japanese whaling fleet is a criminal operation, no different than drug traffickers or ivory smugglers. They are despicable poachers.
We are down here because governments are not doing anything to uphold the law against Japanese violations.
When Australian Environment Minister Ian Campbell states that, "Sea Shepherd is setting back the cause of whale conservation ten years," my response to him was, "Good, ten years ago far fewer whales were killed each year than today. Going back ten years is a positive move."
When New Zealand Environmental Minister Chris Carter says that Sea Shepherd is acting irresponsibly, my answer to him is we are down here because you have acted irresponsibly in not upholding the laws against Japan.
When Greenpeace criticizes us for our tactics our response to them is, "We're glad you're down here. We appreciate everything you are doing to expose Japan's illegal activities. You have our full support. If you disagree with us, we have no problem with that. You are entitled to your opinion. But we are not down here for Greenpeace nor are we down here for people. Our clients are the whales."
When critics say we are going to far our answer is that for the whales, things have already gone way too far. These whales are being killed, their living flesh torn from their bodies. They are being electrocuted for up to twenty minutes to kill them as their heads are submerged beneath the sea. Imagine the agony of being drowned and electrocuted at the same time as your body pours hot pulsing blood into a cold sea from a gaping wound, and your body is riddled with burning shrapnel from the grenade tipped projectile that exploded with unimaginable pain, shredding your organs yet not killing you.
We have not injured anyone and we have no intention of injuring anyone. I have been disabling whaling ships for decades without causing a single injury so all this holier than thou speculation is boringly distracting.
What part of the word "illegal" do people not understand?
Yes, we risk our lives because whales are worth risking our lives for. Politicians express horror that lives are risked to protect whales as they send young people off to lose their life and get maimed to defend oil wells.
Critics then say we have no right to put Japanese lives at risk. Why not? They are criminals. If they were running drugs or robbing banks, there would be little sympathy for them, yet their crime is even more serious. The killing of an endangered species is a crime against nature and it is a crime against humanity.
Critics are saying that we have violated the so-called "rules of the road." The Japanese are doing that out here all the time without much comment from the same critics.
If we are committing a crime we should be arrested but no one has accused us of committing a specific crime. We sideswiped a whaling fleet support vessel yet the whalers have rammed two Greenpeace ships and attempted to ram the Farley Mowat. No one is talking about arresting the Japanese whalers for their attacks. Is the law there for only one side?
There is chaos down here, and this chaos is a result of the neglect by governments to uphold the international rule of conservation law.
If these were Indonesian poachers down in these waters, the government of Australia would be all over them. The message they are sending is that wealthy poachers are to be tolerated and poor poachers are to be persecuted.
The stench of hypocrisy is reeking.
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is a voice of honesty in this debate. We are not denying hitting the whalers. That is why we are here. We did not come down to these remote waters to take photographs or to say, "Pretty please, Mr. Whaler, sir, do not kill the whales."
We came here to demand an end to the killing and to demand that Japanese whalers comply with conservation law. We have no apologies for this position.
There is real violence down here in these waters. Forget about the clang-clang of ship's hulls against each other. Forget about the minor bruises and soakings from water hoses. Forget about the war of banners and name calling between the Japanese whalers and Greenpeace. This is all trivial stuff.
The violence is the horrific death of sensitive, intelligent, socially complex beings that we human beings have absolutely no right to be killing.
We are down here because of the screams of the whales and believe me they scream. I have heard them Ð shrill agonizing human-like screams of incredible pain. We are down here because of the blood that is staining the cold seas and is flowing from the drainage pipes of this floating obscenity of an abattoir called the Nisshin Maru. We are down here because we want to stop the flow of blood and the senseless slaughter. We are down here because the Japanese whalers are vicious criminal killers and we must defend their defenseless victims from their cruel harpoons.
If there is a human critic who disagrees with what we are doing our answer to them is we don't care. We represent the whales not them. Find us one whale that disagrees with our efforts, our tactics or our activism and I promise you I will retire.
For most people, the oceans and the whales are out of sight and out of mind. But not for us. We are here because we deeply care about the lives of these incredible sentient and intelligent beings. We are here because they are being murdered by criminals.
What person among you could stand by and watch a dog being kicked to death and would do nothing? What person among you could stand by and watch a horse whipped to death and would just take pictures. What person among you could witness a kitten tortured and could turn away?
If you are such a person then you are a person of no integrity, no courage, no heart, and no soul - the kind of monster that could pull the trigger and send a deadly harpoon into the back of a fleeing whale.
If you are such a person we could care less what you think for you would be beneath contempt and your opinions undeserving of respect.
So we are either serious about defending whales or we are not.
The barbaric and bloody trade in whale flesh must be abolished and the very idea of killing a whale must be eradicated from the behaviour of humankind.
Human salvation will only be found through compassion and through the courage to act passionately in defense of compassion.
The Japanese whalers must be forced out of the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary and if governments refuse to do so then we as non-governmental organizations and as individuals must do so.
To that end, our Sea Shepherd ship Farley Mowat is moving in on the Japanese fleet.
The Nisshin Maru and two harpoon vessels are near Cape Boothby off Kemp land - a day and a half from the Sea Shepherd position. They have resumed whaling activities. The Sea Shepherd ship Farley Mowat is heading towards that position with the objective of "persuading" the Japanese fleet to once again cease and desist from their illegal whaling activities.