Thursday, January 17, 2008

Whaling Standoff

(Artist credit: Christian Lassen)

The good news is, the whaling has come to a standstill since January 11th, thanks to both
Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd who have kept the Japan whaling fleet on the run.

The bad news is, the whalers have been defying the orders from their country to release the two Sea Shepherd crew members from their custody and allowing them to return to their ship.

The whalers are demanding that Sea Shepherd agree to not harass them or to interfere with their whaling in exchange for the release of those two men. How's that for arrogance?

The whalers can't cry and whine about protesters breaking the law when they are doing the same. They can't moan about others being hypocrites and liars, when they are hypocrites and liars themselves.

So what happens now? Things appear to be at a standstill here.

At least no whales are currently being killed.

Excerpt from the Sea Shepherd site:

The Japanese whalers continue to hold Australian citizen Benjamin Potts 28 and Giles Lane 35 of Great Britain. The Japanese government has ordered their release but the whalers are defying that order and refusing to release their hostages until Sea Shepherd agrees to their demands. One of the demands is for Sea Shepherd to discontinue opposing whaling activities. Captain Watson responded by refusing to acknowledge their demands and demanding instead that the hostages be released without conditions.

Full article can be read here: Sea Shepherd Shuts Down Antarctic Whale Hunt

Captain Paul Watson claims his crew members are being held hostage against their will. The whalers claim that the two men who boarded their fleet engaged in an illegal act of "piracy" and that the Sea Shepherd is prolonging this incident for publicity purposes.

Frankly, the fact that this is generating a lot of publicity is good news for the whales. It brings more attention to their plight and shines a rather dark light on Japan's own attitude and behavior on not only this very issue, but this "hostage" incident as well.

The New York Times has a good article on this incident here: Japan Pauses Whale Hunt During Standoff

Excerpts from the above NY Times article:

''These people aren't hostages, they're unwanted guests,'' Japan Foreign Ministry spokesman Tomohiko Taniguchi said. ''We want them off our ship immediately, but they're not giving us the chance.''

''It has become apparent that it will be impossible to hand the two trespassers back directly to Sea Shepherd, so our only option at this point is to make contact with another ship such as the customs vessel Australia dispatched,'' Moronuki said.

Despite all of this, Japan has no plans to call off the whale hunt. They plan to resume their whale culling when the activists are released. At it looks right now, it appears these two men will be released to the Australian customs ship, the Oceanic Viking. Arrangements are currently underway.

Sea Shepherd is refusing to comply with Japan's demands in exchange for its crew members. Captain Watson basically calls the whalers "terrorists" if they are making such demands. Personally, I'm in agreement.

Let's hope for a peaceful exchange here with no one getting hurt.

I have not been talking much about politics lately because I have been focused more on the whaling issues. I do want to point out one thing that should scare each and every single American in this election year. (Thanks to Bill at Bill's Random Thoughts for sharing this.)

Huckabee says this:

"[Some of my opponents] do not want to change the Constitution, but I believe it's a lot easier to change the constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that's what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards," Huckabee said, referring to the need for a constitutional human life amendment and an amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

"God's standards?" Run .. run far far away from this man. We do NOT need a religious zealot running our country, coming into our homes to judge how we live and who we love, nor do we need a President who believes in discriminating against certain people who are not within his definition of "God's standards."

God help us all if he gets elected. This is NOT the direction our country needs to go in.




  1. I like your blog :D Great photos of dolphins. Nice layout too :D

    A Blog of Thoughts and Opinions

  2. Thank you! I appreciate the compliment and you stopping by :-)