Thursday, March 13, 2008

Focus on Sea Shepherd

(Artist credit: Jim Warren)

Whew! A lot happened in this past week in our beloved marine world. I'll get right to it.

Last week, Captain Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd fame, was allegedly shot at by the Japan Coast Guard while Watson and his crew were attempting to interfere with the whale culling. Crew members threw rancid butter on the Japan fleet and in retaliation, the Japan Coast Guard threw flash grenades at the Steve Irwin.

A bullet struck Captain Watson, who had the foresight to wear a Kevlar bullet proof vest. In pictures shown on the Sea Shepherd site, Watson holds up the bullet and the mangled badge where the bullet also struck.

Two other crew members were also injured when attempting to get away from the flash grenades. One suffered a hip injury and the other suffered from back bruises when falling on the deck. Both are okay and their injuries were not life threatening.

In the aftermath of this incident, Japan made attempts to spin this story and to deny the shooting ever took place.


First, they admitted that warning shots were fired, then they corrected themselves and said that only flash grenades were fired at the crew of the Steve Irwin. Then they changed the story again and described the flash grenades as “warning balls.” By tomorrow morning, they may have it spun it again and may be describing them as “marshmallows.”

The Japanese Coast Guard and the Japanese Fisheries Agency have stated to the media that the devices were flash grenades and that warning shots were fired. Only the Institute for Cetacean Research is denying that warning shots were fired and describing the flash grenades as “warning balls.”

The Animal Planet has been on the Steve Irwin and claim to have this incident on videotape and Watson states "it tells the story." The Animal Planet was aboard because they are filming a documentary titled "Whale Wars."

You can read more here: Japanese Scramble to Spin Shooting Story

There is only about a week or so left in the whaling season and the Sea Shepherd's Steve Irwin has returned to Australia due to low fuel. They are now heading home and are calling this whale season a "success" for them and the whales and an utter failure for the Japan whalers.

The International Whaling Commission has criticized the Sea Shepherd organization for their "tactics" and interference with the whale culling. But Watson pays them no mind, as would I. He and his crew were down there for months busting ass to prevent as many whales from being killed as is possible while the IWC was recently in London, sitting indoors, and spouting off about conservation and whaling.

My personal kudos, respect, admiration, and congratulations to the Sea Shepherd organization for having basically caused the Japanese whalers to only meet maybe half of their culling quota for this season.

Is there a solution to ending the whale slaughter in the Southern Oceans?


Discussions are taking place within the IWC on a deal put forward by the United States that would end Japanese “research” whaling in the Southern Ocean.

The plans were drawn up at a meeting in February by the governments of Argentina and the Netherlands, but given support in-principle only last week in London at a closed door three-day meeting of the International Whaling Commission.

The plans call for the IWC to give Japan a legal commercial hunt in the North Pacific in waters close to Japan.

This would mean a legal kill of 150 Minke or what we call Piked whales.

In exchange the Japanese would abandon their so called “research” in the waters of the Southern Ocean.

More here: Keeping the Focus

No rest for the weary. Sea Shepherd will now head to Bermuda to board the Farley Mowat ship and head north to the Gulf of St. Lawrence to attempt to prevent as much killing of the harp seal pups as they can.

Canada has set this year's kill quota of harp seals at a whopping 325,000.

:: sigh ::

These seals are another species that are NOT killed in a humane manner. Usually, they are clubbed to death. What dark evil lies in the hearts of certain men who get such perverse pleasure from standing over a helpless and innocent seal and clubbing it to death? I truly do not understand people like this.

They claim there is a new rule now called "bash and slash" instead of just "bash." Gee, that sounds so much better.

"To say that this makes the seal slaughter more humane is to say that a psychopath is a better person if he slashes the throat of his victim after bashing in his or her skull." (Paul Watson)

Ironically, the sealers are protected by law:

The sealers are protected by the Seal Protection Regulations that make it a Federal offense to witness or document a seal pup being killed. In Canada if you see a sealer club a seal pup and you don’t have a permit to witness the slaughter you can be arrested, jailed and fined up to $100,000 or sent to jail for a year.

Read more here: Sea Shepherd to Tackle Baby Killers of Canada

There's much more to write about, including the aerial shooting of wolves in Alaska and the continued saga of the Polar Bears being ignored by the government for protection. But this will do for today.

Before I sign off, I'd like to once again spotlight the Dolphin Smile. Scott Olson wrote a book called "Messages From the Dolphins." I received this book from him yesterday and have not yet started to read it other than skimming through it quickly. It looks like a wonderful book and I'm quite excited to hear what the dolphins have to say to us, via Scott's voice.

Please consider supporting Scott's important work and order the book for yourself. I have created a banner for this purpose in the right side bar and am including it here in this post as well.

You can either click on this link -> Messages From the Dolphins

Or, click the banner below.



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