Friday, December 7, 2012

Sea Shepherd

Captain Watson onboard the SSS Steve IrwinThe pirates of the southern seas are back.  Sea Shepherd Captain Paul Watson has completed a 9,000 mile, 4 month journey from Germany to the southern Pacific Ocean, navigating geographic and administrative obstacles, and to once again confront the Japanese fleets and defend the magnificent migrating whales from mankind's mindless slaughter.  The captain himself, initially detained and then released by the German government, while presumably targeted and hunted by Interpol and the Japanese authorities throughout, has been traveling without passport, identification, credit cards, internet, or telephone.  This resilient seaman and beneficial interloper is soon to be joined by 3 other ships, with altogether 120 people from 24 nations, including the legendary French skipper Jean Yves Terlain, and captains Locky MacLean and Peter Hammarstedt of France, Canada, Sweden, and the United States.

A video released:


More here at Operation Zero Tolerance.

Last March, in a whale of a victory, and after pursuing the Japanese whaling fleet for the entire season, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society declared victory, as the fleet left the Antarctic with less than a 1/3rd of their expected catch.  The whale defenders now hope to send them home with nothing.
Humpback whales, January 2000

Captain Watson writes:
The objective of Operation Zero Tolerance is to intercept and intervene against the intent of the Japanese whaling fleet to murder 1,035 whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Our purpose is twofold: to save the lives of whales and to cost the Japanese whaling industry as much as we possibly can in financial losses. Last year, we cost them roughly $22 million U.S. dollars despite the fact that they received a $30 million dollar subsidy stolen from the victims of the Japanese Tsunami Relief Fund.
And as always, our actions are undertaken in the Buddhist spirit of Hayagriva, where we do not cause physical injury to our opponents. We target their intentions and thwart their lethal ambitions, but we never harm them. Unfortunately, they do not share our compassion and thus the risks our crews face are considerable.
We have never been stronger, nor more determined. Our dedication to defending the integrity of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is undiminished, for we know that the key to success is persistence, patience and perseverance.
We have succeeded in bankrupting the whaling fleet. We have sunk them economically. Now we need to sink them politically.

* Top Photo credit/Courtesy of Sea Shepherd/Captain Paul Watson aboard the Steve Irwin, having arrived in the southern Pacific Ocean.

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