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Published on November 7th, 2008 | by Levi Novey

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Japan Accuses Animal Planet of EcoTerrorism Prior to "Whale Wars" Premiere

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November 7th, 2008 by


Prior to Friday’s premiere of the new Animal Planet series Whale Wars, Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research has accused Animal Planet of ecoterrorism.

Members of the Sea Shepherd Anti-Whaling Group

The show will chronicle the exploits of an anti-whaling group who takes their quest directly to the front lines, trying to stop Japanese whaling vessels from succeeding in killing whales.

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Planetsave editor and contributor Alex Felsinger recently previewed the exciting series. In short, it chronicles how the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society stopped Japanese whalers from killing at least 300 whales last winter by using harsh, combative tactics.

The Society is not afraid to unleash their fury. The show depicts hostage situations, gunfire, the attempted destruction of whaling boats, and the throwing of powerful smoke bombs on board ships. It’s not surprising given that the leader of the group, Captain Paul Watson, co-founded Greenpeace. Supposedly Watson left Greenpeace because they weren’t aggressive enough for his tastes, although other sources claim he was kicked out.

So whether or not Animal Planet is being rightly accused of supporting eco-terrorists is unclear. In addition to accusing Animal Planet of supporting ecoterrorism, the Institute of Cetacean Research has also accused them of helping the crew of the Sea Shepherd to “stage” an attack on the crew’s boat with gunfire, an event they claim never really occurred.

Personally, I find Japan’s defiance and disregard of the international whaling ban to be the true crime. They claim that they do whaling for scientific purposes, even though whale meat is sold and consumed in Japan as a delicacy, even in schools. This occurs despite recent evidence that whale meat contains toxic mercury levels.

Japan doesn’t even want to play nice after other countries tried to do so at this year’s annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission. Their response after other countries tried not to take any offensive actions was to say: “We are witnessing the death of the International Whaling Commission.”

If you are reading Planetsave, then you are probably as fired up as we are to watch the premiere of Whale Wars. Feel free to leave your thoughts about the show in our comments section.

Photo Credit: Animal Planet

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About the Author

Levi Novey is a conservation professional who has received a bachelor's degree in History from Tufts University and a master's degree in Conservation Social Sciences from the University of Idaho. He worked for the U.S. National Park Service for 10 years, as a park ranger in 6 national parks, as a social science researcher in 5 parks, and as the science communicator for a Natural Resource Inventory and Monitoring Network that serves 9 parks. He has authored several scholarly papers as well as several guidebooks to U.S. national parks. Levi also has taught an undergraduate Environmental Communication Skills course at the University of Idaho, won several photography contests, and regularly enjoys visits to parks, protected areas, historical sites, museums-- and just about anywhere where he can learn something new about the world. He currently lives in Peru, with his wife Alicia, and their daughter Coral.



  • Bdarcywilliams

    @ Janky, How can you call ignoring the International Whaling Commissions law in deliberately fishing in a declared international SANCTUARY, in Australian territorial waters, “legal”, before commenting, check your facts, the Japanese whalers are the ILLEGAL ones here, by    1) ignoring the law created by the International Whaling Commision, Banning hunting the whales there, 2) Intruding in another nations territorial waters without permission 3) deliberately fishing in a specifically created SANCTUARY created for the PROTECTION of the Whales. I strongly recommend that YOU think before you post, when you have no real idea what the facts are.

  • Pingback: Whale Wars Continuing on Animal Planet, Chance to be a “Whale Warrior” – Planetsave

  • http://Web nobody

    I like the sea shepperds, they’re not scared -
    to fight for what they believe in
    to protect the helpless and innocent
    to uphold moral standards
    to stand up to a nation that disregards the rest of the worlds demands
    to do something truly courageous
    p.s.
    according to your line of thinking the U.S.of A. is a terrorist state from its inception – think boston tea party, think revolutionary war – terrorist is current term, and will b obsolete eventually.
    eco-terrorist is an oxymoron if i ever heard one – how can you associate people trying to save the planet which sustains our lives, with a destructive organization – CORPORATIONS are DESTRUCTIVE ORGANIZATIONS – think WALMART

  • Railruner

    The fact of the matter iswho are we to wipe a species off the face of the earth,to date humans have been responsible for the exstinction of 500 species to date,once they are all gone there is no bringing them back,sad to thik we are living in a time were right has become wrong,and wrong has become right

  • paul marti

    I would have liked to see the Japanese put a harpoon [or several]into the stern of the sea shepherd .. If that didn’t act as a deterrent then one in the wheel house!

    A few less terrorists in the world wouldn’t hurt!

  • http://donegriesel@yahoo.com Don Griesel

    I think that the jap ships should use industril lazers to try and blind the sea shepards. Don

  • 1mcguyver

    research is what they say,well for the people that think they are telling the truth would be the people of japan,wy is the catch so many,its called KICKBACK,for the ones that dont know what that means,well im going to tell you,its called making a deal with japan,give us this much money and we will let you have this many wales,come on people do you think for one second that one country would let anybody go in to there waters and take with out kickback (NO)its like this (you pay us this amount and call it research and then its legal)the fight aint with japan its with the country leting them do it and getting paid ,we all know japan will eat anything,and if the sea shepard is done well who can blame them,i say if the wales are all going to get killed over profit then figure out a way to poison there meat but so they can still live with the poison in there system and then the profit goes out the window,here in the us we research them and they live after were done,remember people its only for money for them and the people that say they own the water that there in.

  • retards

    you guys are simply retarded. go to japan and see if anyone eats whales there. NO. in school? are you fucking kidding me? you must be retarded. i personally attended school there, and never have i been served whale. i have never encountered whale meat in my life. so please, check your sources before you make such accusations.

  • Todd

    Gotta Say:
    The Eco-terrorists are hurting their cause by taking matters into their own hands. Sure the whaling should be addressed but it should go through the proper legal channels just like anything else!
    Japan has the right at this point until the worlds laws on whaling are changed. These Eco-terrorists and their Affiliates should be stopped and charged just like any other terrorist cell! Japan needs have a naval sub escort their ships and sink the Steve Irwin at the first sign of an attack! You can’t FORCE your opinions and beliefs on others – people, it’s a crime! If they really want to make a difference, take their money, line a politicians pocket and take it up with the UN or Japanese Embassy. By the way “I’m A Vaginaterian”…

  • hjc

    Look on the back of the whale MURDERS ship and you will see a web sight http://www.icrwhale.org. I went to this web sight and got their e-mail adress, (webmaster@icrwhale.org) and wrote them telling them they are nothing but murders and liers. Will they care about one e-mail. NO!! But if this a few people get this e-mail adress, and they pass it on to a few more hopefully we can floor their web sight with our anger. I know it’s a very small step, but anything to make these murders lives a little harder is worth it.

  • Common Sense

    Since force isn’t being used to stop the Japanese killing of whales..it will have to be done by numbers..Sea Shepard are you listening? It will have to be by numbers.
    The best tactic to stop this Japanese genocide of whales, is to form fleets of privately owned boats that would join the sea shepard. Have these boats run in a V formation in front of the Japanese harpoon and processing ships..this would block the Japanese from harpooing and transferring the whale herds.

  • michael hunwix

    I have just watched your series on the TV on August 19/2009 i have never seen anything so disgusting in my life you have got my kids so upset now they will have night-mares for who know’s how long these Japaneese have to be the most evil people on the planet and for you people to just sit there and let them do this and you tape this ungodly act why aren’t these Japan ships blown out of the water they are TERORISTS and this world is letting this happen on national television while so many people get upset and you let them get away with saying they are research you are just as bad as they are and you can tell your crew on the Steve Irwin along with Paul and you tell them get me on that Steve Irwin i had put in my info and i have got not even a thanx for my app. and knowledge of opperateing all of your equipment get me on the Steve Irwin and i will show you how to stop them JA.PAN ship I have a career of heavy machine moving and i know what will make things go and also make them stop i have the knowledge cuz when i saw when Paul sent his crew out with the cable for the props i was sitting here telling my family that they will never stop that ship the way they are going about it also your crew has not got the smarts to do stuff like that you do need me please call please give Paul my #s 1-416-270-7331 and 1-647-242-5162 also i am getting a settlement for a legal matter i have been involveed with and when i get this i really want to put that money to good use i can’t tell you how much is involved but it will be comfortable please have Paul or someone call me i have to go settle my family now Thank-You Michael Hunwix

  • Common Sense

    The best tactic to stop this Japanese genocide of whales, is to form fleets of privately owned boats that would join the sea shepard. Have these boats run in a V formation in front of the Japanese harpoon and processing ships..this would block the Japanese from harpooing and transferring the whale herds.

  • Common Sense

    Whales are the Gate Keepers of our Earth..We’re letting Japanese & others exterminate our Gate Keepers? What’s the matter with the United States for not putting a stop to this?

  • john

    try dropping acid from helo, water cannons can’t shoot stright up can they.. good luck.

  • john

    try droping acid from helo; water cannons can’t shoot stright up can the

  • hilory

    Have most the sick people who think that the japanese research is good lost your mind. it is sick and degrading. i am 100 percent behind what the the sea shepherds are doing. personally the people who agree with this BS about the japenese research should be put in a psyc ward and seriously analyzed. Sick minded and obviously have no heart or morals. And those who say that supporting animal planet is supporting terrorist, hmmmmmm….. are you crazzzzyyy? what do you think is really going on. have you ever seen what those idiot supposid reasearch boats are doing. enough said, these japanese crew members and the organizations they represent are the REAL TERRORIST.

  • Antiterrorist

    i am sorry to say but those people abord the sea shephard are plain and simple terrorists. what those “researchers are doing to whales may be wrong but it isnt illegal. By interfering in a legal act with violence IS illegal and if it were up to me i’d have everyone of them arrested and the video tapes of the shows taken as evidence in the trial which would clearly show that the crew of the SS is engaging in Piracy and terrorism. I would know what that is as i serve in the military fighting terrorism everyday and to come home and see a television show that promotes terrorism is just disgusting. i personally believe the US military should send a destroyer to sink the pirates and end the terrorism. just my own personal opinion if they want my support they need to prove what the japanese are doing is illegal otherwise the crew of the SS needs to be locked up in guantanamo with the rest of the terrorists.

  • David Binning

    Japans armed forces should be placed on board and be allowed to fire upon and sink the Sea Shepard.

  • mike

    killing whales is wrong but throwing stuff at somebodies property is messed up to.so when somebody gets shot in the face while throwing shit from the sea shepard tuff shit you deserve it!!!

  • Bill White

    Is The research being done by japan illegal—- No But I can not see why so many have to be taken.

    Is The amount of whale being taken illegal—–???

    Is The useage of the whale illegal—–Yes when used for profit. Japan sells the whale meat and parts for food at very exspensive prices. If the allotments were increased Japan would taken the full advanyage of the increased amount for profit. So I guess this explains why so many have to be taken.

    So Is The amount of whale being taken illegal—–Yes

    If the number of whales taken is just lets make Japan use the meat to feed the needy, or require the profit money from the sale of the meat be use for the needy. It would be a little better but not much.

    There is a UN force that should be stopping this but Japan is on the sec.coul. hint? So get your country to take a stand on this. Everybody likes to say we did something to pass a law to protect the whales. But where is the people to in force the law.

    Finally I am a hunter and agree to a single kill only if I have a use for the complete kill. Also I do not hunt anything that is classified as indangered species and I help protect the indangered species activily. so the Sea Shephards are doing the right thing. And if there is anything I can do to help I will, How about the rest of you. Its your planet.

  • odrade

    The Japanese say they kill all those whales for research, and just happen to use the meat for food which make a huge profit. What can scientist learn from 900 whales a year that they can’t from 10? As far as I’m concerned their criminals, spitting in the face of the international community who passed laws to protect whales, and should be held accountable, i.e. sent to prison. Its just a shame the Sea Shepard and her crew don’t receive adequate funding and resources to make a real difference.

  • stan mathews

    The shepards of the sea are a joke. I would suggest you leave the whalers alone before someone gets hurt. you’re out of your league

  • Nanacy

    From what I understand we have laws on this but Japan is not going by these laws. Who is going to police this? Japan does not seem to care about our laws. And I feel our gov. is too worried about trade agreements with Japan to crack down on them. The Whales are left with no protection. I am glad some one is brave enough to take a stand.

  • phasor

    Burn the Witch said “If what these whalers are doing is wrong or illegal, there is a mode of redress developed by our species to rectify it. If what they’re doing is legal, then these ‘Shepherds’ are terrorists plain and simple. In either case, the ‘Shepherds’ are nothing more than a barbarian, and nothing less than animals.”

    The problem here is the your assumption, “If what these whalers are doing is wrong or illegal, there is a mode of redress developed by our species to rectify it.” If I saw a 10 year old boy beating a small dog with a stick, should I seek out “proper authorities” to stop the behavior. No! I would scold the boy and break his stick. In the process it is conceivable that while breaking the stick a small piece would fly out and either poke me or him in the eye. Now does that make me an eco-terrorist? In a sense this is same scenario. The whole thing that make the Sea Shephard’s work arguable moral is that they operate in international waters. International law is weak (to put it mildly). Therefore people seek to profit from this weakness. If you believe ‘harvesting’ whales is wrong, there is no other redress to stop it ‘right now’. And why should the Sea Shephards wait? In a sense the Shephards are nothing more that a new force of nature making the job of the whalers more difficult and less profitable. I know that there are other more serious problems affecting other whale populations, but honestly I only learned of them because of the Sea Shephards and the controversy they create.

  • Hisway

    The Whalers are taking lives ?????

    what lives ?
    you mean taking whales ? Ohhh, I get it, you equate whales to humans, why dont you do the same for dogs ? Go try to impose your views about dogs on Vietnam, Korea, China ? because you know they’ll laugh in your face Just as I’m laughing at you and your ilk right now for these kind of statements.

    The Sea Shepherd is saving lives ?????
    You mean the broken down, leaky ship that is UNSEAWORTHY for southern ice waters ? The vessel who’s “leaders” require their paying passengers to perform unsafe acts with little or no training, being led by those with little or no training OR knowledge. The ones that are throwing corrosive, and possibly LETHAL chemicals at another vessel underway, a chemical that has properties that force it to be labeled HAZARDOUS, EXPLOSIVE, CORROSIVE, TOXIC, DO NOT ALLOW ENTRY INTO THE ENVIORNMENT…
    A ship that has a leader that BOASTS of ramming and sinking other ships, and has rammed whaling ships underway on this very show, has ilegally boarded another nations vessel while underway and then has the nerve to tell the world they’re being held HOSTAGE ?

    yes, I can see who the terrorist is.

  • Hart

    It boils down to this:

    The Japanese ships are taking lives.

    The Sea Shepherd ship is saving lives.

    Which is the real “terrorist”?

  • ArrowHead

    Nitpick: Whale Wars hasn’t documented gunfire. The whole thing about “Captain” Watson being shot was a fraud.

  • josh

    Well, regardless of your opinions on animal cruelty, veganism, etc, this situation is about human life. Noone has the right to endanger another person in a situation that does not represent imminent danger to an oter human. I fished offshore for 6 years, and believe me, when you are out there, you are OUT there, the ship becomes your world, and as anyone who has had close calls (i.e serious mechanical failure compunded by weather issues) can tell you, this is serious serious business. I don’t believe the “captain” of this ship is is full posession of his faculties. He is clueless about running a ship and his crew of idiots are a danger to themselves, if noone else. The fact that AP condones this activity and gives these criminals a platfrom for airing their self-righteous views is abhorrent. First of all lets get the facts straight. The research whaling being conducted by japanese scientists is legal and mandated by the IWC which is recognized byt the UN. The mandate the SS posses that people who support them refer to , is one that allows people to stop, or otherwise interfere with illegal whaling, ie whaling that is not permitted by ANY governing body. Next, “japanese whalers” do not exist. This is because whaling as an industry is illegal the world over. These are fishermen that are contracted to do the fishing, on boats that otherwise pursue other fisheries and species. So these people are terrorists and liars. I personally find killing whales for ANY reason very sad, and hope that the people doing this will eventually let it go. But the whales that they are collecting are very very common, and nowhere near endangered. The Fin whales are, that is why they are only permitted to take only a few each year. I also find the people who post here and condone the action of these pirates and potential murderers to be at the very least misguided. Has anyone ever heard of the principal that “two wrongs don’t make a right”? Even IF what the Japanese Scientists were doing was illegal, who gives these people the right to be judge jury and executioner? These idiots are putting peoples lives in danger when other methods would suffice, and in the end, they have no effect on this situation at all except to make it worse. I applaud the Japanese sailors for their restrant, when by law they are permitted to use lethel force to defend themselves against these clear acts of piracy, and i will not be surprised when they finally destroy the SS with all aboard and sail away. When does it stop? At what point do we say enough is enough? When someone dies? Capt Idiot would like nothing better. His or theirs, a dead crewman would be great for him, either for sympathy or for bragging rights n the terrorist circles he moves in.

  • Burn the Witch

    Ah the intellectually and ethically indefensible arguments of the vegan/vegetarian zealots rear their ugly heads. Sophistry indeed!

    Part of what distinguishes our species far and away above every single other species is our higher thinking that enables us to form complex societies with laws and moral codes. These laws and moral codes are what distinguish us from barbarians, or even other animals. While endangered animals should be protected, we shouldn’t devolve into acting like the very thing we’re trying to protect.

    If what these whalers are doing is wrong or illegal, there is a mode of redress developed by our species to rectify it. If what they’re doing is legal, then these “Shepherds” are terrorists plain and simple. In either case, the “Shepherds” are nothing more than a barbarian, and nothing less than animals.

  • Opfor

    I say the Japanese should protect their whaling operations with the few naval ships they posses, providing convoy escort against these clear acts of terrorism. Any attack (in this case physical and chemical attacks) on a nations shipping by a group such as this is piracy/terrorism. Animal Planet needs to be warned and forced to take the show down, or fined/seized. If these ecoterrorist ships still try to mount attacks on Japanese shipping, fire upon them and sink their ships. Then search for and capture/exterminate any survivors. Those captured then need to be deported, imprisoned or shot. It may sound brutal, but in these type of situations, brutality is needed.

  • Andrew

    When are you people going to open your eyes and do something for the real victims here, DINOSAURS! none of you ever campaigned to save them from extinction, or had a fundraiser to save them, why not? are the DINOSAURS not good enough to be saved? oh yeah,they died off naturally just like all the animals including us will do overtime

  • bertha

    YOU know what i think i would like to sinck there ship i am for the sea shiperd you know they can kill a whale but i they cant defeat god god bless

  • Stew

    I have to agree with Kiwi they can whale but only if they use traditional methods and only in their own waters.
    But if they poach whales in international waters or worse yet preserves then they deserve no mercy.
    If I had my way I’d leave the whalers to the sea after sinking their ship.
    I say the penalty for whaling in protected waters such as Antarctica should be the same as it is for any other form of piracy.
    They should be arrested and their ship sunk if the UN doesn’t want to do this then it will fall to people like seashepard.
    Wiping out the whales would be a crime against nature
    plus removing a key species could have terrible consequences on the ecology of the ocean fish stocks could crash causing about 2 billion people to loose their primary source of protein.
    We do not understand how the ecology of the ocean operates but when you wipe out a species you are removing parts of the machinery.
    It’s akin to being on an airplane or spaceship and just randomly breaking hardware with no knowledge as to what it does.
    You may find smashing a part that was not directly connected to the engines brings it down.

  • Kiwi

    As a New Zealander I object to Japanese whaling near our waters. If the japanese have a traditional whale hunt near Japan thats fine. I have no objection to that. But if they have killed all the whales near Japan so they have to come halfway around the world to fish in whale sanctuaries then you can understand people would object and take measures to enforce the UN mandates.

    As for the discussion on veganism, partyless argument that killing other animals and cruelty is natural and so they have no problem with it. I find that argument horrible. Are you really arguing that we should take the natural world as a guide for our moral behavior? Animals kill and rape each other regularly, so do you advocate that we do that also?

  • Barbara

    Is there anything regular people can do to help stop the Japanese whalers. ie: writing to senators or something of that nature? Thanks

  • spencer

    The crew of this ship do not know what there doing. They are going to really screw up and hurt them selves or others. If the whaling was illegal wouldnt the UN do something. Oh yeah, and when they throw the stuff to ruin the whale meat, dont they realize they can just throw that one over and get another for there research. There are boats out there that drag nets destroying the sea floor and lots of fish that get throw back into the ocean after being crushed in the nets. where are they then?

  • caste

    Is the Japanese government doing the whaling or is it a Japanese company? I take exception to the whalers continually being refered to as THE Japanese. If the whale meat is a “delicacy” then I doubt it would be served to school children. No profits there. Are they exceeding the established quotas for whaling? It is very easy for people from a large country with sufficient land mass per capita to grow abundant crops and raise cattle to pass judgement on those who are dependent on the ocean for their food. I remember paying 45 dollars for a box of grapes in 1982…I wonder how much worse it is now.

  • Edgar

    What next? Will you now go to Philippines because they eat dogs. Will you go to Peru because they eat chickens? Will you go to China because they eat monkey? Will you got to Alaska because they hunt for the King Crab?

  • kobayashim

    I believe that this show should be taken off the air for a multitude of reasons.
    As someone who is ethnically and culturally Japanese but an American national, I find that this show does little else except perpetuate and encourage bigotry. I have watched this show with both fascination and disgust. The show never makes the distinction between the Japanese companies who are doing the questionable research, and the Japanese people as a whole. Furthermore, there is no proof, whatsoever, that the research the Japanese scientists are doing is unethical or unnecessary. Just because the excess parts of the whales are being used for commercial purposes does not mean the research is useless or should be stopped. Moreover, the actions of the Sea Shepards are extremely offensive, and extremely dangerous. They are terrorists. Such acts should not be condoned and the fact that a television show is broadcasting this filth makes me ashamed to be an American.
    I have mixed feelings as to whether or not the scientists should continue their work. I would love to know more about how the whales are being tested, and how that information has helped us as a human race. Perhaps the research is even helping us cultivate a better understanding of the whales? But, to return to my main argument, this show promotes bigotry and hate. Japanese people are not stupid, nor are they inferior. The Japanese country, as a whole, is much more proactive and eco-minded than the US. I hope that people decided to boycott this show, to write letters to the show and to Animal Planet urging them cancel this show and formally condemn the SS and their actions. If we want to change something, anything, we should do it by legal, positive means. Violence is not, and never will be, the answer.

    Post: they are not “Japanese Whalers” they are scientists.

  • Cameron

    The show is very well done and I enjoy it.

    But these so-called “Sea Shepherds” are terrorists, plain and simple, and should be dealt with as such.

    Their self-righteous and messianic delusions, and clearly criminal tactics, have me rooting for the Japanese, no matter how reprehensible their whaling may be.

    The French knew how to properly deal with ecoterrorists like the “Sea Shepherds”.

  • Melvin Perry

    So in the future when I take my family out to eat at a restaurant, I should expect protest groups to throw smoke bombs and other things at us because we plan to ordered chicken mcnuggets (from enslaved chickens) or get a milkshake (milk taken fron enslaved cows).

    How about bombing hardware stores for selling lawn mowers because it forces people to step on ants while they are cutting the grass.

    Stopping Whale hunting is important but if it means killing people to accomplish that goal then I’d rather not be known as a murderer. And yes I do value a persons life more than an animals life.

  • R Lee Miller

    I watched this show last night. I consider myself on the side of the Law when it is moral, the show left me with many questions and concerns which I wish Animal Planet would report.

    Is the Whale hunting being done by Japan illegal(should it be, are these Whales endangered?)

    Are the actions of the Sea Shepard and its crew illegal?

    Who funds their activities?

    I find myself trying to be an intelligent judge of what I saw.

    Comments anyone?

  • free

    Japan is has a very rich natural resources. Animals and plants are well protected. They think that its better to deplete other country’s resources than their own. Why hunt in the antartic? japanese people are stupid!!!!

  • Colby

    seem like terrorists to me (the yanks and aussies)

  • Unclep

    One word comes to my mind when I think about how I would deal with ecoterrorists. Torpedo!

  • Ryan

    Congrats…this makes me want to take up whaling. I guarantee anyone trying to board my ship without permission will be considered pirates and dealt with accordingly.

  • http://www.dailytech.com/Myth+of+Consensus+Explodes+APS+Opens+Global+Warming+Debate/article12403.htm Party Less

    Being a vegan for ethical reasons is stupid. Have you actually ever watched discovery channel. When a wildabeast gets stuck in the mud the Lions don’t help it get out, nor give it a swift death. They slowly chump at it, while it still struggles to get free. There is humane and then there is stupid. Most vegans are stupid.

  • Janky

    Absolutely insane! This show is glorifying these activists. I’m not sure Steve Irwin would have wanted his name tied to this. If I were the Japanese, and doing what is legal, within the limit allowed by law, I would not be as peaceful as they were with these idiots. Throwing butyric acid, and trying to wrap their prop up with rope in the middle of nowhere, IS physically attacking them. When they board without permission after those acts, I would take it as a very real threat. What a cheap shot to claim to the media, that they had been “taken hostage”. Whether you agree with what they are doing or not is not the point. The only people committing crimes are those on board the Steve Irwin, and Animal planet is making them look like heroes…even with their little “disclaimer” at the beginning.

  • Hunpecked

    According to the International Whaling Commission, Japan hunts mostly Minke whales in southern waters. The southern hemisphere Minke population was estimated at half a million to over a million at the time commercial whaling ceased; the current estimate is still pending.

    During the November to March season, Japanese whalers made the following annual catches, 2001 through 2007: 440, 441, 443, 441, 866 (including 10 Fin whales), 511 (3 Fin), 551. The last season I guess is the one on Animal Planet.

    http://www.iwcoffice.org/conservation/estimate.htm#table

    http://www.iwcoffice.org/conservation/table_permit.htm

  • seaturtle

    I liked the comment made by “Tessa” – “Whaling should be judged by the same standards as other industries and we should be careful not to impose our food culture on others”. This point is a powerful one. This truly is not an issue of meat eater versus non-meat eater. That debate will continue into eternity.
    I think the fundamental issue is that the whale populations are declining (in general – I am certain someone will find a statistic for one species of whale that is rebounding), should we be contributing to a quicker decline? This issue has already been played out in the small fishing villages in Canada. The fishing industry failed to evaluate the warning signs of diminishing fish stocks and continued to fish, fish, fish. The result, a number of fishing villages in absolute economic despair – there is not enough fish. Would the outcome have been different if they would have made adjustments and attempted to let the fish bio-system regenerate (i.e. leave it alone for 5-10 years)then return to fishing with a different prespective on sustainability?
    I see the whaling issue exactly the same – we know that the populations are in serious peril. So why can we not simply sit back and leave it alone to permit it to regenerate? Yes, I know that people will hurt in the mean-time (fishermen, etc)but they will hurt in the end when the whales are either extinct or in so few numbers it would be as if they were gone. Then we have to realize/accept that some will want to return to whale hunting (something that makes me sick), lets hope that they return with restraint and improve methods for such activities. Just my prespective. Continue to TALK, TALK, TALK – involve others.

  • supporter

    Does anyone not care that they are illegally fishing in a sanctuary? its like going to the zoo and shooting a lion and saying ‘its ok that i broke the law (UN Chartered too!) cause im doing it for research’. That is the big wrong! Who are they not to obey the UN?

  • Dolphin

    While I don’t personally agree with every tactic Sea Shepherd uses in their goal to stop whaling, their results, however controversial, have been effective. At least it would appear so.

    How much of the incidents, on both side (Japan vs SS) is true or fabricated, I’m not sure we’ll ever know.

    I am FOR the end of all whale hunts. It’s unncessary, inhumane, and cruel. These are sentient beings and Japan having a quota of 1,000 whales per year to cull all in the name of research, just doesn’t sound right. What for? A thousand whales? Researching what?

    Japan blames the whales for the overfishing problem. Instead of taking responsibility that mankind is the ultimate culprit, to me they seem to be cowards by blaming the marine mammals. Well hello? The ocean is THEIR home. it’s not ours to rape and pillage in the name of ‘research’ and profit.

    Just my ever so humble opinion of course :-)

    Thanks for a great article … I’m linking your blog on mine to keep up with :-)

    Mahalo,

    Dolphin

  • Tessa

    ‘Whale Wars’ whilst it sounds highly interesting seems likely to be a biased piece that neglects points of view different to those of the makers. Methods of whaling are indeed not very humane but this is not the only field where that is the case and Japan is not the only country to do so. it is important not to neglect the history of whaling and which countries brought certain whales to their present state.
    As for research whaling it is within the laws of the IWC and presents research papers regularly and does provide relevant data. The IWC requires that whale meat not be wasted and therefore the Japanese government sells it to help pay research costs. There is no profit made from the sale of this meat and eating it is not particularly popular in Japan. In fact the sale of the meat does not even cover the costs of the research.
    As for cruelty in eating meat, I think it is natural for humans as omnivores to eat both meat and vegetables. Without modern advances vegetarians would have difficulty surviving without meat. humans are animals and like many other animals we eat meat. I think it highly judgemental to call those who eat meat cruel or wrong. It is also questionable to use the `intelligence` of whales as a basis of whether they should or should not be eaten. There are many species of whales and what are the criteria of intelligence? how about the lambs that are killed?
    Whaling should be judged by the same standards as other industries and we should be careful not to impose our food culture on others.

  • seaturtle

    It has been interesting to read the comments posted here. I love the fact that people are now talking about the whale killing. This is the first step toward enacting any type of change. I would like to see people keep it more factual rather than personal as that devalues the entire purpose. They say that in order to “debate” a subject a person needs to be able to defend the opposite position- in order to truely understand the issues.
    Personally, as an avid SCUBA diver, I can tell you that our oceans are in a crisis. As a chemist I can tell you that our oceans are in a crisis. We are starting to see a fundamental change in the pH buffering capacity of the oceans – trust me this is HUGE. All living organisms in our oceans, not just the whales are struggling to adjust, and their populations are declining. In the end if our oceans fail, if our oceans become unhealthy – we as a species will follow suit.
    I hope people will watch Whale Wars, become educated about the situation and form their own opinion of the tatics utilized by Sea Sheperd. In the end there will always be two sides to every story. As my dear late grandfather always said: “I may not agree with what you have to say – but god damn it – I fought in World War 2 for you to have the right to say it!.” Go forth and continue to talk about the killing of the whales – PLEASE talk loudly and furiously.

  • kujira

    Using terrorism to push your agenda pollutes your cause.

    Consuming the meat once the animal is dead and the research has been conducted is surely better than letting it rot somewhere?

  • slow it down

    Why on earth are so many people making negative comments about Sea Shepherd? Do you really think Japan is right? Do you really think that conventional democratic (or military) methods are actually effective against a rogue state?

    “If you want change, and don’t have a real army, then tough luck.”

    Are you f-ing serious??? Isnt REAL change more often brought about by groups of dedicated people united in a common cause than by a powerful military forcing things on people (i.e. American Revolution vs. Iraq war)?

    This kind of thinking keeps us going backwards, with our eyes closed and mouths full of toxic waste, down a spiral into ecological damnation.

    Wise up. Rise up. The government cannot and will not help you.

  • eco gordon

    I understand that saving whales is important, but I’m often off put by the people who are trying to do “good” things.

  • I’ll take a whale burger and fries

    Protect_our-eco, calling someone ignorant and a hick while using a racial slur makes your own ignorance very obvious.

  • supporter

    haha. Crossing Line writes from a very uninformed place. What army is going to go down there and uphold the laws? Its Antartica. The Antartic Army. Yep. ha. Lets say this again. I think if people read the book Whale Warriors (written by someone who isnt apart of the crew), they may know something about what is actually going on and why they do what they do. If you havent read it or dont know anything about it from a personal stand point, then opinions are non educated and serve no purpose to inform anyone with questions. Lets step back and just look at this from an ecosystem point of view and how killing off whales effects that. Or maybe lets look at how the japanese are fishing in UN protected waters and no one but sea shepherd are doing anything about it. oh but wait, yeah they do have the laws under them. They are legally authorized to intervene in accordance with the United Nations World Charter for Nature that was ratified by the U.N. General Assembly in 1982 under Section 21. So no they arent terrorists. They arent doing anything illegal. They are upholding their given rights as stated by the UN. So f— whatever army you had in mind.

  • Gracchus

    Smellycat points to a classic rhetoric that I hear to often in my vegetarian career, “the plants have feelings too” so were do we draw the line, will we eat dirt, or worse, diet Coke. The argument that it is of course a half digested sophism, a smoke curtain for not questioning ones option can be approached and fought from various angles. First the choosing of lesser evil. No, the animals formerly known as Plants don’t have a nervous system, aren’t aware, don’t feel pain or urge to run. They are halfway closer to DNA automatons than your pet. So if it’s between a pig and a corn i would sacrifice the corn. Two: Plants produce Fruits. Fruits are designed to be eaten. It’s a strategy of plant to disseminate seeds. Fruits are raw pulp that lack any trace of sensitivity and consumption don’t destroy the plant itself. The leaves also are expandable for the plant. Most herbivore animals eat teh fruits or the leaves so the plant will regenerate eventually.

  • Smellycat

    Isn’t that eco-warrior contributing to global warming by smoking?

    Maybe someone will discover that plants have feelings too and we can all just eat dirt. Or perhaps the bacteria that resides on dirt has feelings too… Oh my!

  • justine

    terrorism on terrorism.. well 2 rights dont always make a wrong, but when terrorism comes upon those who can’t defend themselves then who will? go animal planet! :) haha

  • Protect_our-eco

    Down with the Japs!
    Save the whales, you ignorant hick!

  • Scott

    Lol at reactionary conservatives being like “SCREW THOSE WHALES IT’S LUNCHTIME”

    Except that this is a lot less about the Whales (although everyone should realize the ecological impact of the loss of these species is enormous), and more about the Japanese thinking they’re special, yet again.

    But then again, America showed them that you don’t have to follow international law to be a winner.

    <3

  • Gracchus

    to Johnny Common Sense & other finkers: Whales and dolphins are evolved, sentient, rational beings just like you, me and the japanese sailors. Times will come when killing/hunting/butchering fellow species will be seen as we see cannibalism today.

  • ramasan

    nasty business. killing animals for food. no?

    whats worse, killing a cow or a shrimp? no difference?

    how about killing a horse or a shrimp?

    how about your pet dog or a shrimp?

    do you find any of those are ethically better or worse?

    if no, then i guess the only thing we can argue is the value of making sure a species doesnt get wiped out.

    if yes, i would argue that whales are the highest of the mammals – in sentience, intelligence and awareness. so i would argue that it is indeed worse to kill a whale than a cow (not by much) and definitely worse than a chicken or fish.

    as a lifelong vegetarian, i find eating meat AMAZINGLY cruel. i find people who get choked up about the family pet getting ran over and crying at mcdonalds hypocrites in the highest sense of the word.

    i dont eat meat for health reasons or ethical reasons. but seeing those beautiful animals get blasted with rocket powered harpoons and dragged up into boats, or the whole scale dolphin slaughter in the japanese bays just tears me up quite a bit.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/the-meaning-of-life-and-happiness Animal Coexistence

    Such a shame, I know people hate PETA and everything. But the time for animal rights has come – it’s time for people to start taking this seriously and stop pushing it aside just because you hate some group that campaigns for its cause.

    The cause is becoming ignored because of people’s hate one of the most eccentric groups campaigning for the cause.

    People don’t realize how much bad they’re doing. For one thing donating to cancer research groups contributes to animal torture. People don’t see this link, but what they need to know is that these cancer research facilities test on animals in some of the most disgusting and horrible ways imaginable.

  • me

    I don’t expect every web site to make a print version of a page available, but please, at least make it possible for people to at least print out what has been highlighted/selected… your formatting makes this impossible.

  • http://ottodestruct.com Otto

    Japan is right. By supporting extremists, you are an extremist.

    Animal Planet supports terrorists.

  • Johnny common sense

    So, I need to clarify that this isn’t whale killing, this is whale hunting. They don’t leave them dead in the ocean, they consume the meat and other organs, fat, etc.

    I agree, that there needs to be a conservation of endangered species, but not to this extent.

    Such actions dismiss validity of international laws, and other boycott measures that can be taken against Japan.

  • http://jon-pape.com Jon

    I’m pretty excited about this series.

  • webweave

    I’m pretty sure whales feel that Japan is the real terrorists.

  • http://myspace.com/stonedodie Stoned Odie

    I think that the show is going to be amazing and Japan is just being a bunch of pussys. “Research” my ass. I’m glad animal planet is doing what there doing and I’ve been waiting very unbpaitaintly to see the new series. Its just a bullying tactic Japan thinks its going to use to get us to stop kicking there asses because there coming into OUR territory and killing wales… pshhtt…. (I know I cant spell)

  • Crossing Line

    Attacking whaling ships(when you are not given orders by the military) is crossing the line. Japan should place soldiers on those boats so they can shoot the protesters that throw smoke bombs and other extreme things.

    If you want change, and don’t have a real army, then tough luck.

    I hope Japan wins there case

  • http://www.crazyjordans.com steve

    I don’t believe it for one second!

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