November 22nd, 2008 by Jerry James Stone
As seen on TV, the Sea Shepherd Society is once again readying their boat in order to thwart the efforts of Japanese whalers
Just earlier this week the Japanese whaling ship called the Nisshin Maru left port to begin hunting and slaughtering an expected 1,000 whales. Luckily enough, the Sea Shepherd Society has the whales’ backs…er, fins? It’s an annual confrontation between the society and the whalers, one that I’m enormously grateful for!
It’s been estimated that last year the tactics of the Sea Shepherd saved around half of the whales targeted by the Japenese fleet, approximating in a $70-million dollar loss. It wasn’t easy Watson says, as he was shot during one of the forays. “I was wearing a bullet-proof vest, ” he told an Australian newspaper, “but the bullet hit my badge (an anti-poaching badge) so I had this bullet and I jokingly gave it to the guy who played Grissom in CSI (actor William Petersen) – he’s one of our supporters – and said ‘Hey, take a look at this because no one else will.’
I admit, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to interact with whales off the coast of Baja. That’s me petting one in the picture above. I’m far from religious but the experience is like that of seeing God. It’s beautiful and utterly unreal. If only the Japanese were Mexican.
Let me give a shout out to my motley crew of whale watchers. We’re a gang of engineers, a Brit, a Sea World veterinarian, and some Asian guy – none of us really know what John does. We’re just a movie star short of being a Gilligan’s Island spin off. It’s the perfect blend.
But make no mistake, it’s not my interaction with these creatures that fuels my interest in their plight. I find them majestic, yes, but the actions of the Japanese are inexcusable and just plain lame. Luckily, I believe in karma and that there is a special version of Hell just for whalers.
In the meantime, we have Daryl Hannah. Yup, Daryl Hannah — actress, activist, and part-time mermaid — is joining the Sea Shepherd crew this time around, headed by Captain Paul Watson. The crew itself is made up of over 40 volunteers and a Animal Planet film crew. Animal Planet will document the adventures for their hit television series Whale Wars.
The boat — the Steve Irwin — leaves port from Australia on December 1st. Wish them luck.
Photo: Jerry James Stone, San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja California Sur
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