Sea Shepherd announced today that they have decided to give up their Operation Musashi campaign against the Japanese whaling fleet for this season, citing the whalers’ increasingly violent and dangerous tactics in the Antarctic.
“I have said always said that we would do everything we can short of hurting people to end illegal whaling in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary,” said Captain Paul Watson. “Although we are willing to take the risks required, even to our own lives, I am not prepared to do to the Japanese whalers what they do to the whales and the escalating violence by the whalers will result in some serious injuries and possibly fatalities if this confrontation continues to escalate.”
Watson still called the campaign a success because his organization prevented the Japanese from hunting whales for nearly a month and a half.
However, three Sea Shepherd crew members inquired injuries from Japanese attacks, mostly stemming from their surprising use of long-range acoustic device weaponry. The campaign was halted only four days early, but at the rate that confrontations were escalating, Watson said it was no longer worth the risk.
The Steve Irwin faced an tough challenge against three harpoon ships the last few weeks. Sea Shepherd collided with Japanese ships on two occasions, one of which was documented by the whalers and spread across the internet.
Watson dismissed claims that he intentionally rammed the Japanese ships.
“The whalers and their hired PR flunkies can say whatever they want now but we have over 1,000 hours of video footage documenting every moment of the campaign. Our story will be told on a weekly series on Animal Planet with the show Whale Wars. People can watch and judge for themselves. The camera is the most powerful weapon in the world and we intend to demonstrate that power.”
Apparently Japan also realizes the damage that the Whale Wars footage had on their image: Sea Shepherd has received word that Japan dispatched a ship called the Taiyo Maru #38 from Fiji last week with orders to find, board, and capture the Steve Irwin vessel and all video footage on board. Perhaps this could have had a hand in Watson’s decision to abort the campaign early?
More posts about Sea Shepherd:
- Greenpeace vs. Sea Shepherd: An Unfortunate Conflict
- Whalers Fend Off Sea Shepherd with Hi-Tech Acoustic Weapons
- New ‘Whale Wars’ TV Show Documents Anti-Whaling Activists
- Japan Plans to Arrest Sea Shepherd Crew
- Sea Shepherd Now has Former US Navy Lieutenant Onboard
- Animal Planet, Daryl Hannah Join Sea Shepherd Crew For More Whale Wars
- “Madagascar Two” Movie Inaccurate According to Sea Shepherd
- Australia, Greenpeace Opt Out of This Winter’s ‘Whale Wars’
- Japan Accuses Animal Planet of EcoTerrorism Prior to “Whale Wars” Premiere
Photo Credit: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
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@Jon, who asked: “What makes whales any different from a land-grazing mammal like cows?”
And what makes cows, whales, etc. any different from humans? Are you suggesting human beings are fair game as much as whales or cows, for the same reason? Might doesn’t make right.
Jon: “The overpopulation of the minke whale is threatening to cause the extinction of other whales like the fin due to the increased competition for food.”
Sharks can’t decide to become vegetarians. Humans can.
What I find most interesting is when non-vegetarians side against the japanese whalers. That is messed up as hell. What makes whales any different from a land-grazing mammal like cows?
On a side note, the minke whale is actually over-populating from a lack of predators (because nobody is stopping shark catchers, cuz it’s not a cuddly animal).
The overpopulation of the minke whale is threatening to cause the extinction of other whales like the fin due to the increased competition for food.
I think you people who come on here and try to defend the sadistic hunting of whales were probably abused as children, but that’s just speculation. Thank God for the people who are always pushing the envelope to create a more conscious and morally intelligent world. We’d still be living under divine right monarchies and more widespread forms of slavery, etc. without them. It’s all about evolution.
Anyone who watches the video of the ramming incident can see that Watson is not only a damn liar but a psychopath who cares more about whales than the safety of human life. He absolutely & clearly turns the boat to starboard & intentionally rams the Japanese ship. This act of piracy, along with the illegal boarding of a Japanese ship in international waters (the Australian government can jump up & down & yell “it’s mine” until they’re blue in the face, it doesn’t make it so),which is also Piracy should see Mr Watson tried, convicted & locked up. I can respect the right of people to fight for environmental issues but not at the risk of human life. The people who are supporting the actions of the crew of the Steve Irwin need to seriously re-evaluate their ethics & attitudes if they think it’s acceptable to violate international law & endanger the lives of others all for a few whales. A person who values animal life over human life has serious issues. Get your priorities straight.
I think what the Sea Shepherd has been doing is commendable. Just because the Japanese are whaling in International waters doesn’t mean it is right. I admire the passion of the Sea Shepherd crew. I believe in what they are doing.
So after burning though a few tanks of fossil fuel, and forcing the whalers to do the same, Watson has enough footage for another season of Whale wars. Should be enough dramatic footage of him ramming ships to get the gullible public to fund his rampage for a few more years.
There are no laws on the open seas. If the Japanese want to whales they the right to do it. If Sea Shepard wants to stop them, they have that right also.
I say let the fight it out. The ones who don’t drown, they win!
If the captain aboard rammed that whaling ship unintentionally, he should not be in charge of anything larger than a small row boat. Have the “conservationists” gone completely mad???
Excluding endangered species, why on earth should it be illegal to hunt whales, specifically?
And who have named these nuts the police of the high seas?
These eco-pirates are doing such a disservice to people who actually care both about the environment and a democratic and lawful society.
No surprise here. As long as people can make a profit off dead whales, whales will certainly be hunted and any opposition to such hunting will be met with force. Maybe people should stop protesting the whalers and start protesting the profiteers as well as the buyers…