If you haven’t heard, three anto-whaling activists, or whale warriors, were ‘taken captive’ by Japanese whalers after boarding the Shonan Maru 2 several days ago are supposedly to be released. The Australian activists from Forest Rescue — Geoffrey Owen Tuxworth, Simon Peterffy, and Glen Pendlebury — were facing trial and possible imprisonment in Japan for trespassing. But late yesterday (Monday) evening, the Japanese agreed to release the trio.
“[Australian] Prime Minister Gillard, who came under immediate pressure at home to secure the activists’ release, thanked Japan for its cooperation, but sounded a warning to campaigners thinking of employing similar forms of direct action,” CSMonitor reports.
“Australia has lodged a legal challenge to the annual whale hunts with the international court of justice in the Hague but a decision is not expected until 2013 at the earliest.” Nonetheless, Gillard strongly emphasized that was the way, in her opinion, to stop the whaling and that activists taking steps such as these three could be prosecuted in the future.
The activists in this story won’t be released for several days still, when an Australian coastguard boat comes out to take them from the Shona Maru 2.
The Shona Maru 2 is providing security for the Japanese whaling fleet while they are out on the high sees and hounded by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
While these activists are not a part of the very well known Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the focus of the Animal Planet show ‘Whale Warriors,’ they obviously have a lot in common, sharing sentiments and approaches (direct action). Sea Shepherd captain Paul Watson commended the Asutralian government’s work in getting the activists released but also criticized its approach to this overall matter.
“If the Australian government would do their job and fulfill their election promises, these things wouldn’t be happening,” Watson said in a radio interview.
For much more on the illegality of whaling, past Sea Shepherd stories, and more, check out our Sea Shepherd tag.