You’re entitled to that opinion. Fortunately for Sea Shepherd, they never have been convicted of a crime, and have never committed an act of violence against another person or organization, despite frequently being at the other end of violent attacks, gunshots, flashbang explosions, as well as physical abuses, affronts, and assaults.
Sea Shepherd is a peaceful organization, but it is not a protest organization. It is not an organization which confronts ecological wrong-doers by putting up banners, waving flags, and causing a scene.
Sea Shepherd is a direct-action organization. The only motive of the organization is to enforce international law where governmental organizations refuse to do so. While other organizations raise money to pay their solicitors, Sea Shepherd’s money is spent protecting its constituents: whales, dolphins, sea lions, sharks, barrier reefs, and our oceanic brethren.
The organization is very open to public critique, so thanks for the message. :) But you might want to ask the 932 whales who were not slaughtered and mutilated last year because of Sea Shepherd’s intervention if Sea Shepherd’s tactics are “not right.” They would probably disagree.
The SSS Steve Irwin turns around
The Japanese whaling fleet are now acting like a serial killer in a bad horror movie - when the heroes turn their back and the credits are about to roll, the killer rises up again, this time with harpoon in hand to kill another defenseless whale.
The retreating Japanese fleet has turned around and are heading South again.
When the Sea Shepherd ships broke away from the northbound whaling fleet, they did so in order to conserve fuel for the long trip back to Melbourne. But before parting ways, Sea Shepherd crew members placed a tracking device on the Sun Laurel to monitor their progress northward.
The Sun Laurel has now turned around and is heading south again and this can only indicate that the Nisshin Maru has also turned and is heading south. Although there are very few days left in the whaling season, there is still the possibility that the Nisshin Maru can refuel and return for a few days of whaling; although they will not be able to kill many whales, the death of even a few is of grave concern to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Therefore the Sam Simon will transfer fuel to the Steve Irwin and the Sam Simon will head to Fremantle instead of Melbourne to refuel.
The Bob Barker was intending to transfer fuel to the Steve Irwin but they will now retain that fuel to resume the pursuit of the whaling fleet.
After refueling from the Sam Simon tomorrow, the Steve Irwin will follow the Bob Barker back to the Southern Ocean to intercept the whaling fleet.
The Bob Barker has changed course and is once again in pursuit of the whaling fleet.
Operation Zero Tolerance has been resurrected. It looks like another ten days of high seas pursuits in an ocean becoming colder and more hostile each day.
“It appears that the Japanese whalers have been ordered south to kill a few token whales so as to not be totally humiliated this season,” said Bob Barker Captain Peter Hammarstedt, “so it is once more back into the breach. We know where the Sun Laurel is and we intend to intercept them once again.”
The Steve Irwin will take fuel from the Sam Simon at Heard Island before returning to the Southern Ocean to assist the Bob Barker.
“It is still three days back to the whaling grounds with no more than a week left to kill whales and the weather is getting progressively worse,” said Captain Siddharth Chakravarty of the Steve Irwin.
“It is not economically practical for the whalers to return at this late date,” said Sea Shepherd Australia director Jeff Hansen. “But this is no longer about whaling. It is about the Japanese government not appearing weak. They have been humiliated by Sea Shepherd. They are returning to the Southern Ocean so they can claim they were not chased out by Sea Shepherd, even though it is very clear they were. It looks like we will have to chase them out of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary once more”
With the weather deteriorating, the seas becoming rougher, with the plankton blooms dispersed so also have the whales become dispersed, the conditions are no longer easy for whaling operations.
The Bob Barker is not far from the returning whaling fleet.
Commentary By Paul Watson - Observer
The SSS Steve Irwin escorts the whaling fleet
photo: Sea Shepherd Australia/Eliza Muirhead
The Japanese whaling fleet has left the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and is heading north.
The ships crossing north of sixty degrees are the Nisshin Maru, Yushin Maru, Yushin Maru No. 2, Shonan Maru No. 2, the Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker.
The entire Japanese whaling fleet is now north of sixty degrees and out of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
The Panamanian-flagged Korean-owned fuel tanker Sun Laurel, traveling with the Yushin Maru No. 3 and flanked by the Sea Shepherd ship Sam Simon, is 120 nautical miles north of the Nisshin Maru and is continuing northward at eleven knots.
Since the Japanese whaling fleet arrived in the Southern Ocean at 2330 Hours on January 28th, 2013, the Sea Shepherd ships have chased the fleet for over 6,240 miles westward, from the Ross Sea to Pryzd Bay, from 164° 02’ West to 60°20’ East.
The campaign saw two confrontations to prevent the killing of whales and three confrontations to prevent the illegal fueling of the Nisshin Maru from the Sun Laurel.
During the campaign the Sea Shepherd crews did not throw any projectiles or deploy any propeller-fouling devices. The Japanese whalers threw concussion grenades and hit the Sea Shepherd crewmembers with water cannons. All three Sea Shepherd ships were damaged after being struck multiple times by the 8,000 ton Nisshin Maru.
Is whaling over for the season? We are not positive but we are 80% sure that it may be over.
Sea Shepherd will not intervene against any legal transfer of fuel between the Nisshin Maru and the Sun Laurel above sixty degrees South but the Sun Laurel is over 120 miles to the North and still moving northward at 11 knots. It would take at least 48 hours to rendezvous with the Sun Laurel to refuel and another four days to return to the whaling area. This would leave about a week to kill whales and with the weather quickly deteriorating it would hardly be worth the effort.
How many whales have been killed? Sea Shepherd can only confirm the death of two Minke whales. Some whales could have been taken on the run westward; the Nisshin Maru and the Yushin Maru No. 2 had two days to whale unobstructed until the Sea Shepherd ships caught up with them.
We can confirm that the Yushin Maru and the Yushin Maru No. 3 did not kill any whales this season. These two vessels were under observation at all times.
My conservative estimate of the number of whales killed this year is no more than 75. It could be much lower but certainly not higher. Last year I predicted the whalers would take 30% of their kill quota. The actual kill was 26%.
Although Operation Zero Tolerance did not realize zero kills, this campaign will see the lowest take by the Japanese whaling fleet in the entire history of their Antarctic whale hunts.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society campaign led by Sea Shepherd Australia has been enormously successful and the crew of all three Sea Shepherd ships are satisfied with what has been achieved this season.
All three Sea Shepherd ships will continue to follow the whaling fleet north to ensure that they do not return to kill whales.
Bob Barker and Steve Irwin Escorting the Nisshin Maru Out of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary
photo: Sea Shepherd Australia/Tim Watters
The Nisshin Maru rams the Steve Irwin as the
Sea Shepherd fleet block whaling fleet’s illegal refueling efforts.
photo: Sea Shepherd Australia/Eliza MuirheadThe SSS Bob Barker and SSS Steve Irwin have been rammed by the Japanese whaling fleet’s massive factory vessel, theNisshin Maru. The floating slaughter-house is eight times the mass of the Steve Irwin.
The Bob Barker and the Steve Irwin were behind Sun Laurel,Steve Irwin on portside, Bob Barker on starboard.
On load-speaker, the Shonan Maru No. 2 ordered Sea Shepherd’s Australian flagged ship, the SSS Sam Simon, which is located in the Australian Antarctic Territory, to leave the area on the orders of the Government of Japan. Concussion grenades were thrown at the Bob Barker and the Steve Irwin by the crew of the Nissin Maru.
Captain Peter Hammarstedt radioed the whaling fleet’s factory vessel, the Nisshin Maru, and told them that theBob Barker intended to maintain course and speed, that the moral and legal obligation to avoid the collision was on the Nisshin Maru.
The Nisshin Maru, turned and was approaching from starboard. It nearly collided with Bob Barker, before it turned into Steve Irwin, and rammed the Sea Shepherd ship’s stern.
The Nisshin Maru continued on its collision course, and rammed the portside of the Steve Irwin.
The Nisshin Maru then rammed the Bob Barker. The Steve Irwin increased its speed ahead to avoid the Nisshin Maru.
The Bob Barker took the Steve Irwin’s position on the portside of the Sun Laurel.
The Steve Irwin circled back, and the Nisshin Maru pushed the Bob Barker into the Sun Laurel, sandwiching theBob Barker between itself and the Sun Laurel. The Nisshin Maru then fell back behind the Bob Barker, and rammed full speed into the portside stern of the Sun Laurel, shattering their portside life-raft, and destroying the davit to launch the other life-raft. The Nisshin Maru then rammed the Bob Barker again from behind, destroying one of their radars, and all of their masts.
The Bob Barker completely lost power and issued a MayDay distress call. As this distress call was issued, theNisshin Maru turned away and began fleeing north.
Sea Shepherd Australia Co-Campaign leader, former Senator Bob Brown, has informed the Australian Government of the Japanese multiple breaches of international law and called for Tokyo to be required to remove its ships from this region north of Australia’s Casey Base and to desist from its gross violation of Australian and international laws. He says that the Australian Navy should be dispatched to restore the law.
Currently the Sun Laurel is being escorted north by the Sea Shepherd fleet, since they have no emergency life-saving devices in the potentially treacherous waters of the Southern Ocean. Director of Sea Shepherd Australia, Jeff Hansen said, “The Nisshin Maru has committed the maritime equivalent of a hit and run accident. They have rammed the Sun Laurel, putting them in perilous danger, and simply abandoned them.”
All vessels are heading north with the illegal whale poachers from Japan two miles ahead of Sea Shepherds’ fleet.
All three Sea Shepherd ships were rammed, with the Bob Barker sustaining the heaviest damage. Power has been restored to the Bob Barker. Fortunately no crewmembers sustained injuries. The crews completed the mission to block the refuelling and will continue to protect the whales in the sanctuary.
The Nisshin Maru blasted the Bob Barker with water cannons, and rammed them into the Sun Laurel
photo: Sea Shepherd Australia/Glenn Lockitch
The Nisshin Maru rams the Bob Barker and the Sun Laurel
photo: Sea Shepherd Australia/Glenn Lockitch