Despite much evidence to the contrary, Japanese whalers continue to spout the line that they kill up to 1000 whale annually for research. This winter the Sea Shepherds found the whalers before they had killed a single whale. While the activists are pummeled by water cannons in their attempts to hinder the operation, the whalers complain about having flares thrown at their ships. Are the Sea Shepherd’s tactics really dangerous, or are the Japanese whalers just afraid that they will work?— Global Animal

Sydney Morning Herald, Julian Drape

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has called for calm after Japanese whalers and conservation activists clashed in the Southern Ocean.

The Japanese claim Sea Shepherd anti-whaling protesters aboard the Bob Barker threw “flash bang” grenades at their whaling vessel the Yushin Maru No 2 on Sunday evening.

But Captain Paul Watson says that’s not true and his “courageous” crew only threw flares at the whalers. 

Ms Gillard has called on both sides to act more responsibly.

“This is a remote, inhospitable, dangerous place,” she told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

“Any sense that somehow you can act irresponsibly and somehow someone miraculously turns up to save you – that is not the way the world works.”

The Institute of Cetacean Research, which runs Japan’s so-called scientific whaling program, has released footage showing Sea Shepherd activists throwing flame and smoke flares at the Yushin Maru No 2 from inflatable Zodiacs.

The institute said the activists “started hand-throwing at least two flash bangs and one smoke bomb” which either landed on the ship’s bow or became entangled in a protecting net.

The action was “dangerous and violent”, the whalers said.

But Captain Watson denied throwing flares was potentially life-threatening.

“Not when they’re sitting there with water cannons trained on us which they could easily train on the flares,” he told AAP via satellite phone.

“They shoot at us, they throw concussion grenades at us, they ram our ships, cut them in half and destroy them, they turn long-range acoustical weapons on us, they throw nuts and bolts at us and then the whine when we throw stink bombs and smoke bombs.”

Captain Watson said Sea Shepherd would continue harassing the whaling fleet “to ensure the maximum number of whales will be saved”.

“Whaling with three conservation vessels on your ass is inefficient,” he said.

The federal opposition argues the latest clash proves Labor should send a customs vessel to the Southern Ocean to monitor the whalers and activists.

“The incident serves as a reminder of the significant risks that could result from continuing conflicts between the two groups,” opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt said in a statement.

“It confirms the need for an independent vessel to be in the area that can monitor these events and take a leading role in search and rescue if necessary.”

© 2011 AAP

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/pm-urges-calm-as-whalers-activists-clash-20110110-19kzm.html

GA

Want to stay updated on all the latest Sea Shepherd news? Check out the new Sea Shepherd Mobile App!

The Sea Shepherd iPhone app allows users to stay informed about the organization’s many campaigns including the 2010-11 Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign, Operation No Compromise, to be featured on the fourth season of Animal Planet’s hit television series Whale Wars. Sea Shepherd’s iPhone app delivers international breaking news from Founder and President Captain Paul Watson and his crew in the Southern Ocean and other hot spots around the world, as well as unrestricted first-hand updates on the real environmental catastrophes that are putting our oceans in greater peril with each passing day. As Captain Watson often reminds us, “If our oceans die, we die.”

Read more here.

Get the app here.

GA

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1 COMMENT

  1. In the SSCS December 9th issue of 2010, Where Is Greenpeace?, Captain Paul Watson
    states how many Greenpeace volunteers are claiming that Sea Shepherd Conservation
    Society is their organization. Greenpeace isn’t doing squat in the Southern Ocean,
    yet they are soliciting funds for it! I have even seen where the media supports
    this farce. This video here is one example.

    In January 3, 2011 we read how Wikileaks Reveals Sea Shepherd Is A Serious Concern
    to Japanese Illegal Whaling Operations. Greenpeace and the Japanese whalers are
    basically on the same side. No wonder there’s no Greenpeace in the Southern Ocean!
    As of January 11, Sea Shepherd has openly requested the support of just one
    Greenpeace ship. Frankly, I just don’t see it happening. Greenpeace will not risk
    upsetting the whalers, which is the same reason Australia’s Prime Minister Julia
    Gillard will not deploy a single vessel.

    People need to know what’s happening with their money, or what’s not happening
    with their money. Many like to “give at the office” because it makes them feel
    good that they are doing something for this world. Well, how would it make them
    feel if they knew the truth? Wouldn’t you like to know if it was your money? A
    serious injustice to people’s good intentions is being perpetrated here. Saving
    the world costs money. I don’t know about you, but I want my money to actually
    make a difference!

    Sea Shepherd On CH 10
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcEXtojUSoo

    Where Is Greenpeace?
    http://www.seashepherd.org/news-and-media/editorial-101209-1.html

    Wikileaks Reveals Sea Shepherd Is A Serious Concern to Japanese Illegal Whaling
    Operations
    http://www.seashepherd.org/news-and-media/news-110103-1.html

    Sea Shepherd Requests the Support of a Greenpeace Ship
    http://www.seashepherd.org/news-and-media/news-110111-2.html

    PM Julia Gillard refuses to send aid.
    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/pm-urges-calm-as-whalers-activists-clash-20110110-19kzm.html