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Sea Shepherd Issues Arrest Warrant For The Japanese Whaling Fleet; 'Continued Illegal Whaling Activities'

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FRIDAY HARBOR, Washington -- The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has drawn up an arrest warrant for the Japanese whaling fleet.

“We intend to intervene against the continued illegal whaling activities of the Japanese fleet in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary,” said Captain Paul Watson. “We intend to stop the killing of endangered species of whales in the Sanctuary, whales that are being killed in violation of the global moratorium on whaling. We intend to enforce the orders of the Australian Federal Court that has banned Japanese whalers from killing whales in the waters of the Australian Antarctic Territory. Our objective is to arrest the Nisshin Maru and its fleet of hunter killer boats.”

In four months time, the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin will depart from Australia for Sea Shepherd’s fifth major mission to confront the illegal activities of the Japanese whaling fleet.

Every year Sea Shepherd has gone South we have been increasingly more effective. In 2005/2006 the whalers were 84 whales short of their quota because of our interventions. In 2006/2007 they only took half their quota and in 2007/2008 they took zero Humpbacks, zero Fin whales and only half their Piked whale quota. They have lost tens of millions of dollars and the so called Institute for Cetacean Research is over fifty million dollars in debts on loans from the Japanese government.

The Japanese whaling industry is becoming increasingly more frustrated because of the annual interference with their operations and the rising debt they are incurring. We suspect that they will be more violently defensive of their illegal activities this next season than they were last season. There is talk of sending a Japanese warship to the Southern Ocean and if that happens it will be a violation of the Antarctic Treaty. There is talk about physically assaulting the Steve Irwin and capturing the crew and taking them back to Japan as prisoners. If that happens it will certainly be an international incident involving numerous nations because the crew of Sea Shepherd ships are usually citizens of a dozen different countries.

No amount of intimidation will deter Sea Shepherd from returning to the Southern Ocean this year. Every single crewmember onboard the ship understands the risks. Far better to risk one’s life for the protection of the whales and the oceans than to die for some oil well somewhere, or over some asinine conflict over real estate.

This year’s campaign is called Operation Musashi in honour of legendary Samurai warrior Miyamoto Musashi who wrote of the two-fold way of pen and sword signifying that confrontation must be partnered with education to achieve a permanent victory. The name was also chosen to reflect that Sea Shepherd is not opposed to Japanese culture. In fact Sea Shepherd operates very much in accordance with Japanese cultural values. The word “samurai” means to serve and in this respect, Sea Shepherd crew are the Samurai of the Seas.

Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of, its staff or its advertisers.

Reader Comments

5 people have commented so far. cloud add your comment

As a ownner operater of a commercial boat that longlines legally for swordfish and tuna, my thoughts are this #1 a captain is responsible for the safty and welfare of his crew and vessel, on a fishing boat that includes the gear. If on land someone steals or tries to steal its against the law, and if the theives use force then force may be used against them, should i see someone molesting my gear i wont hesitate to open fire on these scumbags. back to rule #1 if something happens to these poor kids that sea sheperd and green peace suduce to work on their vessels, it will be that captains fault and no others even when with thier media maipulation tries to blame the other ship. the other ship was working.the sea sheperd or greenpeace vessel did not have to be so close ,by the way I applaude the turks and greeks, for showing restraint,, CAPT.johns@hotmail .com
   comment# 1   - john hanks captain · key west fl, usa · Aug 9, 2008 @ 5:42am

It is time for the united Nations to step in to help insure the health of our oceans. Whales, porpose, sharks and popular breeds of fish really need protection and conservation if our oceans are to remain healthy. Peronally, I no longer knowingly purchase Japanese products. I love Sony products, but no longer buy them. I put off buying a Toyota Prius until Chevy comes out with their Malibu Volt. One way to punish a country is to stop buying products that they manufacture. I now puchase Korean Electronics.
   comment# 2   - Daniel J. Imbs · United States · Aug 9, 2008 @ 6:11am

TO Daniel J. Imbs : DO you know HOW MUCH POLLUTION and UNECESSARY KILL the SOUTH and NORTH KOREA do with their "ghost" fishing gear?? Forget the whales, save the regular fish - these morans use plastic pipes for catching several particular kinds of fish. the pipes are use in millions and theya re lost! The lost ones still catch the fish, but noone to take them out! I think GP needs to look at that first then protect the whales! Shame Shame!
   comment# 3   - Al · US · Aug 11, 2008 @ 11:42am

Capt. Paul Watson and his crew do one hell of a great job. The oceans of the world including all the inhabitants need to be protected. The bastard JAPS need to be taught another lesson I suppose. Maybe another bombing will do the trick. BOYCOTT JAP PRODUCTS!!
   comment# 4   - jeff · boca raton, fl. · Aug 12, 2008 @ 1:17pm

The Japanese are not breaking any laws even if they do harvest nearly 20x more whales than the United States on an annual basis (~50 vs ~1000 per year). They are exploiting a loop-hole in the international treaty for research whaling. In practice, the disingenuous 'research' clause is no more than a requirement track and manage the whale population during whaling activities. I imagine the entire clause was a nod and a wink to get Japan to sign a treaty they would have otherwise walked away from. If this reality of the treaty is not acceptable, then addressing the treaty that allows whaling as a lawful activity is the only lawful approach. The Sea Shepard claim to enforce this treaty that clearly specifies how whale meat is to be harvested and sold on the open market during research activities just as disingenuous as the treaty that makes the Japanese whaling activities legal in the first place. It is no excuse for the human lives they threaten through their hostile acts and piracy. The Sea Shepards may claim a moral high-ground in their defense of whales, but they have no claim to a legal justification. It is shocking to me the assaults they are able to get away with during their campaigns. Though I can see their point about the treaty not going far enough, if they came at me in such a manner while I was engaged in a lawful activity, I would be inclined to defend myself with lethal force.
   comment# 5   - David · USA · Aug 22, 2009 @ 5:05pm
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