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Japan's Whaling Fleet Draws Ire

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Plunge, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. Plunge

    Plunge Passed Away July 20, 2007

    Evidently, the hard core anti-whalers consider Greenpeace a bunch of pussies.

    Greenpeace activists in high-speed inflatables spent hours trying to put themselves between chaser boats and minke whales south of Tasmania and claimed some whales got away.

    "We've certainly succeeded in slowing down the hunt, though unfortunately eventually they did kill a whale," expedition leader Shane Rattenbury said.
    A second front is about to open in the campaign when one of the whaling fleet, the Kaiko Maru, a scouting vessel, arrives in Hobart to evacuate a crew member with appendicitis. Activists are expected to try to prevent it from returning to Antarctica.

    "Greenpeace and a number of other organisations want to make sure the ship does not return to the whaling grounds, and that it is not resupplied or refuelled in Hobart," said the organisation's Australian chief executive, Steve Shallhorn.

    Direct action against the whalers is also set to rise, with the hardline group Sea Shepherd likely to arrive off Commonwealth Bay today, saying that unlike Greenpeace it intends to stop the fleet from whaling.
    These aren't just hollow words.

    The tension is expected to rise with the arrival of Sea Shepherd's ship Farley Mowat.

    Its captain, Paul Watson, has a long history of incapacitating whaling ships, including ramming and sinking them, but without injury or loss of life.
    I don't know enough about whaling and whale populations to make much of a comment. Love to hear from the rest of you on your whaling thoughts.
  2. MNeedham73

    MNeedham73 Well-Known Member

    I believe Japan and Norway are the two most talked about countries that routinely ignore the ban on whaling. Mainly because they kill the most. There are others, however.

    Japan likes to use the "scientific research" excuse to get away with it. I guess "scientific research" also implies that whale products end up in the Japanese marketplace. 500-1000 whales a year.

    At least Norway doesn't beat around the bush about it. They just openly defy it.

    A decent article by the BBC has a graphic that explains the different whale species that are hunted and what the conservation status of each is.
  3. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    I ate whale once, in Japan. A very sweet-tasting meat. But I ate it only for the novelty; I'm on the boat that thinks whales should be protected, unless their population gets so large that the pods need to be culled.

  4. Plunge

    Plunge Passed Away July 20, 2007

    Well Sea Shepherd isn't screwing around and it has the Japanese whalers worried.

    Japan's fisheries agency may ask for Japanese police to be sent to protect the country's whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean, following two separate collisions this week between whalers and protest ships, a senior agency official said Tuesday.

    Conservation groups Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd have been chasing Japan's whaling fleet in Antarctic waters for two weeks, frustrating their hunt for the 850 minke whales and 10 fin whales that Japan says it wants to kill as part of a scientific research program.


    Sea Shepherd said it deliberately struck the supply vessel Oriental Bluebird with its ship Farley Mowat later Sunday. Neither ship was badly damaged and no injuries were reported.

    "We sideswiped them to get our point across," Paul Watson, the Farley Mowat's captain, told Seven Network television Tuesday by satellite phone from the Southern Ocean.

    The saga continues...
  5. MNeedham73

    MNeedham73 Well-Known Member

    It will continue until someone dies, most likely.
  6. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Isn't this considered piracy? Harassing ships at sea in (presumably) international waters?

  7. ditch

    ditch Downunder Member

    Greenpeace may be pushing its luck here with maritime law / piracy, I'm not sure. But the Japs get no sympathy from me either. This "scientific research" bullshit has been the line they have pushed for years. Surely they don't expect anyone to swallow it any longer.

    Be it Japanese whalers or whatever, the whaling should stop.
  8. Plunge

    Plunge Passed Away July 20, 2007

    Most nations are staying out of it. The article mentions Australia who consider it none of their affair, a civil issue.
  9. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    I concur Ditch, there is no good reason for whaling in these modern times. As SM has said, the only valid reason would be that if the pods became overly large, to the point that either they began to threaten other species.
  10. deltat2000

    deltat2000 Veteran Member

    I acquired a parrot about four years ago....and for some strange reason I have had a change of heart on this subject, due to the relationship with my parrot.

    I would have never believe these creatures are as smart, and emotional, had I never met Ramsey.

    I have read up on this quite abit, these mammals are ancient creatures, they should be preserved, protected.
    There is no need to slaughter these creatures...we don't need their meet, or their oil anymore..to hunt these majestic creatures just to provide some asian with a delicacy is sick...

    I watched a video of a mass slaughter done after a pod was trapped in and inlet using steel nets....it was highly offensive. You could clearly see the older whales attempting to protect their young, they would put themselves between the young and the whalers, and I have to admit that I felt a profound disgust with the human race after viewing it.

    If I had been piloting that ship....I would have rammed the whalers amidships and holed it....and if my 1st strike didn't sink it....then I would have reversed engines and plowed her again!

    Its time for our race to give up these barbaric hunts! And its time for us to stop the harvesting of avian young...

    I wish there was a way for me to set my parrot free, I regret participating in his captivity! I regret that in my ignorance, I tamed such a wonderful creature!
  11. deltat2000

    deltat2000 Veteran Member

    What you didn't mention was that Farley Mowat had a "can opener" attached to her hull, too bad she didn't open up Bluebirds hull!

    Perhaps I'll donate to Sea Shepperd's ships fund....they need more "can openers" attached to her hull!
  12. MNeedham73

    MNeedham73 Well-Known Member

    I can't find anything mentioned about anything like that on the Mowat, Delta.

    EDIT: N'mind..found a mention of it on Sea Shepherd's website. (of which I'll now be clearing my internet cache, before my employer thinks I'm some radical activist lol)

    I did find some info on Wikipedia about her. 1 inch thick steel hull doesn't hurt her "duties," I bet.

  13. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    So you think acts of piracy are acceptable? Then I guess you'll really be disturbed when the Japanese Navy sinks the ship next time.

  14. MNeedham73

    MNeedham73 Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't be so sure the Japanese Navy has the authority, SM.

    From what I've found - the Captain of the Mowat has gotten away with this sort of thing before. How? By using a UN Charter as his defense.

  15. Plunge

    Plunge Passed Away July 20, 2007

    Which is looking more and more likely. The whalers have requested air and sea support from the Japanese Navy and AirForce.
  16. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    I'm pretty sure the Japanese Navy is in fact authorized and could in fact take whatever actions are required to protect Japanese-flagged vessels. Making full contact with another ship at sea is in violation of maritime law, especially when recognized right of way has not been ceded by the ship being struck.

  17. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Good. I hope they get it.

    This is something to be settled legally, not by ecoterrorists putting human lives in jeopardy. It's pretty clear to all that the Japanese are putting a pretty huge bend in international treaties in this matter, but it's not something for these loony Sea Shepards to be enforcing. They are not a law enforcement entity, last I checked.

  18. MNeedham73

    MNeedham73 Well-Known Member

    On the other hand, the Japanese whalers are breaking international law by whale hunting in a designated maritime nature sanctuary, are they not?

    Unfortunately, it's yet another law/resolution/whatever that the UN does nothing about.
  19. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Apparently not, since they haven't been officially censured. And whether the sanctuary is designated, no nation holds rights to it, so therefore it would be international waters. In other words, law of the sea holds sway over acts of piracy.

  20. MNeedham73

    MNeedham73 Well-Known Member

    Another case of the UN not having any balls.

    Note: I'm not trying to defend these people ramming whaling ships. I might be playing devil's advocate a little, however.

    I do agree that what Sea Shepherd did denotes piracy.

    Japan sure is getting a lot of bad press regarding their "research" whaling though.

    In the end, that may be the biggest thing to come out of the current mess.

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