On balance, I support Sea Shepherd (SS)

Posted by – 25 February, 2013

From our southern waters:

A JAPANESE military ship has joined its whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean, increasing tension between whalers and activists after collisions last week.

The 140m-long Shirase icebreaker, operated by the navy and described by activists as “intimidating”, arrived near the Nisshin Maru whaling ship and Korean-flagged fuel tanker Sun Laurel in Australia’s Antarctic territory early yesterday morning, Sea Shepherd Captain Paul Watson said.

Let me preface what I am about to write by stating:

  1. I don’t believe anything the people associated with the Sea Shepherd (SS) say;
  2. I don’t necessarily have a problem with whaling as long as it can be conducted in a sustainable manner; and
  3. Nations that engage in whaling  must respect the  territorial claims made by other nations when conducting harvest operations.

Having said all that the SS are serving a public good.  Like a militia unit, the SS are harassing a foreign power (Japan), which has complete disregard to our territorial claims to Antarctica. It is an insult enough that Japan is even conducting economic activities in our Antarctic waters (they claim it is for scientific purposes) without our permission and without paying the requisite license fees to the Commonwealth (if whaling was legal), even worse is that whaling is an activity that Australians generally find offensive. It is like Japan is rubbing our noses in it. So as far as I am concerned, the SS can employ the full spectrum of non-lethal militia tactics against the Japanese to discourage them from whaling in our waters.

Japan may not recognise Australia’s claims over Antarctica, but our territorial claims are more credible than Japan’s claims that their whaling operations are for scientific purposes.

UPDATE

Yes, they are pirate-like:

A court in the US has labelled conservationist group Sea Shepherd “pirates”.

Judge Alex Kozinski said the group’s “aggressive and high-profile attacks” on Japan’s whaling fleet endangered lives, ordering them to stop.

Furthermore,

He added that the illegality of whaling in Australian waters did not excuse Sea Shepherd’s activities.

“It is for Australia, not Sea Shepherd, to police Australia’s court orders.”

Sea Shepherd argues that the US court has no jurisdiction over foreign-flagged vessels sailing in Australian waters with an international crew.

Don’t you think it is time the Australian government maned-up and did something about Japan willfully ignoring Australia’s territorial waters? For me the issue is not about whaling, but the integrity of Australia’s territorial interests. If Japan can get away with conducting whaling, or whatever other activity it might be, in Australia’s waters why wouldn’t some other nation at some point in the future also take advantage of our slack attitude to our own claims to certain territories? Yes, the SS are a bunch of you know what (Sir Francis Drake come to mind?), but the issue is not about the SS. Japan is conducting scientific economic activities in our waters without our say and the Commonwealth is not doing anything about it.

  • craig y

    An exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is a seazone prescribed by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea over which a state has special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources, including energy production from water and wind.[1] It stretches from the seaward edge of the state’s territorial sea out to 200 nautical miles from its coast. In colloquial usage, the term may include the territorial sea and even the continental shelf beyond the 200-mile limit……….So The Japanese have the right to whale outside this zone anywhere in the world. Sea shepherd are just pirates who terrorise who don’t agree with them. Bit like the protesters out front of Girt Wielders appearances.

  • whyisitso

    Absolutely agree with Craig Y. I’m am staggered that a so-called conservative who had the hid to call Andrew Bolt “not a conservative” could advance this view. I think the Japanese have been far too restrained. They should have a Naval gunboat there to protect the whalers, and shoot to kill the pirates.