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Sea Shepherd intercepts Japanese whalers in Antarctic waters

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Militant environmental activists said Saturday they had intercepted the Japanese whaling fleet in Antarctic waters and attempted to attack one of the boats with stink bombs.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship the Steve Irwin had found the Japanese harpoon vessel the Yushin Maru 2 in dense fog and dangerous ice conditions in the Southern Ocean, the group said in a statement.

"The Steve Irwin launched a Delta boat with a crew to attack the Yushin Maru 2 with rotten butter bombs," the statement said.

"Unfortunately, the wind increased to 50 knots with blizzard conditions. Captain Paul Watson called the small boat crew back for safety reasons when they were halfway to their target some three miles away."

The Steve Irwin was now in pursuit of the Japanese fleet, which had stopped whaling and was "on the run", Watson said.

He said the whalers were in Australia's self-declared Antarctic economic exclusion zone and urged Canberra to order the fleet to stop the hunt.

An international moratorium on commercial whaling was imposed in 1986 but Japan kills hundreds of whales a year in the name of research, with the meat nonetheless ending up on dinner tables.

For the past four years Watson has led a Sea Shepherd vessel to find, track and attempt to impede the whaling ships during their hunting season, the Southern Hemisphere summer.

He claimed earlier this year that his ship's harassment of the Japanese whalers last season had saved the lives of 500 of the giant mammals.

The International Whaling Commission has condemned Irwin's tactics, which include boarding the Japanese vessels, but he is unrepentant.

"It looks like Whale Wars, season two, is officially underway," Watson said in the statement Saturday. "We've got them on the run."

Last season, an Australian customs vessel shadowed the whalers, making videos and documenting their activities for a possible international court challenge.

Environment Minister Peter Garrett said Thursday the government was still considering legal action against Japan and was also "continuing to push very, very hard in the diplomatic environment" for an end to the annual hunt.

© Wire reports

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Ady Gil captain recalls collision horror

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10622955

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"Fishing" if it was about 'catching' then it would be called "Catching" not 'fishing'. "Fishing" & "Fishermen" is about understanding the environment they are in, & hunting in sustainable & acceptable manner, neither of which principle modern Japanese "fishermen" accept or apply themselves too...

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Let's be realistic and learn some history here. The Japanese have been whaling for centuries for food. It was only in the last 150 years that the whale population are nearing extinction. Do you know why? During the 1800's it was America and Europe who hunted whales to near extinction. For whale oil to burn in their lamps and for their meat which they used in dog food. If America and Europe never caused this situation in the first place, whales would not be endangered. Now the Americans are trying to blame the Japanese for something they caused.

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we should blast this sea whatever out of the water. deep satisfaction guaranteed.

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The so called EEZ is just that. So called. A self declared area that Australia claims exclusive rights to. Rights that have no basis in International Law.

No measure of intelligence has been or can really be made about how intelligent a whale is. Despite what you may have heard, as far as anyone knows, whales are just dumb animals. Far as I'm concerned, they're just cows of the sea. Have to protect the herds so they don't become extinct, but otherwise, hunting them is fair game.

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davidattokyo - I can't see how Japan not taking whales from an anti-whaling nation's EEZ could possibly be described as a "compromise". Correct me if I am wrong but Japan is already taking whales from waters which are considered international waters by most countries on Earth?

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imacat - the rhetorical tone of your question suggests that you too know full well that he wouldn't agree with such nonsense. In other words, you are already aware that reasonings given by one pro-whaler will differ from reasonings given by another pro-whaler. There's plenty of uninformed, racist nonsense being spouted by anti-whalers which someone could equally bring up and say to you "this guy is one of your mates, right?"

Davidattokyo has a point when he asked how there could be a trade in whale meat if there is supposedly no demand. Why not discuss that instead of producing a red herring.

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Let's face it: if you want whaling to continue, whales must survive as a bunch of species. Furthermore, there's the ethical problem that whales are relatively intelligent animals. If you can find a way to make a stupid whale for the meat, be my guest; however, whales as they currently are constitute a problem for the ethical eater. Other than that, my idea of whaling is Captain Ahab waving harpoons angrily at Moby Dick, so refer to someone who knows more about whaling and whale meat.

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Talking about "spouting nonsense", what do you think about this ojisan's comment from Isana?

Various factors are woven into the anti-whaling attitude of western countries, such as the fear and wariness against Japan, a maritime nation, and the envy and antipathy against Japan's success as an economic power.

I mean, this guy is one of your mates, right? So for example, if you were both chowing down on a juicy whale steak at a local izakaya and he came out with this, would you nod in silent agreement with his great wisdom?

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imacat, the "ojisans" you refer to include women and school children. Do you actually read the links that you post before spouting nonsense about what they say?

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imacat, I don't want to see a compromise where Japan takes whales "locally". I want to see a compromise where Japan does not take whales from the recognised waters of nations that don't like whaling, e.g., the economic exclusion zone of those nations. Waters beyond the EEZ are international waters and thus can not reasonably be considered to belong to any particular nation.

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imacat, the fact that the Norwegians and Icelanders are exporting whale meat to Japan is not consistent with your apparent belief that extra meat from the Antarctic is not needed.

Why are they going to the effort of transporting their meat from one side of the other if, as you seem to believe, it is not needed? I don't understand this contradiction, unless of course you are totally wrong which would explain it.

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The simple fact of the matter is that Japan's Antarctic whaling days are numbered.

Whale meat will never be more than a niche market in Japan, and with a drastically shrinking population, it's a market that needs less and less supply.

Japan's own data shows that there are an abundance of whales in the seas around Japan. Plenty to supply a tiny niche market.

This begs the question... why is extra meat needed from the Antarctic? Why burn all that gasoline and release all that greenhouse gas and endanger the pristine Antarctic environment, just for a few tonnes of whale meat that could be caught locally?

Perhaps many don't know about the Madrid agreement. This is an almost unique document in which countries have agreed to preserve the unique Antarctic environment for science and peace. It also manages to prohibit mining there for 50 years. It's a truly amazing and beautiful thing that countries could agree to this.

Compare the spirit of the Madrid agreement with Japan's rapacious Antarctic killing fleet, grabbing whales to protect Japan's oh-so-precious food culture... to provide a luxury food for a few ojisans in izakayas.

Also consider the fact that EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY in the region opposes whaling. Every single one!! South Africa, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand... all countries that naturally consider the Antarctic to be in their neck of the woods.

How on earth could a country such as Japan, located on the other side of the globe, be so arrogant as to ignore every single country in that region?!

When we start to really think about what Japan is doing, it is painfully apparent that Japan's Antarctic whaling is extremely provocative and does indeed belong to another era.

davidattokyo wants to see a "nimby" compromise, with Japan taking the whales it needs locally... I agree with him wholeheartedly.

They aren't all old. They aren't all men. And their motivations for eating whale are completely different to the disrespectful crap that cleo makes it out to be.

If anyone wants to get an idea of the mentality of these ojisans, have a look at this link, it's absolutely hilarious what these guys come out with. Some of it shows a poorly concealed dislike for foreigners: http://www.whaling.jp/english/isana.html

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Just checked the "Humane Slaughter Act". It seems that it is a US law, so it's irrelevant with respect to foreign whaling in the first place (unless US standards are absolute, much like cleo's way of thinking). Furthermore it seems that the law is only relevant with respect to certain animals. Whales seem to be excluded (how else would the Americans be killing whales legally under US law?)

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It's the definition used in the Humane Slaughter Act.

If the "Humane Slaugher Act" (where? US?) defines whaling as inhumane then I'd be surprised. I suspect you are just extrapolating yours views as if they were absolute though.

The fact that you think how much an animal suffers when it is killed to fill your belly is 'trivial' speaks volumes.

To mischaracterise another's statements is to forfeit the argument. To focus on HOW you rob a whale of it's life is to trivialise it. What's by far the most important is the quality of the animal's life while it is alive. That'll be the case until the day when I can honestly say I'd rather be reborn as a farm animal than a whale. I'm not going to lie to myself about it. The whaling culture is superior to the one that I was raised in. There, I said it. If I am big enough to accept it, so too should be others.

Duh. That's why we're saying there's reason not to eat whale meat.

Duh. That's why we're saying you need to harpoon whales in order to get whale meat. You have your objectives, we have ours. The difference is that we are tolerant of diversity, as I have noted previously.

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I'm hardly trolling. I'm just trying to think how one might get whale meat without killing whales. With fish you sometimes see the sashimi sliced off them while they are still alive. I don't think this would work with whales.

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Your definition of "humane" killing is bizarre to me

It's the definition used in the Humane Slaughter Act. So you find the law 'bizarre'. That doesn't surprise me.

to focus on aspects of how to rob the animal of it's life is to trivialise it. That's just my view though.

Yes, that is just your view and it's a view that's outside the law. The fact that you think how much an animal suffers when it is killed to fill your belly is 'trivial' speaks volumes.

Without harpooning whales, the meat can not be obtained

Duh. That's why we're saying there's reason not to eat whale meat.

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davidattokyo- "it would most probably be cruel to obtain meat from whales without killing them first". Wow!!! what insight you have, a true expert.

I conclude you are trolling.

Go for it Sea Shepherd, keep up the good work, and disrupt those whalers who are even more disgusting than my tedious father.

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You keep bleating this, but simply repeating it ad nauseum doesn't make it so.

Right back at you, with respect to your VIEWS about whaling. Your views are your views, and they are not absolute.

They take at best minutes and at worst up to an hour to die

That's incorrect, for the record. But you are welcome to base your opinion on whatever misinformation you wish.

how can you possibly consider what the whale goes through not to be cruelty?

Your definition of "humane" killing is bizarre to me. Killing an animal is taking it's life, and to focus on aspects of how to rob the animal of it's life is to trivialise it. That's just my view though.

The best way to stop the suffering is to not shoot a harpoon into the whale in the first place.

Without harpooning whales, the meat can not be obtained (with current technology, and it would most probably be cruel to obtain meat from whales without killing them first).

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You seem to be talking about your heroes at Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd

I don't recall Sea Shepherd ever claiming to be against violence.

You are arbitrary in which lives you think it is OK to kill, and in that respect are hypocritical

???

Where have I ever expressed the idea that it's OK to kill any lives??

Whaling isn't cruelty

You keep bleating this, but simply repeating it ad nauseum doesn't make it so. You've provided no explanation to back up your assertion. Humane slaughter involves rendering the animal unconscious before it is killed, and a quick, painless death. This does not happen with whales. They take at best minutes and at worst up to an hour to die, in full consciousness and very obvious pain. Time to death in many cases may be quicker now than it was fifty years ago, but even so how can you possibly consider what the whale goes through not to be cruelty?

The whale suffers. The best way to stop the suffering is to not shoot a harpoon into the whale in the first place. By insisting on your 'right' to eat whalemeat, you're stating that you think it's OK for the whale to suffer.

Moderator: Readers, you are still going around in circles. If you have nothing new to add to the discussion, then please move on.

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If you really think something is bad, or not nice, then you don't support it.

Not true. I don't think the killing of any life is nice. But life killing life is how life on Earth has developed and without it life would not exist. You are arbitrary in which lives you think it is OK to kill, and in that respect are hypocritical just like beef-eating anti-whalers.

Your argument is like saying you oppose violence, and trying to prove your point by punching anyone who disagrees with you.

??? You seem to be talking about your heroes at Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd who you constantly support. Fancy YOU calling ME a hypocrite.

I have neither tolerance nor respect, sweetie, for anyone who states that they think cruelty is OK.

Whaling isn't cruelty. It's the best way to kill a whale, so that humans can benefit. You are welcome to think otherwise, but you should accept that your view is no more or less than mine.

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HaroldSteptoe,

Japan has been hunting whales in the Antarctic since the 1930's, and even post-moratorium its been "hunting" for more than 2 decades.

When exactly are the effects of these boycott movements expected to be seen? Sometime after the whales that Japan hunts have gone extinct, perhaps?

the handful of old men with jaded palates who are happy to fill their bellies on unspeakable suffering.

This is just ridiclous on so many counts. More than a handful of people eat whale. They aren't all old. They aren't all men. And their motivations for eating whale are completely different to the disrespectful crap that cleo makes it out to be.

The vast majority of Japanese people alive today have never eaten whale and have no desire to do so.

Proof?

You may not agree with it, but then I don't agree with your arguments. That's the way it works in a world of tolerance and mutual respect, sweetie.

If you really thought it was not nice, you wouldn't support it.

? Strange logic. Perhaps I am wrong to think it is supposed to be logical. Well, at least it is strange (to me).

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Mike -

David is, emphatically, not a Japanophile. He's simply of a mind with the handful of old men with jaded palates who are happy to fill their bellies on unspeakable suffering. The vast majority of Japanese people alive today have never eaten whale and have no desire to do so.

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Very well said Mike. Anyone who has witnessed a video of these brutal 30 minute killings would condemn whaling, that is if they had any decency in my opinion.

Gawd, Japan is in recession and people are boycotting Japanese goods albeit on i small scale i grant you, but this could increase. Japan is destroying itself with this wicked practice.

Sea Shepherd is actually doing Japan and the world a favour by doing their best to stop the these magnificent animals being tortured to death.

I applaud those on Sea Shepherd and their bravery, and i deplore whalers and all those callous bleeders who support them.

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Mike,

I feel much much better about the lives that whales live than the lives that highly intelligent mammals such as farmed pigs have to lead, even if it means that of the less than 1 ~ 2 % of whales that do meet their death at the strike of a harpoon, in some exceptional cases some of the unlucky ones take a long time to finally die. This is not nice. But it does put much much more bacon on the table, and it doesn't involve a life time of suffering.

beastly Japanese thugs

???

you are such a Japanophile

???

Sea Shepherd and its supporters are doing what they believe is right and civilised.

That they may be. That does not mean what they are doing is right and civilised.

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davidattokyo- How good to feel inside knowing highly intelligent mammals will take up to 30 minuted to die an awful death?

Hope the Sea Shepherd halts the beastly Japanese thugs, who are looked upon with disgust by decent people.

davidattokyo-Dear, you are such a Japanophile you cannot see the facts. Sea Shepherd and its supporters are doing what they believe is right and civilised.

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Mods, thanks for pointing that out. Briefly in response to imacat's last comment I will again point out that his ostensible belief that I believe the Southern Ocean is the "backyard" of (any of) the nations he mentions is completely wrong. The Southern Ocean is international waters.

Good news for those who love freedom and justice - the Sea Shepherd nutters have lost the Japanese fleet (but it's probably not long before they find them again)

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Well, let's have a look at what davidattokyo actually said so everybody can judge for themselves:

I personally think some mid-point will need to be found, so that whalers and non-whalers can "agree to disagree". "Not in our backyard" seems to be a likely winner to my mind.

That's what he said. It's as clear as could be.

What he "personally thinks" is that a compromise is necessary... where the Japanese get out of what Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Australia abd New Zealand naturally consider to be their neck of the woods. In return the Ozzies etc drop objections to Japan's whaling in its own backyard.

It's quite a sensible suggestion and difficult to see why he is trying to squirm out of it now. Have courage in your convictions, man! If you think that a "not in my backyard" solution is the best way forward then I am sure many here agree with you.

Moderator: All readers, please stop sniping at each other and focus your comments on the story, not at or about each other. All you are doing now is going around in circles, rehashing tired old arguments. This takes the discussion nowhere. If you have nothing new to add, take a break so that other readers may contribute.

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imacat, your posting comments from me out of context as well as adding your own interpretation of them is a clear statement that you have conceeded that your entire argument against whaling in the international waters of the Antarctic is spurious. Thanks!

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dreamdrifter, imacat is just misattributing statements to me.

Once again (yet again) I don't believe that pulling out of Antarctic whaling would make sense for Japan, quite the contrary. Stopping it's research in the Antarctic would be to forfeit any future possibility of commercial whaling there, and also result in nutcase anti-whaling groups using the momentum gained to launch attacks on Japan's whaling in the North Pacific and EEZ instead.

If you go back through the message archives you'll also find imacat asserting that "culture" is the reason why Japan sends a whaling fleet to the Southern Ocean. He's either doing this to destroy discussion ... or otherwise he actually can't understand what people on the other side of an argument are saying. I give him some "credit" by assuming the former.

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imacat, you already agreed before that your statement about what I said is wrong, so why are you repeating it?

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Harsh words there imacat - maybe davidattokyo is just pointing out why Japan is justified in Antarctic whaling even though he thinks it isn't the best option for Japan - I do not see a contradiction here.

I'm against this bureaucracy-driven waste of tax money but it's also pretty clear that Australia doesn't have a leg to stand on.

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Militant environmental activists: The key word here is the first one. There are better and safer ways to protest. It is not as if the whalers are going to kill every whale in the world. I would think that as closely as they are being watched that the whalers would know their limits.

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davidattokyo, obviously so, but this is why so many are having a go at the Japanese whalers far more than Norway and Iceland. I don't really mind the Japanese whaling, but believe they should stick to their own coastal waters if the rest of the world views this as so offensive.

Actually, davidattokyo has stated quite clearly that the best way forward if for Japan to give up its Antarctic whaling. I have no idea why he has now gone back on that position and is wasting his time defending Japan's ridiculous Antarctic whaling... maybe he's one of those people who frequently change their opinions...

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Well done Sea Shepherd keep up the good work disrupting these barbarians.

OssanAmerica- Try looking impartially at matters. Japan is not right all the time you know, and most of the world agrees with me not you. Tee! Hee!

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The problem is not Japan hunting whales in international territory but >hunting whales in another countries territorial waters and that is >called poaching.

Garbage. If these waters were really Austraklian they would have acted to remove foreign fishing/whaling vessels already. That they haven't and won't is proof that even the Austalian govt itself is not confident in being able to enforce such jurisdiction.

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you're complaining about whaling because you are anti-animal eating is transparent.

Gimme a thread about the Japanese government subsidising abattoirs out of taxes, and I'll complain about that, too. But this is a thread about whaling. (The only kind you pop up on, so you probably have no idea what gets said on other threads.)

This sort of argumentation won't convince normal people

Yeah, that's why 'normal people' up and down the country are complaining about the wasting of tax revenues on unnecessary projects, especially at a time when the government is asking for permission to raise taxes still higher.

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YuriOtani, Japan has been hunting in the Antarctic waters (like other nations) since the 1930's.

Australia is signatory to the Antarctic Treaty under which it's territorial claims are frozen, and furthermore, them creating a "sanctuary" in those international waters under their domestic legislation in 1999 was nothing but cheap, irresponsible politics.

Japan's operations are completely in line with the IWC agreement and it's a blatant lie to suggest that they are poaching or doing anything else that is otherwise illegal.

cleo, the Japanese government funds all sorts of things which don't benefit you, you're complaining about whaling because you are anti-animal eating is transparent. This sort of argumentation won't convince normal people, but good luck repeating it all through the night anyway,

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Taxpayers fund it because it's inappropriate for it to not be publicly funded (sorry, this only makes sense if one accepts that the research programme which includes non-lethal research methods as well as lethal ones is indeed research

No, it only makes sense if one accepts that the government should be using public funds ie our taxes to fund research that benefits only a very small niche of the private sector. They might just as well subsidise research into the best kind of paint to use on the inside of clamshells. Actually that would be less of a niche market.

....And of course if one accepts that the whole 'research' thing is not a lie, which no one accepts if they're being honest.

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stener, give it a rest! They claim these waters like Japan claims the waters around our own islands. These islands have been under their control for hundreds of years. It is their privilege to regulate these waters. The Japanese coast guard routinely escorts out boats from other nations in our own economic zones. What is good for Japan should be good for the rest of the world. Drop the racists stuff; it is the last ploy of a losing argument. I just looked at their web page and noticed at least one Japanese person in the crew. The problem is not Japan hunting whales in international territory but hunting whales in another countries territorial waters and that is called poaching.

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Patrick,

if the rest of the world views this as so offensive.

Some nations make a fuss about it, but it's hardly the "rest of the world".

Sometime there is going to be a real tragedy.

We should pray that the nations with the ability to prevent such an illegal act from happening take actions while they have the chance.

If your research shows whales plentiful around Japan, take them from there.

Japan is taking whales in Japanese local waters, north pacific (international) waters, and southern ocean waters. They are taking plentiful species in each case. Taxpayers fund it because it's inappropriate for it to not be publicly funded (sorry, this only makes sense if one accepts that the research programme which includes non-lethal research methods as well as lethal ones is indeed research, and not a "lie" as the anti-whaling propaganda suggests).

It's not economically viable

So let's remove the commercial whaling moratorium and prove it.

it's doing nothing for international relations

International relations is a two-way street, and Japan's policy is quite normal. It has parallels with various other fisheries regimes concerning resources of the high seas. Why are whales special?

funding this because the Japanese will not be told what to do by white people

If stopping whaling did mean that Japanese were being told what to do by white people, should Japan therefore throw out what is a perfectly rational position, anyway? What for? To placate "white people"?

In any case, there's more to it than that. I know, I've got a stomach full of whale right now :)

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Nice references, stener. It would seem that Watson is a lunatic. In the meantime he uses verbiage such as "attack" to describe his activities. Guess we know what he thinks he is up to. Fortunately he doesn't have real weapons.

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Since Japan travels 10,000 kilometers that is too much. How many kilometers should be the limit then? Portugese fishermen fish in the Indian Ocean is that also too far away from their coastal waters? How about Norwegian whaling fleet which travles 5,000 kilometers?

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davidattokyo, obviously so, but this is why so many are having a go at the Japanese whalers far more than Norway and Iceland. I don't really mind the Japanese whaling, but believe they should stick to their own coastal waters if the rest of the world views this as so offensive.

Sometime there is going to be a real tragedy. It is possible that at some stage a missile is going to be illegally purchased and fired at a whaling vessel.

Norwegian and Icelanders hunt in international waters just like Japan. Japan is adhering to the principles of Agenda 21 and teh Rio declaration. Any country in the world have a right to harvest from international waters. Including Japan.

Australians do not have an argument. Apart from their whiny xenophibia which does not really belong in an international intellectual debate as no country in the world recognize Souithern Pacific Ocean as Australian. Australians reminds me of Russians. A time back Russians planted a Russian flag on the north pole. Their actions were ridiculed by the international community. Australians could do themselves a favour and stop claiming international waters as theirs if they want to be taken seriously by the international community. Why not also claim Jupiter and Pluto too. Kevin Rudd?

Sea Shepherd is a racist white supremacy imperialistic orgtanization who'se main objective is not to save whales but to stop Japan hunting an non endangered whale speicies in international waters. Most anti whaling fanatics are completely ignorant about whale spices which are truly endangered proving my point that anti whalers are not driven by the love of whales but the hate of whalers making them racist simpletons.

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Patrick, Australia can lay claim to the moon as well if it likes but that ain't stopping other folks heading there.

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Whaling is murder and you who support it are enablers of brutal criminals. Have you ever spent time with these wonderful creatures? No? Try it and see if you can condone killing them!

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Why is it that everyone want Japan to stop, but no one bats an eyelash about Iceland and Norway.

Maybe because this is Japan Today and not Iceland Today or Norway Today?

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Helly, there seems to be racism in it (see references to 1942 in SS propaganda) but the anti-whaling strategy is to "divide and conquer" by first hitting Japan and then turning on the smaller targets later. If Japan were to not buy their produce the Nordic nations would have less reason to hunt whales.

Of course after 2 decades the anti-whalers still haven't recognised that this strategy is a miserable failure, and not only are twice as many whales hunted now as compared to 20 years ago, international trade is also being re-established. More fool on those who keeping donating their cash to these campaigns.

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The whalers (being a political group with an axe to grind, not representing "Japanese" people as a whole, but bringing the good name of all Japanese into disrepute)) should fire Natto and Sho-chu bombs back, IMHO.

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Why is it that everyone want Japan to stop, but no one bats an eyelash about Iceland and Norway. They probably do twice a much.

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OssanAmerica,

Heh, actually Iceland and Norway are technically abiding by IWC rules, they just have a legal objection to the part of the IWC's schedule that says "there shall be no whale killing". But I do think Japan should follow the Nordic lead; reinstate it's objection to the silly parts of the IWC schedule which preclude the IWC from having any meaning as a management organization, and then proceed. They might consider continuing their research activities under the pretext of commercial whaling if it would make the anti-whalers happy, in addition to permitting normal sustainable commercial whaling.

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You know, I'd be far more inclined to support Japanese whaling if they'd >just call a spade a spade and say they're going out to catch themselves >some whale meat. It's all this lying and pretending and such which is on >the nose.

So do you believe that what Norway and Iceland does, simply not abiding by any IWC rules at all is a better alternative, and that Japan should follow suit?

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bobbafett, that is an interesting idea. One person suggested to me and some friends over a meal of whale that as the carcasses are supposed to be used to the extent possible under the IWC agreement, the blood from the whales taken in the research programme could be hosed at the SS hooligans instead of the water that they usually use (but the research whaling crew are probably not going to do that...)

techall, Yeah, but if the Japanese whalers are operating illegally they should be taken to court first. Australia hasn't and won't because it knows that Japan is right.

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Attacking commercial vessels operating legally in international waters (regardless of "self-declaration" of soverency) is piracy, pure and simple. Not any more rightous than the Somali pirates. If the Japanese whalers are operating illegally, economic sanctions should be put in place and strictly enforced.

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The whalers should launch inedible whale parts at the Sea Sheppard. That would break them. They would cry into their stink bombs.

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I support the Sea Shepard and condemn the Japanese whaling fleet. >Australia should send in some of their Armidale class patrol boats and >remove the Japanese from their waters. Give the captains some jail time >while sending the crews back to Japan in chains!

If you're done chest beating perhaps you can explain why the Australian govt has not only so far failed to do so but has shown no inclination to do so in the future.

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tclh,

Are you not aware that you may be physically injured if someone throws glass bottle 'stink bombs' at you?

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Why the harpoon vessel need to run away? If somebody throw a stink bomb into my ship, I will return 2 stink bombs. Come what may.

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correction: The ones that are hunted are either perfectly abundant, OR are recovering strongly (the rest that are not recovering, or recovering only weakly, are not being hunted in the first place, and that responsibility is shared by all nations that formerly hunted them).

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VoXman,

Once science caught up, the world was presented with the evidence of near extinction, so they all/mostly all agreed to stop the hunting.

It wasn't like that.

The remaining western nations that had been exploiting whales primarily for oil first sold their whaling fleets (and quotas) to the Japanese during the 1960s and 1970s as their whaling industries became more and more unviable.

Having sold their fleets and quotas to the Japanese, they then turned around and demanded that the remaining quotas be cut.

It was like throwing the Japanese an armed grenade, really.

But that's just politics. A nation with a whaling industry is always going to be more receptive to higher levels of exploitation than a nation without a whaling industry.

SO what's Japan's excuse? They know better

No "excuse" is requierd.

The whales that whaling nations are hunting today aren't over-exploited.

The ones that are hunted are either perfectly abundant, and the ones that aren't are recovering strongly (and a little hunting slows the recovery slightly, that is all).

The reasons for whaling quotas being cut back in the 1960's and 1970's are completely invalid today in 2008 (almost 2009). There is no good reason why whaling nations should be denied sustainable whaling quotas in this day and age.

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let's not forget that our American and European forefathers in the previous 200 years are the ones who brought whales to the brink of extinction. The last US whaling vessel was decommissioned in the 1920s. The proper jursdiction on the whaling issue remains to IWC and it is up to the IWC to close these so called "loopholes" if they deem it necessary. The Japanese whalers are complying with IWC rules. Why is it that there is no furor against the IWC to amend the rules? Too much common sense?

Off topic we are talking about Japan, any reference to other countries is immaterial. Science in the 19th century had no real way of tracking whales. Once science caught up, the world was presented with the evidence of near extinction, so they all/mostly all agreed to stop the hunting. SO what's Japan's excuse? They know better, at least 19th century fishermen didn't.

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donkusai,

Changing the IWC agreement itself is not a matter of votes. Unless all parties to the agreement agree to change the agreement, the agreement does not change. The fact is that the IWC agreement stands, and if nations like Australia don't like it then it's up to them to remove themselves from the agreement - not whinge and moan like babies to Japan about it.

It's all this lying and pretending and such which is on the nose

Belief (through ignorance?), and reality, are entirely different things.

Ranger Miffy,

In any case research that is performed independently of the whaling industry is required. That's why the Japanese government is funding it, it removes industry incentives to create bogus research results. Once Japan permits commercial whaling to resume, you should fully expect that the government will continue to organize research programmes independently of the commercial whaling activities.

Prediction was that it would sink because there isn't enough interest in eating whale meat.

Again belief and reality are entirely different things, and interestingly the commercial whalers (in Iceland and Norway) see enough of a market opportunity in Japan to want to recommence exports. The people denying the market viability on the other hand just happen to be the types of people that are against eating whales. My what a coincidence?

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Best idea I've seen so far would be to remove Japanese government support for the whalers and let that market sink or swim on its own. Prediction was that it would sink because there isn't enough interest in eating whale meat.

Then the whalers would finally get their ethics and economics together and get into Whale Tours. If they are only into this for the money, that's the answer. The rest of the controversy is just too mired and problematic to make any progress.

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Sighs the western navies do not want to go after real pirates. Why would they go after a group of whale lovers trying to stop a Japanese Whaling fleet from breaking the law? hmmm perhaps some rotten naito bombs? Australia is a EU like country. They are all talk and take no action. They are like a group of homeowners making statements while their houses are being robbed! Lets debate and pass the 100th resolution against robbing houses and make another statement warning burger people not to do such. I support the Sea Shepard and condemn the Japanese whaling fleet. Australia should send in some of their Armidale class patrol boats and remove the Japanese from their waters. Give the captains some jail time while sending the crews back to Japan in chains! They would look nice in orange jumpsuits. Something needs to be done and the Japanese Government is supporting these killers. The whale meat is not needed to feed Japan. This needs to stop as soon as possible! I support Japan most of the time but not on this issue.

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Why is it that there is no furor against the IWC to amend the rules? Too much common sense?

No, just too much money going into too many pockets. Enough to vote down the other side, but not enough to get the 60% or more needed to get something through. The word "dysfunctional" comes to mind.

You know, I'd be far more inclined to support Japanese whaling if they'd just call a spade a spade and say they're going out to catch themselves some whale meat. It's all this lying and pretending and such which is on the nose. I'd love to see them put a bumper sticker on one of their boats that reads "whale-killer and proud of it", or "honk if you're hungry... for whale!"

And while we're at it, perhaps Sea Shepherd can get one that reads "sure we're a militant, aggressive organisation, but we love whales".

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Australia either needs to enforce is claim that this "sanctuary" is Austalian territory subject to Australian jurisdiction, OR arrest these Sea Sheperd members for vigilantism within Austalian jurisdicton, OR arrest them for acts of piracy and terrorism on the high seas. Austalia continues to play a half-baked position which perpetuates this issue. As for those who support unlawful acts of violence perhaps you will one day be a victim of a crime and understand then how wrong your thinking has been. And for those who call for a "boycott: of Japanese electronic goods, one they are now made in China and elsewhere and two, there is already a boycott in form of a global recession enough to force them into closings, layoffs and mergers. And for those whale worshippers, let's not forget that our American and European forefathers in the previous 200 years are the ones who brought whales to the brink of extinction. The last US whaling vessel was decommissioned in the 1920s. The proper jursdiction on the whaling issue remains to IWC and it is up to the IWC to close these so called "loopholes" if they deem it necessary. The Japanese whalers are complying with IWC rules. Why is it that there is no furor against the IWC to amend the rules? Too much common sense?

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Go Steve Irwin! GO YOU GOOD THING!

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The Sea Shepherd seems to be a kind of destroyer and Paul Watson seems to be a kind of dictator. He loves destroying whatever he doesn't like. He doesn't seem to be a pacifist at least because of his radical actions. Why doesn't he try to change IWC law in legal way? If anyone supports Paul Watson's radical actions, then your nature loves belligerence.

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Go get 'em guys !

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The Australian Navy, poor as it may be, should just go out and either capture or send away the Japanese ships, giving the sailors on board jail terms. If it's a sanctuary, then the Japanese are breaking the law by whaling there, even if it's a self-declared sanctuary.

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Thank God at least one country is doing something about it.

Two countries, Humphreybear. Iceland is also whaling.

We should also acknowledge the sacred efforts of the native Americans, who are also allowed to hunt whales as a part of their traditional culture. A culture the white man once tried to exterminate.

Last, but not least, the efforts of the United States Navy and its "active sonar." They're not killing the whales outright, just trying to drive them crazy. To what ends, I do not know. Maybe the whales are supposed to go crazy, then swim to the bottom of the sea and drown. Or perhaps it is part of an ingenious plot to get the whales to turn on their protectors and attack Sea Shepard. If they did, they'd be showing more respect for the law than the Australian Navy or the wack-jobs at Sea Shepherd.

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The world needs a modern-day Captain Nemo in charge of a Nautilus! No 'rotten butter bombs... just one torpedo to rid the oceans of the barbaric whale killers. And if we can't fight them in the oceans, then we'll fight them on land with an international boycott of all Japanese products world-wide, as suggested above.

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Did anybody watch Whale Wars on Animal Planet?Ironically though its in favor of Sea Shepherd it ends up making them look really bad.The last episode where the captain supposedly gets shot but his badge saves him was laughable.Its obviously faked.Not to mention allthe screwups along the way.

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Prepare to repel pirate action with force. You may fire in self-defence. Good shooting.

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Wow, the J fishery department can scout for good spin doctor from JT readers :)

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That's right - overcrowding of the world's oceans due to the rampant whale population is one of the most pressing issues facing the planet. Thank God at least one country is doing something about it.

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There was a big rumpus last season when Australia published a photo of a sow and calf being dragged onto the butcher ship.

Would that be whale veal? Does it come in marbled and non-marbled varieties? Is that kosher according to rules?

The Japanese responded that it was OK because they weren't mother and child.

Like I said, those callous carnivorous predators are completely ruining the image of the Japanese.

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Sea Shepherd, the white version of the Somali pirates.

Sea Shepherd claims to have sunk ten whaling ships since 1979, referring to these ships as "pirates".[21] The claimed attacks include:

* 1979 – the whaler Sierra rammed and sunk in Portugal; * 1980 – the whalers Isba I and Isba II sunk in Vigo, Spain; * 1980 – the whalers Susan and Theresa sunk in South Africa; * 1986 – the whaling ships Hvalur 6 and Hvalur 7 sunk in Iceland; * 1992 – the whaler Nybraena sunk in Norway; * 1994 – the whaler Senet sunk in Norway; * 1998 – the whaler Morild sunk in Norway.

The Self Defense Forces should be guarding the whaling fleet instead of sticking its nose out supporting the Iraq war.

Meat eaters - you're all supporters of the murder industry -like it or not- even if you refuse to support whale research.

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Sounds like the whaling ships might need Indian Navy protection...just relabel the Sea Shepherd as a pirate vessels, and let nature take its course.

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They are not killing the sows and calves are they?

There was a big rumpus last season when Australia published a photo of a sow and calf being dragged onto the butcher ship. The Japanese responded that it was OK because they weren't mother and child.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article3325580.ece

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What makes these whales so special? The near extintions were averted long ago.

The choice of target is simply bizarre. Why a special beef with whalers? They are not killing the sows and calves are they? Maybe its because these butchers are extra cruel with their slow killing methods on their mobile abattoirs? Well, we can't accuse the protestors of being chicken. They are taking quite a risk in attacking those turkeys at sea. But rather than small ships, I think they should put a ram on the big ship. Maybe there is too much at steak with such a ham-fisted approach?

Not that I have an iota of sympathy for people who abuse loop-holes in the rules. Scientific research my lily white....I wonder if they have any idea how much they mar the image of the Japanese with that hogwash.

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Whaling is the bribery business of the Fisheries Agency, a subordinate organization of the ministry of agriculture. The bureaucrats of them gain much profits by whaling.

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There is a strict IWC law. Law is everything for all people. Japanese whalers actions are NOT against the Law. They are just following it, as long as I checked carefully. So I think any kinds of army forces can't be involved. All we can do is to change the IWC law, otherwise their radical actions seems to be very bad outlaw.

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"rotten butter bombs"

I'll betcha the U.S. military would be interested in some of those.

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A ban on the importing of all Japanese brand electronic goods and picketing of retailers in cities around the world might get the message across to even the Japanese government.

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Poor whales.

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the Japanese fleet, which had stopped whaling and was “on the run”

That's all it needs. Just stop them killing. No need to attack.

Remember to take lots of videos, especially when the whalers start firing at you.

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Good luck to Sea Shepherd!

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Ooooh SEa Shepherd please stop the beastly whalers.

I wish the Australian navy would board the whaling processing ships, take off the men operating this "business" and blow the ships out of the water.

Whalers, i hate you all, your evil killing makes me cry!!!

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