New video of Sea Shepherd 'pirates'
Wed, 27 Feb 2013 9:41a.m.
The conflict between Japanese whalers and the Sea Shepherd anti-whaling fleet continues to escalate in the Southern Ocean, with reports of further confrontation coming to light.
The Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR), the Japanese entity behind the Nisshin Maru and Yushin Maru whaling vessels, says the Sea Shepherd fleet launched an ‘attack’ on both ships on Monday night.
In a media release, the ICR claims that Sea Shepherd used three inflatable boats get close to the Yushin Maru, before trying to tangle their rudder and propeller with wire rope.
According to the Japanese, the protesters then focused on the Nisshin Maru - using the inflatable boats to get close enough to plug the draining outlets on the ship’s hull.
The ships responded by firing a water pump at the activists and broadcasting a warning message asking them to stop, the ICR says.
Sea Shepherd is yet to produce their version of events.
The alleged action comes only days after dramatic video footage emerged of a Sea Shepherd vessel and the Nisshin Maru colliding in the Southern Ocean.
Both sides claim to be in the right over the clash, where the smaller Sea Shepherd ship rammed the larger Nisshan Maru.
US Court: Sea Shepherd ‘modern-day pirates without eye patches’
Sea Shepherd’s actions have been condemned by a US federal appeals court which released its decision on the Antarctic confrontation yesterday.
In the decision, chief judge Alex Kozinski slams Sea Shepherd as “modern-day pirates” who are “disingenuous” and “destructive”.
“You don’t need a peg leg or an eye patch,” he says.
“When you ram ships; hurl glass containers of acid; drag metal-reinforced ropes in the water to damage propellers and rudders; launch smoke bombs and flares with hooks; and point high-powered lasers at other ships, you are, without a doubt, a pirate, no matter how high-minded you believe your purpose to be.”
The Japanese fleet is seeking a permanent ban on Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherd organization he founded from disrupting the annual whale hunt in the waters off Antarctica.
The Sea Shepherd's efforts are the subject of the television show Whale Wars.
In December, the same court ordered the organisation to keep its ships at least 500 yards (457 metres) from Japanese whalers. The whalers have since accused the protesters of violating that order at least twice this month.
But Watson and his lawyers contend US courts don't have jurisdiction in the Southern Ocean.
In a column published in the Guardian last week, Mr Watson said that his organisation was not subject to US law.
“The Japanese whalers, however, mistakenly thought that the US courts could exercise jurisdiction over Dutch and Australian-flagged and owned vessels,” he wrote.
“They are also in contempt of an Australian federal court ruling from 2008 that specifically forbade them from killing whales in the waters of the Australian Antarctic territory.”
The US faction of the activist group halted all anti-whaling action after the court ruling in December, Mr Watson says.
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1/03/2013 4:22:28 a.m.
Dr Ray Gambell, former head of International Whaling Commission, the commission whose treaty banned commercial whaling: I have to say at the outset that Japan is not doing anything illegal by catching the whales that it does and it is acting legally within the terms of the Convention that we operate. One of the things that we are working on at the present time is inspection and international observer programmes that will have oversight of any whaling which is under IWC control, to make sure that all regulations are followed covering areas such as size and species.
1/03/2013 2:38:24 a.m.
The US can call Sea Shepherd what they like, they have no jurisdiction in the Southern Ocean.
The Australian Government DOES have jurisdiction and stands idly by. Sea Shepherd is doing what the Australian Navy ought to be doing
28/02/2013 7:40:11 p.m.
Damn that looks fun! Good Job Sea Shepherd!
28/02/2013 7:37:42 p.m.
thefreedictionary.com says: piracy is "robbery committed at sea". Who's robbing who of what here??? The judge doesn't need a fool's cap or clown's nose, he must be both. When you paint "research" on your whaling fleet and kill 1000s of protected species year after year in a recognised marine sanctuary, and then attempt to sell their meat on the market, you are without a doubt a poacher, not a scientist, however clever you believe your legal loophole is! A poacher is the same as a robber and at sea - a pirate. Sea Shepherd may fly a version of Jolly Roger, but the real pirates are the Japanese. Whatever the Sea Shepherd do, they always stress they are not there to hurt anyone, only impede, and it is all on video, in 5 seasons of the U.S. own Animal Planet's Whale Wars.
The Japanese have claimed the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary to themselves, do as they please, kill whatever they want as many as they want, and who is there to stop them, but the "god damn sea hippies" that volunteer to save another species with a big brain from painful slaughter, who can navigate ships among icebergs and fly helicopters. Also, I believe, the food is mostly vegan, so I bet they and their ship smell much nicer than some.
28/02/2013 6:30:07 p.m.
Neil Cameron wrote:
This is piracy and vigilantism. Sea Shepherd are not authorised or officially sanctioned to police international waters. They do not operate under any mandate whatsoever to impose or enforce any international law. They are not a court of law and so are not authorized to pass judgement on matters of law.
They are permitted an opinion, but their opinion is not and cannot be allowed to become the authority on the high seas.
If the world is lacking in courts or police forces with jurisdiction over the actions of people on the high seas then Sea Shepherd would be providing a better service to the planet by campaigning for & raising awareness and funding for the development of appropriate courts and policing.
Going it alone, passing judgement over and harassing or interrupting others under a mandate of their own making is no more than international vigilantism.
They discredit the noble and good actions & motivations of people who want to see appropriately managed human activities in international waters.
Most remarkable is the level of restraint of the whaling nations. Legitimate, authorized navies from numerous nations are policing and sinking the vessels of the pirates off the horn of Africa in defense of their shipping cargo.
Sea Shepherd needs to wake up and realize that if the law and its policing is inadequate, it is the law & its policing which needs to change, so as to facilitate an appropriate response.
I don't accept a free for all of kangaroo courts and vigilante gangs in the global society of which I am a part.
28/02/2013 4:07:39 p.m.
god damn sea hippies i bet that the bob barker ship smells worse than the whale ship i hope they all sink or go to jail
28/02/2013 4:41:16 a.m.
don post wrote:
you get what you pay for, its all about money u.s. japan all countries we all know you can buy what's for sale
27/02/2013 10:30:43 p.m.
The US courts are not claiming jurisdiction over international waters; they are recognising that Sea Shepherd's actions constitute piracy. Piracy is illegal wherever it is committed on Earth because it is jus cogens.
27/02/2013 7:26:41 p.m.
Last I checked American courts ruled that corporations are people too - now fancy that!
27/02/2013 5:51:51 p.m.
This kind of stuff has been getting progessively worse each year, and it seems almost inevitable that this will only end with the sinking of one or more vessels in freezing waters, and possible loss of life.
While I understand the reluctance of NZ and Aus governments to get involved in Japan's obvious abuse of what can only be an intentionally created loophole in terms of 'scientific research', duty of care must start entering the picture while aggression continues to escalate.
Sure the US courts can sing and dance about how much they disagree with Sea Shepard, but how understanding do you suppose the US government will be when the lives of US citizens are lost because Aus/NZ 'didnt want to get involved'.
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