Sea Shepherd

7 Feb

Do you know the group called “Sea Shepherd“?
They are an American anti-whaling group. Their leader and founder is Paul Watson. He has become infamous in Japan.

Unlike the group “Greenpeace” who protest and petition groups and laws that they’re against, Sea Shepherd actively follows and attacks whaling vessels.

It is often said that Japan, Iceland and Norway are the only countries that practice whaling in modern times. But in smaller numbers, Inuit Eskimos in Canada hunt whales, as do some islands in the Caribbean, Greenland, Indonesia, The Netherlands, Russia, and Alaskan Eskimos in the United States.

Even though these countries hunt whales legally with permission the International Whaling Commission (IWC), the Sea Shepherd group follows whaling fleets with the intention of disrupting them in an attempt to end whale hunting.

Japanese whalers, in particular, are targeted mainly because they get past the international ban on commercial whaling by conducting whaling for “scientific research” purposes (with the extra meat being sold to restaurants and supermarkets), (Norway and Iceland simply ignore the commercial whaling ban), and because Japan hunts more whales than other countries.

Personally, I think 鯨肉 (whale meat) is tasty.

鯨肉 (whale meat)

鯨肉 (whale meat)

But, like most people in Japan, I don’t eat it often. And I have heard that there are an over-abundance of whales in the world’s oceans…but I’ve also heard that they’re close to extinct. I have no idea which statement is accurate. But if whales are almost extinct, then I certainly support an end to whaling.

But I don’t support the Sea Shepherd group. They’re actions at sea are dangerous and put human lives (both whalers’ and their own crews’) at risk.

It was reported today that the Sea Shepherd‘s flagship, the “Steve Irwin“, rammed Japanese whaling vessels last Thursday in their attempt to disrupt their hunt.

The "Sea Shepherd" rammed the "Yushin-maru".

The "Sea Shepherd" rammed the "Yushin-maru".

Whales are beautiful creatures and people in most countries could never imagine eating one…but that alone doesn’t mean they can’t be eaten by anyone.
As I said above, I’m not sure whether whaling should be stopped or not…but I am sure that the Sea Shepherd‘s dangerous actions should stop. Greenpeace has better tactics…getting the laws changed.

Advertisements

243 Responses to “Sea Shepherd”

  1. MeesterBob January 16, 2014 at 7:22 am #

    Hey there, Tokyo,

    Just letting you know I am a huge supporter of Conservationism (which is way different than Preservationism), and wholeheartedly agree with your blog post.

    An interesting note, the old captain of the Sea Shepherd has been forced into hiding. Interpol has released a “Red Note” (arrest on site) warrant for him after he attacked some legitimate shark fishermen in Costa Rica. There is a fine line between activism and piracy, at least in this case, and it appears he has crossed that line.

    It may be interesting to note that in the aforementioned “Whale Wars”, the Japaneese vessels are presented as illegally hunting endangered species. How refreshing it is to hear from the other side of the pond!

    I’m following this blog. Well done.

    Like

    • tokyo5 January 16, 2014 at 7:53 am #

      Thank you.
      Please feel free to leave comments anytime!

      Like

  2. Achmad Fadil (@AchmadFadil41) October 31, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    whoa. nothing then. i am sorry for being not clear.

    thank you

    Like

    • tokyo5 October 31, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

      No need to apologize. I always appreciate anytime anyone comments on my blog!

      Your list of words is long, though. And they all have, I believe, pretty standard definitions that everyone would agree on.

      Unless I misunderstand what you mean.

      Like

  3. Achmad Fadil October 25, 2012 at 11:39 pm #

    And….. sorry, i want to ask you one more thing.

    How would you describe
    -activism
    -piracy
    -research
    -illegal and legal
    -life
    -ecosystem
    -trust
    -strategy
    -warrior
    -profit
    -quota
    -above law
    -whatever you want to add.
    -and the last thing is Sea Shepherd and ICR,

    those things have connection with what you write.

    Thank you.

    Like

    • tokyo5 October 26, 2012 at 1:55 am #

      Why are you asking for my definition of all those words?

      How would you describe them?

      Like

  4. Achmad Fadil October 25, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    Thanks for your answer.

    Like

    • tokyo5 October 26, 2012 at 1:52 am #

      Certainly.
      I appreciate every comment my blog gets… and I reply to all.

      Like

  5. Achmad Fadil October 25, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    My first question is, do you think that after some years of conflicts with the sea shepherd, the whalers is becoming more and more organized in getting rid of the sea shepherd?
    Example: when the mv Bob Barker was tailing the Nisshin Maru, the harpoon vessel started to circle the Bob Barker and that act results in the collision of Bob Barker and one of the harpoon vessel.

    second, do you think that an accidental arms race had took place between the whalers and the sea shepherd?
    Examples: When the whalers installed some water canons. the sea shepherd also installed water canon at the year after that, and also for spikes around the vessel and sound speakers.

    last question, do you think that the whalers are becoming more and more law prove.
    Examples: when the Mv Steve Irwin rams one of the Yushin maru. polices and customs were waiting for them at hobart. but, when the Shonan Maru II rams the MY Ady Gil, making the rammed vessel becoming useless. there were no action from government of Japan or the international forum.

    i would like your opinion about those things above.
    thank you very much and sorry for some miss spelled words.
    (please answer as soon as possible)

    Like

    • tokyo5 October 25, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

      Are you asking if I think that Japanese whalers have become better at avoiding Sea Shepherd, if the whalers and Sea Shepherd are getting more and more weapons to use against each other, and if the whalers are “above the law”?

      Well … I’m no expert on this. Your opinion is as valid as mine.

      But, if I had to speculate … the first two sound likely but I don’t think the whalers are “above the law”. What they do is legal and supported by the law. It’s Sea Shepherd that, in my opinion, seem to think that they’re “above the law”.

      Like

  6. Anonymous October 7, 2012 at 3:04 am #

    tem que por fim nas caças às baleias os “Shea Shepherd ” estão mais do que certos. Eu apoio eles, e se for preciso eles tem que usar táticas melhores, essas são muito simples. E os japoneses sabem que estão errados, mas não estão dando a mínima pra isso.A gora, as únicas vidas que eu me preocupo é dos tripulantes do Shea Shepherd e das baleias. Os tripulantes do “Yushin-maru” eu não estou nem dando bola, por mim eles podem morrer.

    Like

    • tokyo5 October 7, 2012 at 3:16 am #

      Sorry … unless you write in either English or Japanese I won’t be able to understand your comment.

      Could you translate your comment to one of those two languages?

      Like

  7. Achmad Fadil January 22, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    ehm……..
    yes, i do ask “from the beginning”

    okay. so the conclusion is that, the Japanese are allowed to hunt whales in Japanese territory, under the name of “scientific research”, and then they can sell the byproduct commercially to restaurant.

    then how if Japanese is whaling outside of the Japanese territory.

    and is research need hundreds of whale (is it not too much)?
    Thanks. 🙂

    Like

    • tokyo5 January 22, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

      >the Japanese are allowed to hunt whales in Japanese territory,…how if Japanese is whaling outside of the Japanese territory.

      They’re allowed to whale in international waters, too.

      >is research need hundreds of whale (is it not too much)?

      I’m not able to say how much or how little research is required. I have no idea.

      Like

  8. Achmad Fadil January 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    >Japan used to be a poor country and there was no refrigeration or means of efficient shipping like we have today, so food couldn’t be stored or transport easily like it can now…so one huge animal that could be shared by many people was the most effective method to feed people back then.

    Sorry but,
    it was back then right?
    now japan is one of the developed country in the world, so that it is not like in undeveloped where you can still find an area that still very poor.

    so it is not a very precise reason to me?
    sorry if i have used wrong word.

    Like

    • tokyo5 January 21, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

      >it was back then right?…so it is not a very precise reason to me

      But you did ask me why Japanese hunted whales “…from the beginning”, so assumed you wanted to know why whale-hunting began here.

      If you’re asking why Japan continues to hunt whales—officially it’s for “scientific research”.
      Some people doubt that that claim is true…I believe research is conducted from Japan’s whaling but I also admit that the commercial reasons (selling the meat to markets and restaurants) are at least as important to the whaling industry.

      Like

  9. Achmad Fadil January 19, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    this time i want to ask
    Why the Japanese are hunting whale from the beginning?
    if they want to eat whale, there is still many animals to eat other than whale?

    Like

    • tokyo5 January 20, 2012 at 12:06 am #

      >Why the Japanese are hunting whale from the beginning?

      Japan began whaling centuries ago, I believe, for similar reasons that other “whaling countries” did…whales are very large animals, so one whale can feed many people.
      Japan used to be a poor country and there was no refrigeration or means of efficient shipping like we have today, so food couldn’t be stored or transport easily like it can now…so one huge animal that could be shared by many people was the most effective method to feed people back then.

      >if they want to eat whale, there is still many animals to eat other than whale

      Well, these days most people, in fact, don’t eat whale often, if at all. People who live in “whaling towns” eat whale more often than other people do, to help support the local whalers.

      Like

  10. Achmad Fadil January 16, 2012 at 11:20 pm #

    don’t you dare to say that i use a lot of “i think” that i do not know for sure!
    and after i see your post, it’s look like that you are an ARROGANT people, you know.
    oh yeah. by the way. i am from Indonesia so that i am sorry for being rude to you, because sometimes, if i remember japan, i remember your occupation over us.
    we have this maxim from Bangkanese language.
    Men Nek Yo Men Nggak Sudeh!
    Thanks.

    Like

    • tokyo5 January 16, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

      >don’t you dare to say that i use a lot of “i think” that i do not know for sure!

      I didn’t say that. Just I disagree with you.

      >it’s look like that you are an ARROGANT people

      I hope I don’t seem arrogant. I’m willing to admit that I’m wrong when I’m proven so.

      >i am sorry for being rude to you

      I didn’t think you were being rude at all.

      >this maxim from Bangkanese language.

      What does it mean?

      Like

      • Achmad Fadil January 16, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

        oh, haha. yeah.
        firstly, after calming myself and thinking for a while i am taking some of my words back. sometimes i can just carried out by my emotion. so that i can talk like mad.
        and also about the Japan-Indonesia thing, i am not really serious after all. and you are not a very bad person after all.
        i am sorry
        and thank you for your respond.
        (maybe sometimes you can visit Indonesia, it is not very far after all)

        Like

      • tokyo5 January 17, 2012 at 12:19 am #

        >i am sorry

        No problem. Thanks.
        And I’m sorry if there was some confusion in any of my comments.

        Like

  11. Achmad Fadil January 16, 2012 at 11:06 pm #

    and also that it is not good to letting one species to extinct. because it is like that, if god never create mosquitoes, there will be no malaria, and we know that if we have malaria, we can die.
    if there is no malaria. the world might be already overpopulated by now?
    you know what i mean right.

    Like

    • tokyo5 January 16, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

      >it is not good to letting one species to extinct

      Of course not. As I’ve written a few times in comments on this post- – -no one wants whales, or any other animal, to become extinct. The whalers are permitted to hunt whales because scientists have determined that they are not endangered.

      >if god never create mosquitoes, there will be no malaria…(and) the world might be already overpopulated

      I’ve never heard anyone argue in favor of mosquitoes before!
      Once again I understand the point you’re going for—in this case, I believe you’re saying that every species of plant and animal is important for earth’s eco-balance.

      But, if I may nit-pick, I have a few issues with your example. Firstly, I personally don’t believe a “god” created mosquitoes or anything else…but, I’ll admit, that’s moot.
      Next, malaria isn’t keeping the human population in check. Many diseases have been controlled (and many, cured) by man. Regardless of mosquitoes.

      So, even though I agree with your point in general…I disagree about mosquitoes. That particular insect could be completely wiped out with no dire consequences for other species…I think.
      Cockroaches, on the other hand, are repulsive but necessary to help keep the world’s waste and garbage under control.

      Anyways, to bring this back to the relevant subject—the IWC has nointention of allowing any whale species to become extinct.

      Like

  12. Achmad Fadil January 16, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

    actually i don’t really know what i am talking about.
    but i think everyone’s view on this article is different.
    let say for example:
    i have seen that the sea shepherd are using ropes to disable the harpoon ship, but the japanese side think that this is illegal.
    but on the other side (sea shepherd)
    i have seen on the TV that the whaling ship is pointing their LRAD to the helicopter, and the conservationist think that this is very irresponsible.

    so that i think. it is not a right decision to blame them???

    Like

    • tokyo5 January 16, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

      >the whaling ship is pointing their LRAD to the helicopter, and the conservationist think that this is very irresponsible.

      I understand the point you’re trying to make, but…the Japanese whalers are legally allowed to hunt whale—and the Sea Shepherd group are in the wrong for harassing and endangering them.

      Like

  13. Ville Frisk September 12, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    Thing is, Sea Shepherd do so much more than ram whalers in the Southern Ocean, no matter what you think about that. Take for example their patrolling of the Mediterranean after the fishing season for bluefin tuna (one of our most endangered fishes according to pretty much any scientist who isn’t japanese, and an incredibly important top-of-the-food-chain predator at that), where they (and others) constantly come upon poachers fishing for bluefin even after they’re not allowed — because bluefin, no matter how endangered, is the most valuable fish in the world. Value trumps sustainable quantities in international waters. And all of the countries governing the local seas there are too afraid to upset the fishermen or just look the other way instead of enforcing the rules set by themselves and the EU. So who does something about it? Sea Shepherd. (And a bunch of others, equally honorable.)

    The same thing can be said for the Galapagos, with one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world, that place has been sure to attract illegal fishermen, illegal shark finning and what not for years now. When the government don’t have the resources to deal with poachers, and other countries don’t care to help, Sea Shepherd have been there to cut longlines and chase illegal fishermen out of Galapagos waters. There’s obviously no one else protecting the place, so from someone wishing to one day go and visit maybe the best dive location in the world before there’s no fish left, I’m thankful for the work Sea Shepherd does around there. Nowadays they even have a co-operation with the Galapagos government.

    I truly agree that many of their actions are questionable and I’ve stopped supporting them financially a while back, but even if they often come across as idiots they do very important work in the worlds oceans. Say what you want about vigilante business but since very few fishing countries care about the rules they together have put up to protect the oceans, someone has to enforce them. Sea Shepherd somehow manage to do it the wrong way lots of times, but for the few times they actually get it right and manage to protect our oceans from the idiocy of humans, I am thankful.

    Like

    • tokyo5 September 12, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

      This comment is one of the most well-written, intelligently presented arguments supporting Sea Shepherd that I’ve ever heard.

      >Sea Shepherd somehow manage to do it the wrong way lots of times, but for the few times they actually get it right… I am thankful.

      You nearly changed my opinion of that group!

      Like

  14. Ville Frisk August 3, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

    It’s true that the Japanese do research on the whales they catch, considering that’s the only clause in the 1986 international moratorium on commercial whaling that will allow them to continue catch whales each year. Although, when the ICR (Institute of Cetacean Research) are catching (or at least are allowed to catch) upwards of 1,000 whales of different species each year, one might ask how come there aren’t a whole lot more research papers being published by the ICR who owns the whaling fleet that Sea Shepherd keeps fighting in the Southern Ocean. Take a look: http://www.icrwhale.org/NewPublication.htm

    There are a quite few papers on that horribly designed and difficult-to-navigate site, but not nearly enough to justify killing hundreds and hundreds of whales. One might also ask how come all the research has to be lethal for the whales, when there’s usually a lot more to learn from an animal when observing it’s behavior migrating across it’s natural habitat?

    Sea Shepherd is fighting the Japanese whaling fleet in the Antarctic ocean because the ICR, for obvious reasons, do not seem to be conducting that much research at all. Commercial whaling was banned everywhere since many hunted species were endangered at the time, and since we still don’t have sufficient scientific data to re-open the oceans to commercial whaling, the moratorium — which should have been in place for only 10 years — is still active. Ironically, isn’t this the kind of data the ICR should be collecting and publishing for their own good, rather than random papers about the biology of whales?

    I do support Sea Shepherd, but I do not support recklessness, like ramming, at sea. Especially with inexperienced volunteers aboard. The Ady Gil incident however was in my opinion largely the fault of the Japanese. For example, a larger ship should always steer away from a smaller ship on the sea. Of course the Ady Gil was harassing the whaling fleet but videos from the incident show that the skipper of the Japanese ship would’ve had plenty of time to change course but didn’t.

    There are also other suspicious things surrounding the Japanese whaling; why do they for example sell the whale meat labelled without species (try to remember when you last bought a fish that didn’t explicitly carry the species on the sticker) or even label it as something entirely different? (Google “whale meat labelling/labelled”.) That, if anything, clearly suggests that they’ve been catching more than the market wants/needs. I’m not saying that it’s actually the ICR that are changing the label to something different (it might be the stores changing it if whale meat is difficult to sell in some areas) but it does indeed make the whole arrangement seem a bit fishy.

    Also, last year (I know this blog entry and many comments were written before that) Japan was accused of vote-buying in the IWC from smaller countries with no actual interest in the whaling industry (why are they in the IWC at all?). Conducting scientific research for the benefit of all and buying votes doesn’t really mix.

    Like

    • tokyo5 August 3, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

      >how come there aren’t a whole lot more research papers being published

      I have no idea how much research is necessary for a complete work to be published.

      >Sea Shepherd is fighting the Japanese whaling fleet in the Antarctic ocean because the ICR, for obvious reasons, do not seem to be conducting that much research at all.

      I don’t think that either you nor I are qualified to judge how efficiently marine researchers work. Neither is the Sea Shepherd group.

      >I do support Sea Shepherd, but I do not support recklessness, like ramming, at sea.

      I don’t see how anyone would support a ship ramming into another.
      I also don’t understand how anyone could support that vigilante group at all.

      >The Ady Gil incident however was in my opinion largely the fault of the Japanese.

      As you said, that’s your opinion. I don’t agree.

      >a larger ship should always steer away from a smaller ship on the sea

      Have you ever been at sea? Just as a large truck on the road doesn’t have the steering or braking speed of a smaller vehicle, a large ship can’t maneuver at sea as quickly as a small boat can.

      The smaller boat should move away from the large ship…especially when it was the small boat that moved into a collision coarse with the ship in the first place!

      >videos from the incident show that the skipper of the Japanese ship would’ve had plenty of time to change course but didn’t.

      Just as the HMS Titanic couldn’t have avoided that iceberg on that fatal day, the whaling vessel couldn’t have avoided hitting that boat.

      >why do they for example sell the whale meat labelled without species

      I don’t know what you mean. I always see whale meat in the supermarkets labeled with the type of whale it came from.

      >Japan was accused of vote-buying

      Yes. It seems that was done.

      Like

  15. Jitul Sonowal July 3, 2011 at 12:35 am #

    Good Work Sea-Shepherd…….I don’t think Japanese are doing any research on Whales. keeling of any animal on research,it’s not fair or true. U should kill the Japanese Whale hunters….or Explode the Ships ( Yushin-maru ) using on it .keep it up Sea-Shepherd………

    Like

    • tokyo5 July 3, 2011 at 12:48 am #

      >I don’t think Japanese are doing any research on Whales…it’s not fair or true.

      You “think” but you don’t “know” for sure.

      >U should kill the Japanese Whale hunters….or Explode the Ships

      Well, if that’s how you feel, I guess it’s a good thing you’re not in charge of making or enforcing rules.

      Like

  16. Aggelos Unlisted (Greece) June 24, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    It is very bad that many people in japan died because of the tsunami and eartquake, but
    some other people deserve to be punished, but ofcourse not to die. Some whaling companies in Japan and in other countries consider killing whales is normal and legal. Sea now is turning against them….. I agree that not all the japan people killing whales… but they have to close that companies because there are in their country. I have never see somewhere in the world a report that killing a whale you save a human, so what kind of research is? Even that save a human is not an excuse to killing to many whales. So the conclusion is whaling is for money

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 24, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

      >It is very bad that many people in japan died because of the tsunami and eartquake

      I can see where you’re headed with this…but the 2011 March 11 earthquake had nothing to do with whaling or Sea Shepherd.

      Kinda rude to the victims to suggest otherwise.

      >some other people deserve to be punished

      Yes. Criminals do. But that has nothing to do with whalers either.

      As I’ve mentioned in a number of comments on this post, just because you personally don’t agree with whaling doesn’t make it illegal (or even wrong, necessarily).

      >whaling companies in Japan…Sea now is turning against them

      You don’t actually believe that, do you?

      >I have never see somewhere in the world a report that killing a whale you save a human, so what kind of research is?

      No one claims that whaling research is done to save humans…I’m not an expert on the subject, but it’s said to be done to understand more about the behavior of whales.

      Like

  17. Save the Whales June 10, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    The action of Sea Shepherd ist the only existing language that these japanese whale killers will understand. Many people support sea Sheperd and I hope that they will get the whole japanese whale fleet at last. Oceans ground is the only place were they can do no harm anymore.

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 11, 2011 at 2:04 am #

      >…that these japanese whale killers will understand.

      Not all whalers in general? Only “Japanese” ones?

      Anyways, as I’ve mentioned a few times already….many people may not like it, but whaling is legal. Attacking other ships isn’t..

      >Many people support sea Sheperd

      And many people don’t.

      > Oceans ground is the only place were they can do no harm anymore

      You don’t literally support the sinking of manned ships at sea, do you?

      Like

  18. Brad June 2, 2011 at 11:29 pm #

    Eskimos do have access to the same foods as everyone else but it cost them 20 X’s as much to get It there so Its not the same.

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 3, 2011 at 12:55 am #

      I guess you’re replying to this comment in which I wrote that Eskimos can get the same food as everyone in industrialized countries.

      I should have prefixed that comment with “I think that…” because actually I don’t know very much at all about Eskimos.
      Therefore I’ll assume you’re correct.

      Like

  19. Anonymous April 14, 2011 at 1:56 am #

    the sea Shepards should be armed with bloody cannons.

    Like

    • tokyo5 April 14, 2011 at 2:03 am #

      You don’t seem very tactful…posting a militant-type comment that can be construed as “anti-Japanese” at a time when Japan is reeling for one of the biggest natural disasters ever.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: