The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is one of the most radical environmentalist groups around. Not only is its leader Paul Watson anti human–once calling us the “AIDS of the Earth”–but the Shepherds engage in dangerous interference activities aimed at preventing legal hunting–most particularly seal pup harvesting and whaling.
This year, it is engaging in unsafe navigation practices to harass Japanese whalers in the open oceans off of Antarctica, resulting in one of its inflatables sunk and a collision between its Bob Barker and a whaling ship at sea. From the story:
The anti-whaling Sea Shepherd Conservation Society said at 12.09pm today the Yushin Maru 3 intentionally rammed the Bob Barker penetrating its hull and endangering the lives of its crew. No-one was injured.
The collision follows a collision between the space age carbon fibre trimaran Ady Gil and the Japanese whaling ship Shonan Maru 2 on January 6. The skipper of the trimaran powerboat Capt Pete Bethune accused the Japanese ship’s crew of “attempted murder” by “deliberately ramming their boat” into the Ady Gil but the Japanese denied they were at fault saying the Ady Gilturned deliberately in front of them. The Ady Gil has since sunk.
Sea Shepherd society said today’s “intentional ramming” occurred about 180 miles off Cape Darnley in the Australian Antarctic Territory. Video of the collision, which is on Sea Shepherd’s website appears to show both vessels left taking evasive action until too late. The society said the Bob Barker had been actively blocking the slipway of the Nisshin Maru, the Japanese whaling fleet’s factory ship.
That’s just nuts. If they keep this up, somebody is going to be seriously injured or killed.
Many oppose whaling. I certainly do because the kills often aren’t quick and the need for harvesting is questionable at best. (The excuse is scientific research, but that is a ruse.) But the essential point here is that what the Japanese are doing is legal, and preventing the deaths of small number of whales is not worth the sacrifice of one human life, whether of a whaler trying to earn a tough living, or a Shepherd putting his or her body between whales and their hunters.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is acting recklessly and dangerously–and I presume, illegally–by intentionally harassing ships at sea. Before this confrontation ratchets one notch higher, international authorities should step in and threaten the licenses of the captains of the Shepherd ships and the organization’s ability to sail. And the Japanese whalers should sue their ships right out from under them.
Ending whaling should be done legally, not by such human life-threatening so-called direct actions.