Volatility

August 30, 2017

Sea Shepherd, Exemplar of Real Action

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After a long run of incredible effort confronting whalers on the high seas, Sea Shepherd feels the need to take a break from its oceanic direct action campaign. Founder Paul Watson cites the need to reassess strategy and tactics in light of new Japanese “anti-terrorism” attainder laws specifically targeting Sea Shepherd’s actions against its illegal whaling fleet, and Japan’s threats to use its military as a thug arm of the whalers. Watson says, “We cannot compete with their military grade technology.” He extols the campaign’s acheivements to date.
 

Sea Shepherd has accomplished something absolutely remarkable over the last 12 years.

In 2005 we set out to tackle the world’s largest and most destructive whaling fleet. We were told it was impossible by some governments and a few NGO’s.

Hardly anyone even knew about Japan’s illegal slaughter in the Southern Ocean. It was out of sight and out of mind. They were targeting 1,035 whales a year including a yearly quota of 50 endangered Humpbacks and 50 endangered Fin whales.

We had few resources but we took our one battered and slow vessel, the Farley Mowat and we chased the whalers across the Southern Ocean, catching them only for a few hours at a time until they sped away from us…the tables began to turn as each year we became stronger and more effective.

Sea Shepherd was relentless in reducing the yearly quotas significantly and in 2012/2013 the Japanese whalers went home with only about 10% of their intended kills. We did this at the same time the U.S. Federal Court put significant legal obstacles in our path.

The results speak for themselves. Over 6,000 whales saved. Not a single endangered Humpback killed and only 10 endangered Fin whales killed in a decade where 500 were slated to die. In addition, the Japanese whalers lost tens of millions of dollars.

We exposed Japan’s illegal activities to the world with our TV show Whale Wars and our documentation.

We helped to push Australia into taking Japan to the International Court of Justice where their operations were ruled to be unlawful. Japan was ordered by the ICJ to cease and desist.

They did so for a year and then returned with a new program (also illegal) that reduced their bogus self-allocated kill quota to 333 each year. This means that since 2015 another 1400 whales were spared the lethal harpoons. This means that 702 whales will continue to be saved every year.

 
 
This testament is just part of the superb history of Sea Shepherd’s accomplishments, in action and publicity, while underfunded and persecuted by the governments of Japan, the US, Canada, Australia, and others, along with corporate goon squads in many countries. This proves what a small motivated group, driven by the right philosophical and tactical principles, can do. If only there were even a handful of people willing to commit to the anti-poison fight this way. By this I don’t specifically mean physical confrontation except where necessary or likely to work. I do mean following the evidence where it compels us and adopting the most bold and intrepid organizational principles, strategy, and set of tactics which are necessary to the historical, ecological, biological circumstance. There must be no bias.
 
The circumstance is the looming collapse of all life-sustaining civilizational structures, most of all the industrial agriculture/food system, and the totalitarian drive of corporate globalization and technocracy to drive out and destroy all of humanity, all of natural life. That’s why nothing short of the most aggressive boldness is sufficient to the need of the day.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for this article; nice reminder that some are able to raise their voice re conservation/race to extinction these days.

    Comment by William Wilson — August 30, 2017 @ 11:05 am

    • Yes, and often the only way to do it is like this. E.g. Australia’s government admits the Japanese whaling is illegal under international law (as the ICJ also has ruled) but throws up its hands and claims it can do nothing to enforce this in Australian or international waters. So Sea Shepherd, the people in action, steps up like a well-ordered anarchist militia. Needless to say the same governments who look the other way as the Japanese gang commits its crimes suddenly become outraged and call Sea Shepherd “pirates”. Um, no. The whalers are pirates by any meaningful measure, legal and otherwise, and the governments tacitly encourage and facilitate them. (Given the Japanese government’s official support for the illegal fleet, perhaps they’re technically privateers. Which means pirates from any other point of view.)

      Comment by Russ — August 30, 2017 @ 1:16 pm


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