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Sea Shepherd Will Oppose Japanese Whalers Alone - Why no Greenpeace?
by SSCS r
Tuesday Nov 4th, 2008 1:30 PM
Greenpeace Surrenders To The Japanese Whaling Fleet
Greenpeace has officially announced in a media release from Tokyo that they will not be sending a ship to the Southern Oceans to oppose whaling by the Japanese Whaling fleet. This means that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society will be alone in its high seas opposition to illegal Japanese whaling operations when the whaling season opens in a month.

"As a Greenpeace co-founder, I am deeply offended that Greenpeace has been raising millions of dollars in the name of defending whales all year and now two weeks before the Japanese whaling fleet is scheduled to depart, they announce they will not be going," said Captain Paul Watson, Founder and President of Sea Shepherd. "In my opinion they collected funds under false pretenses and now they have abandoned the whales. Shame on them."

The Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin is scheduled to depart from Australia at the end of November on Sea Shepherd's fifth voyage to obstruct and intervene against outlaw pirate whaling activities in the Antarctic Southern Oceans Whale Sanctuary. Due to Sea Shepherd's interventions on its past campaigns, hundreds of whales have been saved in Antarctica.

Sea Shepherd's Executive Director Kim McCoy said, "Sea Shepherd will never retreat and we will never surrender until the outlaw whalers are driven out of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary for good."

Last week, Greenpeace Australia spokesperson Steve Shallhorn announced that Greenpeace would be sending a ship to Antarctic waters. The same day Japan announced that they would be sending a Japanese Coast Guard gunboat to defend the whaling fleet. It appears that the Japanese government has successfully frightened Greenpeace away this year.

"They can send the entire Japanese Navy down to the Southern Ocean if they like, but Sea Shepherd and the crew of the Steve Irwin will not be intimidated by this kind of brutal military thuggery. When we say we put our lives on the line to defend the whales, we mean it. It's not just a slogan for us," said Captain Watson. "I have not seen a whale die since I left Greenpeace in 1977 and I have no intention of seeing a whale die this year. They don't kill whales when we show up and they won't kill
whales when we arrive again this year. They will have to sink us first."

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Brian from Greenpeace here.

This issue will be decided in Japan, where none of those images of whaling ships opposed by environmental ships ever make any press. 70% of the Japanese public doesn't even know that Japan whales in the Southern Ocean.

As important as saving individual whales is -- and we've saved hundreds by putting our boats in front of the harpoons -- we are putting our resources where they're best placed to deliver a win on this issue. People don't donate to Greenpeace to see us in action on TV, they donate to Greenpeace to get results.

And right now, we're seeing shifts in Japan that need to be exploited. In the last year, as a direct result of our work through our tiny office in Japan, we've seen whaling discussed on the front page of Asahi Shinbum, defended by the prime minister, and criticized in the Japanese business press -- an unprecedented level of attention. It was then that we stumbled on the biggest whaling story in the history of our work in Japan: the widespread embezzlement of whale meat -- sales of which are supposed to offset the taxpayer subsidies of the programme.

In Japan, politician after politician has fallen over the last couple years because of corruption scandals. Whaling in Japan is the result of support by a handful of bureaucrats who are extremely vulnerable to scandal. Whaling is a costly, taxpayer subsidized luxury in Japan that costs the government plenty of goodwill abroad and which many Japanese politicians would be happy to see go away -- if we can push it hard enough to get it wobbling, we can topple it.

Two of our activists were part of an undercover operation that involved whistleblowers and months of investigation. They intercepted a box of whalemeat, one of four worth 30,000 USD which was sent to a private address, and exposed the fact that hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer's money was going into the pockets of individual whalers every time the whaling fleet comes back.

The scandal was on the front page of the largest newspaper in Japan, which called for a full investigation. The Tokyo prosecutor agreed to take up the case. And then the mob-boss politicians struck back.

They arrested our activists in raid of 40 cops on our office in Tokyo. They took membership records, computer disks, documents. News of the raid was leaked to the press to make sure the crackdown was on every news station in the country.

Our activists now face TEN YEARS in prison. The over-reaction of the Japanese Government is perfect confirmation that we've hit a nerve, and we're on the right track, the scandal and corruption of how whaling lines only a few Bureaucrats' pockets in Japan is an Achilles' heel, and that this issue is moving in the pattern that Gandhi described: first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

The end game will be in Japan, and that's where we've moved the game.

If you want more information, please have a look here:

And if you want to protest the arrest of Junichi and Toru, as Amnesty International and 250,000 of our supporters have, tell Japan that you're guilty of the crime of wanting whaling to end as well. Sign our petition:

by Mark Hawthorne
Monday Nov 10th, 2008 10:42 AM
From chasing illegal whalers to targeting the Canadian seal slaughter, Sea Shepherd continues to raise public awareness on issues in a way that few organizations would even consider. Can you imagine a producer developing a television series like the one now on Animal Planet were it not for Watson's confrontational methods? Good for Sea Shepherd for standing up to international bullies and their egregious abuse of animals.