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Sea Shepherd goes into Action December 2008

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sea Shepherd Drives Japanese Whalers Out of Australia's Waters

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's ship Steve Irwin has driven the Japanese whaling fleet out of the Australian Economic Exclusion Zone.

"We have chased the whalers for over 800 miles since last Saturday through bad weather and heavy ice conditions," said Captain Paul Watson. "They have fled eastward and they are continuing eastward and we are on their tail and we will keep on their tail."

Since finding the Japanese whaling fleet on December 20th, the Steve Irwin has had close encounters with the harpoon vessel Yushin Maru #2 and the spotting vessel Kaiko Maru and has observed and tracked the Nisshin Maru from the air.

The Steve Irwin has not been able to close with the main body of the fleet because they keep moving eastward. They have not been whaling since Sea Shepherd located them and they are not whaling now. They continue to flee.

The good news is that they are no longer whaling in Australian waters and they only managed to hunt in the waters of the Australian Antarctic Territory for about a week before being forced to flee the Australian EEZ.

They are now in the waters of the Ross Dependency and the Steve Irwin is in pursuit.

"What is now good news for the whales in Australian waters is now bad news for the whales in the waters south of New Zealand," said Captain Watson. "They are still targeting endangered and protected whales in the waters of an established international whale sanctuary and thus they are still in violation of international conservation law and acting under the principles of the United Nations World Charter for Nature, we will continue to pursue, harass and intervene against their blatantly illegal lethal assaults on the whales. "The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's ship Steve Irwin has fuel and provisions to chase the whalers well into the middle of January before having to return to New Zealand to refuel. If forced to return to refuel, the Steve Irwin will do so and then will immediately return to the whaling area to continue to pursue, harass and intervene against illegal Japanese whaling activities."

The Steve Irwin has a crew of 40 international volunteers plus an Animal Planet film crew onboard producing the 2nd year of the series Whale Wars.

Last year the Sea Shepherd crew pursued the Japanese whaling fleet from early December until mid-March. That intervention cost the whalers over $70 million in lost profits and saved almost 500 whales.

http://www.seasheph erd.org/news- and-media/ news-081227- 1.html


To Interview Captain Paul Watson on board the Steve Irwin
SAT Phone: (00) 8816 4145 4434
(From Australia: dial 0011, From the U.S. dial 011)

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society -International Headquarters � U.S.
Phone: +1-360-370-5650 * Email: media@seashepherd. org
Contact: Kristine Vasic, Media Relations Director
www.seashepherd.org

Sea Shepherd Australia
Melbourne Office: + 61 3 9445-0323


Photos, video, and additional information: http://media. seashepherd. org

Sea Shepherd Drives Japanese Whalers Out of Australia�s Waters

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society�s ship Steve Irwin has driven the Japanese whaling fleet out of the Australian Economic Exclusion Zone.

"We have chased the whalers for over 800 miles since last Saturday through bad weather and heavy ice conditions," said Captain Paul Watson. "They have fled eastward and they are continuing eastward and we are on their tail and we will keep on their tail."

Since finding the Japanese whaling fleet on December 20th, the Steve Irwin has had close encounters with the harpoon vessel Yushin Maru #2 and the spotting vessel Kaiko Maru and has observed and tracked the Nisshin Maru from the air. The Steve Irwin has not been able to close with the main body of the fleet because they keep moving eastward. They have not been whaling since Sea Shepherd located them and they are not whaling now. They continue to flee.

The good news is that they are no longer whaling in Australian waters and they only managed to hunt in the waters of the Australian Antarctic Territory for about a week before being forced to flee the Australian EEZ. They are now in the waters of the Ross Dependency and the Steve Irwin is in pursuit.

"What is now good news for the whales in Australian waters is now bad news for the whales in the waters south of New Zealand," said Captain Watson. "The Japanese whalers are still targeting endangered and protected whales in the waters of an established international whale sanctuary and thus they are still in violation of international conservation law and acting under the principles of the United Nations World Charter for Nature, we will continue to pursue, harass and intervene against their blatantly illegal lethal assaults on the whales."

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society�s ship Steve Irwin has fuel and provisions to chase the whalers well into the middle of January before having to return to New Zealand to refuel. If forced to return to refuel, the Steve Irwin will do so and then will immediately return to the whaling area to continue to pursue, harass and intervene against illegal Japanese whaling activities.

The Steve Irwin has a crew of 40 international volunteers plus an Animal Planet film crew onboard producing the 2nd year of the series Whale Wars. Last year the Sea Shepherd crew pursued the Japanese whaling fleet from early December until mid-March. That intervention cost the whalers over $70 million in lost profits and saved almost 500 whales.


Sea Shepherd Clashes With Whaling Fleet in Australian Waters
Dec 26, 2008

To Interview Captain Paul Watson on board the Steve Irwin
SAT Phone: (00) 8816 4145 4434

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society -International Headquarters � U.S.
Phone: +1-360-370-5650 * Email: media@seashepherd. org
Contact: Kristine Vasic, Media Relations Director
www.seashepherd.org

Sea Shepherd Australia
Melbourne Office: + 61 3 9445-0323

Photos, video, and additional information: http://media. seashepherd. org


0730 GMT December 26th, 2008, Australian Antarctic Territorial Waters -- The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship Steve Irwin closed in on one of the vessels of the Japanese whaling fleet at 0730 Hours GMT (1930 Hours Sydney Time) on December 26th off the coast of the Australian Antarctic Territory north of the Mawson Peninsula. 

The Kaiko Maru emerged from dense fog in front of the Steve Irwin. The Sea Shepherd crew pursued and delivered 10 bottles of rotten butter and 15 bottles of a methyl cellulose and indelible dye mixture.

"That is one stinky slippery ship," said Sea Shepherd 2nd Officer Peter Hammarstedt of Sweden.

The Japanese ship was ordered out of the territorial waters of Australia by Australian citizen Jeff Hansen from Perth, Western Australia. The message was delivered in Japanese.

As the Steve Irwin came alongside the starboard side of the Kaiko Maru, the whaler steered hard to starboard and struck the Steve Irwin lightly crushing part of the aft port helicopter deck guard rails on the Sea Shepherd ship. There was no serious damage to either ship.

The Sea Shepherd crew�s objective was to intimidate the Japanese fleet and to keep them moving Eastward out of Australian Territorial waters. The Sea Shepherd crew have been pursuing the fleet eastward for a week. There is only 90 miles left before the fleet enters the New Zealand Zone.

"Our objective now is to chase them out of Australia�s Economic Exclusion Zone," said Captain Paul Watson. "I have a chart here and it clearly states that these waters are Australian EEZ. There is an Australian Federal Court Order specifically prohibiting these ships from whaling in these waters. We have informed the whalers they are in contempt of this Court ruling."

There is no doubt that Japanese whaling in Australian waters has been severely disrupted. Since Saturday, the Sea Shepherd crew have chased the Japanese fleet for 400 miles through heavy fog, dense ice and nasty weather. During that time they have not been able to kill any whales.

"We still have them on the run and we intend to keep them on the run for as long as our fuel resources allow," said Captain Watson.
 


About Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an International non-profit conservation organization whose mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world�s oceans in order to conserve and protects ecosystems and species. Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately-balanced ocean ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations. Founder and President Captain Paul Watson, is a renowned, respected leader in environmental issues. Visit www.seashepherd.org  for more information.


December 8, 2008

An Open Letter from Captain Paul Watson from the Tasman Sea

Dear Friends,

We are finally on our way. My ship Steve Irwin and my crew left Brisbane in Queensland , Australia on December 4th. We made a brief stop in Newcastle in New South Wales to take on fuel and oil and departed on December 7th. We will make another brief stop in Ho bart in Tasmania to top up the fuel tanks to allow us the maximum range when we head to the Ross Sea to intercept the Japanese whaling fleet.

We are under no illusion that this will be an easy campaign. Japan has budgeted 8 million dollars to oppose our efforts. What this means we have no idea. Will they send a gunboat? We don't know for sure but they have said they will arrest us if we interfere with their illegal whaling operations. How they will do that is unknown. Will the fire on our ship or board our ship? - we don't know. We just need to be prepared for all possibilities.

This is a four part campaign. Basically it gets down to "prepare, search, intercept, and stop".

We are prepared. We have improved the ship substantially since the last campaign.

We have a newly constructed helicopter deck and hanger, a completely over-hauled helicopter and in addition to our very experienced ex-military (U.S. Marine) pilot we also have a dedicated helicopter mechanic.

On deck we have a new hydraulic winch and two new fast interceptor boats.

We have three times the safety equipment required including immersion suits, survival suits, lifeboats, and EPIRB's. We also have a medical doctor onboard and officers holding EMT certificates.

We have a master welder, master carpenter, and a crew of very experienced engineers led by our longtime Chief Engineer Charles Hutchings . We have qualified divers, communication techs, and navigators

We also have new tactics, new equipment and new ideas to help us with our mission.

And we have an excellent crew. There are 40 crew presently, plus an 8 person crew from Animal Planet to shoot the 2nd season of Whale Wars. A third of the crew is Australian and a third American with the remaining third composed of citizens from Canada , Great Britain , Germany , Bermuda , New Zealand , South Africa , Sweden , Hungary and Japan .

A third of the crew are women and half of the crew are returning veterans.

Upon leaving Ho bart , we will begin the 2nd phase of the campaign - the search. This year the Japanese whaling fleet is operating in the Ross Sea and that is where we will be heading. It's a long haul to get there and once there it's a vast area to search but we will scour those remote frozen seas until we find them and once we do we will intercept them and hopefully before they kill too many whales.

There are quite a few differences between this campaign and our previous four voyages to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

This year we will be very much alone down there.

The new Australian government of Kevin Rudd and Peter Garrett has reneged on their election promises and they will not have any ships in the Southern Ocean.. In fact the Australian Navy has been ordered into port - practically all of their ships and their officers and crew have been sent home for a two month vacation. There is not a single Australian government ship patrolling the Australian Antarctic Territorial waters despite the fact that the Japanese whaling fleet has been killing whales in direct contempt of an Australian Federal Court ruling specifically forbidding the killing of whales in waters over which Australia has declared sovereignty.

Greenpeace will not be down in the Southern Ocean, despite raising millions of dollars for that express purpose. They have backed out primarily because they do not want to be associated with Sea Shepherd actions. Their excuse is that they need to address the trial of two of their Japanese activists. Greenpeace has the funding to do both and they certainly have the ships. The truth is that they have surrendered the Southern Oceans to the Japanese whaling fleet. They no longer have the stomach for confrontation.

The key to success with the Japanese whalers is persistence. We must never retreat or surrender the Southern Ocean Sanctuary to them. We must continue to undermine their profits and we must continue to expose their illegal activities to the world.

We must do this no matter what obstacles they throw up before us, no matter how violent they become, no matter what political, media and economic pressure they direct at us.

They can call us all the names in the world but they cannot deny the reality that they are targeting threatened and endangered whales in an established whale sanctuary in violation of the international moratorium on commercial whaling and in contempt of the Australian courts.

Sea Shepherd on the other hand has not, and is not violating international law. We have not injured anyone and we have not been charged with any crime. We are acting in accordance with the principles established in the United Nations World Charter for Nature by working to uphold and enforce international conservation law.

I have called this year's campaign - Operation Musashi. This is in recognition of Miyamoto Musashi, who is to the Japanese what Robin Hood, Ned Kelly and Jesse James are to the British, the Australians and the Americans.

Aside from being an outlaw, Musashi was also a master strategist. I have incorporated his strategy of a twofold way of pen and sword which means the approaching of the problem through confrontation and communication or education.

Our physical interventions to stop the killing of whales is the sword and our participation in the television series Whale Wars is the pen.

And we also carry the most effective weapon ever designed - the camera.

What will happen this year?

It is hard to predict with certainty? Will we find the fleet? I am confident that we will. Will they react more violently this year than last year? We suspect that they will. Will we prevent them from killing whale? I am confident that we will be able to do so.

But as Musashi once observed with regard to strategy, we need to proceed towards the whaling fleet with absolute resolve, with courage and determination, focusing on the goal of saving the lives of as many whales as possible, undeterred by threats or physical violence, unconcerned with the consequences, prepared and cautious yet committed to a policy of no retreat and no surrender. We need to understand that when we say we are willing to risk our lives for the whales that it is not a meaningless slogan on a banner to us - it is what we do. We need to demonstrate to the world that there are human beings willing to risk all to protect diversity and the right of other species to live unmolested by the rapacious greed of humankind. We fight not just for the whales in those remote southern waters - we fight for the diversity of life and thus the future of our own kind upon this planet.

It will be a dramatic campaign and I will direct all my energies into ensuring that it will be an effective campaign and that the lives of whales will be saved.

I cannot tell you in words just how wonderful it is to have intervened for the whales in the seasons past. To know that at this moment, there are whales swimming freely in those lonely waters that would now be dead if not for our interventions. To know that so many baby whales have been brought into being because we were able to force the whalers to spare their mothers is a source of great happiness for me. I feel them out there, so alive and so aware, in those dark and cold waters and it is this connection that calms my soul with the purring hum of contentment in my heart. In truth to die in defense of life is the most honourable death I can think of and thus there can be no fear - only enlightenment and contentment.

And so it is southward that our bow is pointed and it is two thousand miles to the south amongst the ice bergs in the remote frozen south polar seas that we will once again skirmish with the killers of the gentle giants of the sea.

And for their sake and for the sake of our children we will prevail and we will drive these vicious killers from the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and thus we will restore the integrity of the Sanctuary in a world where governments seem to have lost the meaning of the word "sanctuary."

And so for the whales we sail on towards what I believe will be our most aggressive and most effective confrontation with the Japanese whalers ever.

Captain Paul Watson

Founder and President of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (1977-

Co-Founder - The Greenpeace Foundation (1972)

Co-Founder - Greenpeace International (1979)

Director for Greenpeace (1972-1977)

Director of the Sierra Club USA (2003-2006)

Director of the Farley Mowat Institute

Working Partner with the Ecuadorian National Environmental Police and the Galapagos National Park

Master of the M/Y Steve Irwin

Master of the M/Y Farley Mowat

"Sail forth - steer for the deep waters only,

Reckless O soul, exploring, I with thee and thou with me,

For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go,

And we risk the ship, ourselves and all"

- Walt Whitman

www.Seashepherd. org

Tel: 360-370-5650

Fax: 360-370-5651

Cell: 310-701-3096

Address: P.O. Box 2616

Friday Harbor , Wa 98250

USA

MySpace Address: www.myspace.com/captainpaulwatson


December 03, 2008
Sea Shepherd Crew Heading South to Defend the Whales
by Captain Paul Watson

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship Steve Irwin departed the Port of Brisbane today with an international volunteer crew of 48. The crew includes 33 men and 15 women. 14 of the crew are from Australia and 4 from New Zealand with the rest of the crew hailing from Japan, Canada, Great Britain, the USA, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, South Africa, Hungary, and Bermuda. 8 of the crew are representing Animal Planet for the documenting of the 2nd season of the series Whale Wars. The other 40 crewmembers make up the crew for Operation Musashi. 23 of the crew are returning veterans and for the remaining 25, this is their first time on a Sea Shepherd campaign.
 
Included in the crew that departed from Brisbane is Daryl Hanna, a longtime dedicated environmental activist and actor whose films include Blade Runner, Kill Bill, Roxanne and Splash.

The Steve Irwin will make a brief stop for fuel before proceeding to the Ross Sea to intercept the Japanese whaling fleet.

The Japanese whaling fleet is targeting 935 threatened Piked whales plus 50 endangered Fin whales in an established Whale Sanctuary in violation of a global moratorium on commercial whaling.

"Our objective is to sink the Japanese whaling fleet � economically." Said Captain Paul Watson.

The whales do not have time to wait until awareness is changed in Japan. The killing must be ended now and the key to success is to interfere with profits. Sea Shepherd intends to make sure that the financial losses of the Japanese fleet exceed their profits. This is the only language that the whalers understand.

Sea Shepherd has given the name of Operation Musashi to this year's campaign in reference to the legendary samurai ronin and master strategist Miyomoto Musashi who is to Japan what Ned Kelly, Robin Hood and Jesse James are to Australia, England and the United States.

Musashi wrote of the "two-fold way of pen and sword" and that means that confrontation plus communication is the strategy to be followed this will physically block the Japanese harpoons and we
will be producing a dramatic television series to communicate the problem and our solution to the world.

All Sea Shepherd tactics are designed not cause bodily injury. Last year, the whalers accused Sea Shepherd crew of throwing "acid" on them. While technically rotten butter is butyric acid, it is less acidic than beer or orange juice. But it does stink very bad and thus interferes with their work.


The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society expects the Japanese to be more aggressive this year. They are losing money and their image as whale butchers is becoming a growing embarrassment. Last year the whalers threw concussion grenades and fired live shots at the crew of the Steve Irwin. We expect they will be more hostile facing another year of losses.

The Sea Shepherd crew are also concerned over Greenpeace allegations that Sea Shepherd is a violent organization. "This kind of irresponsible rhetoric could get us killed," said Steve Irwin 2nd Officer Peter Hammarstedt of Sweden. "If Greenpeace continue to make these unsubstantiated accusations, it could serve to justify violence by the whalers against us. We would like to request that they cease and desist from making remarks that may possibly endanger our lives."

Captain Paul Watson expects to intercept the Japanese whaling fleet in the Ross Sea area around sometime during the last 10 days of December.

"Hopefully we will arrive in time to give the gift of life to the whales this Christmas and hopefully we will see 2009 as the last year that these outlaw whalers continue to slaughter these intelligent, defenseless and gentle sentient creatures."


Commentary from Anthony Marr

Everyone knows that this voyage is dangerous, perhaps, after last year's shooting, more so than ever before. Therefore, all on the Steve Irwin are heroes knowingly sailing into harm's way for the good of those who cannot even say thanks in a way we can understand.

Being the pragmatist that I am, I would now suggest forming a contingency plan that can be swung into action immediately and with full force in the event that Japanese violence results in injury or, the Whale God forbids, death, on the part of Sea Shepherd. I wouldn't say so had the Captain himself not been hit by a Japanese bullet, and indeed could have been killed had he not been wearing a kevlar vest. Since the Japanese sniper was probably not aware of our Captain wearing a vest, and the bullet did impact on his chest, this act was one of attempted murder.

Such a contingency plan should aim for using such an incident to deal an immediate fatal blow not only to the Japanese whaling industry, but to the reputation and the soul of Japan. Forming such a contingency plan can safeguard us from knee-jerk reactions and falling into a state of disarray. And the existence of the plan should remind Japan and its whalers that any such murderous act will be an act of industrial and spiritual suicide on their part.

This in a sense is a sad statement, because their firing a bullet at a Sea Shepherd member is morally no better and no worse than their firing a harpoon into the defenseless body of a whale, or cutting the throat of a helpless dolphin.

May the Earth Force be with you!
Anthony Marr, founder and president
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
www.HOPE-CARE.org
www.MySpace.com/AnthonyMarr 
www.YouTube.com/AnthonyMarr
www.HomoSapiensSaveYourEarth.blogspot.com
www.ARConference.org 
604-222-1169

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