Sea Shepherd Society Vows to Continue Operation Divine Wind

B. McPherson
Many people criticise Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society for their methods. The following video allows him to explain his motivation.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has issued a statement that they will continue their Operation Divine Wind in the Antarctic until the end of the Japanese whaling season at the end of March. While the Japanese government maintains that their whaling operation is non-commercial and within the bounds of the whale protection treaty, many people would dispute their stand.

Each year a fleet of three whaling vessels has set out from Japan to the Antarctic during the southern summer to hunt whales. They set a quota of about 1 000 whales per season for scientific purposes. Australian researchers have offered to help the Japanese train in ‘no-kill’ whale research but have been rebuffed.

The Sea Shepherd Society has attempted over the past eight years to thwart the killing of whales in the Southern Sanctuary. Their efforts have been documented by  AnimalPlanetTV under the title Whale Wars. And a war it has been. Arrests have been made, boats have been rammed, whalers have been pelted with rotten butter bombs and in turn, been the target of flash bang grenades and water cannons.

 This year added security  was supplied to the whaling fleet in the form of a fourth vessel, the Shonan Maru 2. Captain Paul Watson has alleged that the funds to send added security to the southern sanctuary has cost about $30 million and was filched from the tsunami and earthquake funding. This is not substantiated independently.

This year has been counted as a success by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. They have estimated that their efforts have saved over 500 whales from a gruesome and lingering death.

Modern harpoons are not the hand thrown spear that was used in historical times. Harpoons are shot from a deck cannon, and are equipped with an explosive that detonates inside the struck whale. They do not kill quickly, but the whale eventually succumbs to its internal injuries. Factory ships process the dead whale at sea.

 Paul Watson is quoted:
“We will not give this fleet of whale poachers a break,” said Captain Watson. “We will chase them until Hell freezes over and it will do just that by the end of March when the Antarctic ice will force the whale serial killers from these waters. As long as they are running they can’t kill whales and every day we prevent them from killing whales is a victory for Sea Shepherd and the whales.”

Japan is not the only nation that maintains a commercial hunt for marine mammals. Norway, Iceland and Denmark also hunt marine mammals.

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