Monday, February 9, 2009

Whale Wars Season Two - Cut, Print

As Sea Shepherd departs from the Southern ocean, once again, claiming to have saved whales from evil whalers let's take a look at their anti whaling efforts in perspective.

This week titular head of organization Paul Watson rammed his vessel into whalers with Animal Planet film crews capturing every moment for season two of Whale Wars. Classic Wagging the Conservation Dog moment with just days to go for Sea Shepherds departure from the area.

The conflict of interest with their reality television relationship goes beyond mentioning, suffice to say it begs the question "what is real and what is staged?"

After this weeks boat ramming spree Watson then claimed "the situation down here is getting very, very chaotic and very aggressive". This statement is tantamount to anti meat protesters ramming their cars into the side of beef processing factories and claiming the same. Add to that a waiting reality television film crew and you begin to see not only the uselessness of actions like these but the abject media fueled cannibalism of the entire event.

What you are looking at is staged eco theater with a side of dead whale at a cost of millions of well meaning dollars from people who really want to see and end to whaling. Like us.

To put this into perspective, this year Watson and company will claim to have saved perhaps 60 whales, that claim, like so many others from Sea Shepherd, will be seriously contested. Meanwhile Watson and company dangerously and egregiously risked a fuel oil breach from either his own vessel or those he rammed in the Southern ocean this year.

In the time it took Sea Shepherd to elicit funds, build a campaign, invite a reality television crew aboard and pump out a mass of seriously massaged media sound bites-whales died worldwide:

48 Sperm Whales Stranding

2 Right Whales Stranding

65 Pilot Whales Stranding

10 Sperm and Pilot Wales Stranding

150 Pilot Whales Stranding

At what cost per whale will donors continue to subsidize and support ineffective media theatre brought to you by Sea Shepherd and company. For us the equation is simple:

Has whaling stopped? No.

Will season two of Whale Wars have moments of high drama with vessels being rammed? Yes.

Is this quality eco work? The answer to that question can be answered with the contents of your wallet or your check book. Place you bets where they will be most effective. For our money Sea Shepherd is out of touch, out of game, and out of time.

11 comments:

Daniel said...

Good post!

Paul S said...

Sea Shepherd are simply pirates attacking the property of Japan and endangering Japanese citizens in International waters. The Japanese military would be completely justified in firing upon these pirates and should do just that.

Ray NZ said...

I am strongly against whaling and do not for a moment believe that it is being done for scientific purposes. However no way do I support the dangerous and illegal methods of the Sea Shepherd group

There is a great deal of hypocrisy when it comes to whaling. I was disgusted at a recent picture of a giant marlin hunted down and slaughtered - where were the protesters then?

If one is against cruelty to animals (as everyone should be) then there should be at least as much attention given to angling, battery farming of chickens and pigs, not to mention the horrendous way in which bears are milked for their bile in China

charles said...

Read your post, here's my thoughts.

Resorting to potentially life-threatening tactics show that they equate the value of human life with that of animals, which is nothing short of fanatical extremism. This is a pity, because many environmental groups do contribute wonderfully to our planet.

If indeed the whale numbers are as low as reported, then the crew of the Steve Irwin are the greater wrong in a classic case of 'two wrongs don't make a right'. We are above the animals, but have a responsibility to manage them and maintain their survival.

Regardless; I find it extremely hypocritical that people can munch on a juicy steak while pouring scorn on people who were brought up eating whale meat as if they were lesser for it. The placing of the Japanese annual kill under the guise scientific research is more about the influence of their economy unfortunately.

Going back to my previous statement on our responsibility toward animals, this 'research' needs to stop until such time as numbers are sufficiently replenished. but for now, environmental groups must lay off life threatening tactics, and we must quit abusing people brought up in cultures whereby whale meat consumption is acceptable.

It achieves zilch, zero, nada!

Anonymous said...

If you don't accept 'cheap shots and slander', how do you describe the comments of 'Anonymous' (Feb 12)? The facts are that the actions of SSCS are in no way influenced by the presence of a film crew - you state this as fact, when you have no evidence to substantiate the claim - and as a crew member, I know what I'm talking about. Fact - the whalers are the criminals as they kill and trade in endangered species. Fact - SSCS crew are vegan. Fact - SSCS do not harm their opponents and never have.

Shark Diver said...

Dear SSCS Person,

You are right, and we agree that post was way over the line.

On a side note - we watched Whale Wars which one were you?

The part where Watson is in front of the camera scheming up an idea to make things look like Japan has taken SSCS members "hostage" is instructive as is the staged shot in the chest while Animal Planet cameras were right there.

Perhaps you were not on that cruise with the boys, or perhaps you do not see the collusion here.

Regardless, the AU Federal Police have this seasons tapes and will make the call in two weeks from now.

Anonymous said...

The whole article was not well researched. Let's dive in shall we: First, shark diver alludes to the fact that some of this show is staged. I happen to know Captain Paul Watson and he has been doing this for decades. His tactics change every year and now there just happens to be a filming crew. Paul has no idea how Animal Planet will splice, edit, or narrate the show. Some of the crew members have never even seen an episode. If you've never been on the boat don't claim to know what goes on. This is not some reality show that suddenly came out of thin air... he's been saving wildlife for decades.

Next, to say ramming into a boat is the same as running into a beef factory is just plain ignorant. They are thousands of miles away in the ANTARTIC waters. Paul has been sucessful before at shutting a boat down, in turn ending slaughter that year. Paul must use action in the whale sanctuary for that is where law is on his side... they are protected waters, he must use all tactics available to him in a ship in the freezing waters away from civilization. And again he's been doing it for a long time so to suggest this is staged is just bad writing on shark divers part.

Paul is saving dolphins, whales, seals, and sharks. He cannot do it all and their are roles that everyone must play. There are people good at protesting, people good at documenting, people good at politics... but there needs to be a police force in those protected waters since the IWC cannot enforce their laws. So the police force happens to be Sea Shepherd. You play your role Shark Diver and he'll play his. Every day the Japanese whaling fleet are dealing with Sea Shepherd, whales are being saved. There's no other way down there to go about this.

You people talk a big game and like to spew out your ideas but don't seem to walk the walk. Paul has to guts to get up from his couch and do something about it.

Shark Diver should be thanking Paul. One can always claim there are animals dying somewhere. He is one man and can only do so much.

So please do some more research before posting such an unbelievable article. Reading this post was like watching Fox News and being shocked at the readers who actually believed it.

Sad.

Shark Diver said...

Bah!

Are you suggesting that Watson was shot in the chest?

If so you are in the minority.

That one "staged event" cost SSCS more than they know. Yes, great for ratings, but a joke to the conservation community.

As for Whale Wars?

Reality television for conservation?

Let's just leave it at that. Even Watson had nothing good to say about whale conservation reality television...when Greenpeace was doing it.

http://www.seashepherd.org/news-and-media/editorial-080707-1.html

Strange here's Watson slamming Greenpeace for the BBC film Battleship Antarctica and then launches Whale Wars one year later.

Walk the walk?

Anonymous said...

You are saying they staged things for a stupid show that's on months after the whaling season. I'm telling you things happen during the whaling season for certain reasons. Media are important and whatever gets people to become aware of what's going on down there.. well, they will do it. Period. Who cares if you believe it happened... it wasn't for you HELLO! It was months ago to get attention at that time for who was watching those news stories realtime in order to show people what was going on with the whales. Some people don't care about whales but if they hear a person was injured or captured.. well all of a sudden it's top news. It's very clever to use this way into people's homes. And some people even after seeing the carnage won't do a damn thing to help animals.... can't win them all.

Shark Diver said...

Anonymous - thanks for making our point (you read our blog).

Lying about conservation actions to deceive the public for an agenda damages the credibility of the entire conservation movement.

Broadcasting it to the world as "conservation fact" is a disservice to the conservation movement.

Passing around a tin cup for donations to fuel more of the same is also wrong.

Do you see it?

If not, please donate to SSCS.

If so, choose an NGO that delivers metrics not hysterics.

That's OUR message.

Shark Diver said...

This comment thread is now closed. This conservation horse has been beaten, flogged, and dumped on the midden heap.

Thanks for the comments.