Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sea Shepherd - Japans Coastal Whale Slaughter

When direct eco action fails - it usually fails spectacularly. Case in point the ongoing "Whale War" with Sea Shepherd and Japans whaling fleet in Antarctica.

For the past two seasons SSCS has been "wagging the conservation dog" with a series of staged media events, massaged and frankly erroneous news reports, and continued vessel rammings that have caused Japan to, for the first time in decades, kill whales within its territorial waters.

Unintended consequence to a failed direct action eco policy that has handed down a death sentence to the whales off the coasts of Japan.

To the architect of this disaster, Mr.Paul Watson and his television show Whale Wars, the 2008-9 anti whaling effort remains an expensive and media costly Pyrrhic Victory. On blogs and news sites across the world SSCS is claiming to have actually saved whales this season while at the same time failing to discuss this new and unfolding whale killing disaster in front of them. Perhaps it is best to focus on what eco wins you can get. For us at this blog and the many posts we have devoted to SSCS direct action policy failures - it is not so simple.

Paul Watson media quote, 4.16.2009 Telegraph U.K:

'People say I manipulate the media,' says Watson, who speaks calmly with an undertone of anger and lofty scorn for anyone who doubts or opposes him. 'Well, duh. We live in a media culture so why on earth wouldn't I?

Will SSCS join Japans fleet and renewed killing effort off it's territorial waters this season to save whales yet again?

With one vessel at "reluctant auction" in Canada at a loss of $800,000 to SSCS and donors and with the Steve Irwin banned from Japans waters - the chances of SSCS being there to save whales being needlessly slaughtered off Japans coastlines is as likely as Paul Watsons assassination claims of 2008.

It is high time to rethink direct action. The world has changed, conservation policies need to change with it or fade into the sunset.


Anonymous said...

Yes what about the Farley Mowat?

That was a strategic and financial disaster, the lawsuit will do much harm as well. How much will SSCS members pay for the legal fees of the captain and his first mate?

James said...

Also been watching Season Two of Whale Wars. Up until the point a whale got dragged up onto the Nissihn Maru it was very comical. The whalers were very well prepared for SS that season, and most of what Watson and his crew did to stop ships amounted to about the same as if I tried to topple a skyscrapper by ramming it with my shoulder. They couldn't get their rotten butter bombs onto the mothership, they failed to use a prop fouler three times, and when it does work they disable a ship for, maybe, an hour at best.

In the end I think it's an indication that while, yes, the Steve Irwin's presence in the South Seas have an impact it might not be as much of an impact as they claim. Or, if WW season two is to go by, thought.

I do think Paul Watson means well. I do think he does what he does because he thinks it's the right thing to do. But one has to wonder if the idea that his approach to the situation is going to change based on the failures in season 2.

Whether this means going for a more diplomatic approach or aggressive approach is up to him in the end.