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This annual clash over whales will not bring whaling to an end

December 31, 2009

Japanese whalers and Sea Shepherd have clashed again in the Southern Ocean, this time deploying water cannons, blinding lasers and bottles of rancid acid. Each party accuses the other of getting too close to the other’s ship. Neither have reported any injuries or ship damage – yet.

Well known for his sensationalist media, Sea Shepherd Founder and President  Paul Watsoncannot rule out lives or vessels being lost as the anti-whaling battle heats up“.

The Japanese whalers say that two Sea Shepherd ships have trailed ropes to try to entangle the whaler’s rudder and propeller this week.

While I commend Sea Shepherd’s commitment and very tangible attempt each year to stop Japanese whalers from harpooning hundreds of whales, I can not in all conscience commend going this far. Neither do I have any respect for the Japanese government-sponsored Institute of Cetacean Research claims that these activists are criminals or terrorists (and as I type this words I wonder if some censorship will come down like a tone of bricks on my blog!)

Commonsense should dictate the solutions to this mess, but the impasse within the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has gone way beyond commonsense.

Sadly, I predict that Sea Shepherd’s efforts will not bring whaling to a close. More likely, they will force IWC Parties to make a deal with Japan that gives them legitimated access to whaling somewhere else. If this happens, the battle will truly have been lost.


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