Perspective from Japan on whaling and whale meat, a spot of gourmet news, and monthly updates of whale meat stockpile statistics
Ian Campbell seems to be serious
about his complaints about the use of water cannons by the ICR fleet to keep nuisance activists away from their vessels.
Perhaps Ian could tell us why the activists need to be within range of these water cannons in the first place? Or does he think that the ICR vessels are obliged to put up with attempts to graffiti on their ships and obstruct their research, which is conducted in accordance with international agreements that Campbell's government has and remains adhered to?
Even according to Paul Watson
Nathan and his crewmates will maneuver their little rubber Greenpeace boats into the path of the fire hoses where they will be filmed being “attacked” with high power hoses. They will do that for hours and it looks very dramatic. But it’s all just ocean posing folks. Last year, my crew quite easily avoided the fire hoses. In fact, the only way they could have been hit would have been to steer directly into the path of the water.
Ian is making a fool of himself, as usual. Aren't politicians supposed to carry themselves with a little more dignity?
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notes that Croatia has joined the IWC, adding another European nation to the list of member nations. Croatia neighbours fellow IWC members land-locked Hungary and Slovenia
, who also recently joined the IWC. That makes one less European nation who hasn't yet joined the IWC. Croatia, like Slovenia, borders the Adriatic sea, although they have a significantly larger coastline.
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: More on the article regarding Campbell's criticisms...
The IWC Resolution (2006-2
) referred to in the article is entitled "Resolution on the safety of vessels engaged in whaling and whale research-related activities
The resolution title makes it clear that the resolution deals with the safety of the ICR research vessels from "protest" activities, which last year led to a couple of ship collisions with Japanese vessels (both Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd vessels were involved).
It's no surprise that with Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd vessels not yet in the vicinity of the ICR research fleet, we haven't yet heard of any collision incidents involving "vessels engaged in whaling and whale research-related activities" this season. Clearly, the Japanese government sponsored ICR vessels are in the Antarctic for the purpose of completing their programme (conducted in accordance with international agreements that both Australia and Japan have adhered to), not to cause incidents with other vessels, which generated so much media interest last year. Whether similar incidents reoccur over the coming weeks is ultimately dependant on the intentions of those conducting the protest activities.
With this in mind, it's worth noting another part of the resolution - "the Commission and Contracting Governments support the right to legitimate and peaceful forms of protest and demonstration
If protest groups wish to attempt to physically obstruct the activities of the research vessels (i.e., with their inflatables), they can not expect that physical actions will not be taken against them in response, to limit their effectiveness. The ICR crew are not under any obligation to act as a "protest punching bag" for the self-righteous activists of those groups. It is the choice of these activists not to limit themselves to peaceful forms of protest that introduces the "risk to human life
" referred to in the article, through provocation. Such acts which provoke response should therefore not find support with any government.
The Sea Shepherd organization is at least mature enough to stick up for themselves - Paul Watson says that his crew are "prepared to die for the whales" - but Greenpeace have no excuse. There is no need for them to deploy inflatables in close proximity to the research vessels (an essential pointless tactic in terms of "saving whales"), and certainly not to conduct stunts such as that quoted in the article
- trying to "hook their inflatables to whales being hauled up the stern ramp
That is not "peaceful" protest activity.
If Greenpeace activists are big enough to sail themselves all the way down to the Ross Sea and attempt to obstruct whaling efforts in such a confrontational manner, they should not run to Ian Campbell crying like babies for help when their self-righteous behaviour results in them being sprayed with water cannons.
Greenpeace's actions in the Antarctic during the month of February will indicate the level of maturity of the people running their organization. While one can hope for both the sake of their activists as well as the ICR crew that Greenpeace change their tactics this year, surely Ian Campbell ought to know better than to indulge in this nonsense. I've said it before
, but I'll say it again - Campbell should stick to his policies rather than snuggle up to groups displaying such an arrogant and self-righteous attitude as this.
At the end of the day however, whether or not Senator Campbell wishes to bathe in embarrassment is for him to decide.
Labels: Croatia, Greenpeace, Ian Campbell, JARPA II 2006/2007 Updates