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David @ Tokyo

Perspective from Japan on whaling and whale meat, a spot of gourmet news, and monthly updates of whale meat stockpile statistics



JARPA II 2006/2007 Update #14 - Aiding and abetting?

The New Zealand government, through "Conservation" Minister Chris Carter, has released video footage taken from on board an RNZAF Orion purporting to be "undertaking surveillance against illegal fishing in the Southern Ocean".

This is a genuine task that these Orion airships are utilised for, but is the simultaneous departure of the Greenpeace Esperanza vessel and this surveillance flight a pure co-incidence?

One suspects that the co-ordinates of the position of the ICR vessels and the direction in which they were heading will have been passed on to Greenpeace by the New Zealand government, which should find the information useful in tracking the whalers down around a week or so from now, so they can really get stuck into their propaganda campaign.

Sea Shepherd, who have been at sea since December (without a flag state), will surely be fuming if Greenpeace are able to find the whalers before them, in the case of such assistance having occurred. Expect another out lash from Paul Watson if this prediction holds true.

As for the video footage itself (no audio - courtesy of TV3), it's very tame stuff. There is no blood and struggling like we saw when Greenpeace were engaging in their "whale saving" tactics last season. The New Zealand government, if it has indeed aided Greenpeace by providing information on the position of the ICR vessels, will have to bear the negative consequences for the whale welfare statistics of the hunt on it's own conscience.

New Zealand taxpayers must also be asking themselves why the air force vessels are wasting time filming the legal activities of the ICR fleet instead of carrying out their real duties (which leads to the suspicion that they received "special orders" for this particular mission...)

* * *

UPDATE: Another article at the Southland Times has more details:
Mr Carter said the a Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion undertaking surveillance against illegal fishing in the Southern Ocean had "come across" the Japanese whaling vessels.
Mr Carter said the government had decided to take the "very unusual step" of releasing the footage to "allow the public to make up their own minds about Japan's whaling activities".
The fleet had been prepared as the vessels were clearly labelled "research" and had a large sign with their website address printed on it, he said.

Mr Carter would not be drawn on where exactly in the Ross Sea the footage had been taken and said the co-ordinates would not be released to Greenpeace.

We will have to take the Honourable Minister at his word!
Mr Carter said he had a meeting with Greenpeace onboard the ship last Friday and while he supported their commitment to the issue he and the Government were concerned about the tactics used.

Among the tactics Greenpeace used was manoeuvring their inflatable boats between the harpoon and the whale, a move which Mr Carter said he was concerned about.

"While I applaud their work, the Southern Ocean is a dangerous place and we are concerned that we are going to have loss of life if the protests continue in the same way."

Mr Carter said filming of the fleet could not be ruled out in the future and they would continue to "keep an eye on the fleet".

I struggle to understand why the NZ government would want to film the ICR fleet further when their objectives are supposedly surveillance for illegal fishing operations...

* * *

Andrew Darby has comment from Hideki Moronuki of the JFA:
A Japanese Fisheries Agency official, Hideki Moronuki, said he could not understand why New Zealand had decided to film the fleet or release the footage.

"It makes no sense," he said.

Especially so, since the footage is so bland and tame...

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Hi David,

Yeah, that's a funny coincidence, isn't it? You can find a video of a press conference by Chris Carter in this article :

I think the guy on Carter's right is Scott Baker, a famous anti-whaling "scientist". In his press conference, Carter says that he won't give the information (about where to find the Japanese whaling fleet) to GP or SSCS, but I guess there will be some leak.

So I suppose that we'll have GP activists performing their famous stunts in the coming days. Let's hope the other childish fanatic, aka Paul "Puff Cream" Watson, doesn't get involved in anything.
Thanks for the video tip, isanatori - I hadn't got around to listening to the video of the press conference.

I'm personally am prepared to take Chris Carter for his word (he is a fellow New Zealander after all).

This statement in particular was veeery interesting:

"For a public safety reason we won't be releasing these co-ordinates to Greenpeace"

Well done, Mr. Carter! I have to commend him for his statements, which make it clear that he does not wish to encourage confrontation in the same vein as last season.

Still - it would be very very suspicious if Greenpeace do manage to find the whalers within the next seven days or so...
Good morning.
David-san & Isanatori-san!

As you say,I also supposed
some governments would give
the location info of whalers
to GP.(The location might be confirmed only with space satellite.)

Naturally the other insane group
,Watson is given nothing because of his terrorism.That might be why he waits for GP to start.

Then, I wonder if GP will hand
the info to the terrorist?
There is much for us to see.

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