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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 #15 - Sea Shepherd frustration

In the aftermath of the excitement around the rather dull RNZAF Orion video footage of some of the ICR vessels in action, predictably Sea Shepherd are upset at their lack of ability to find the whalers (the Farley Mowat has been at sea since December 29). They have put up a plea for assistance on their website, offering a reward to anyone who will leak them the co-ordinates of the JARPA vessels.

A Frank Watson article appearing in various Australian media provides some extra colour:
Two Sea Shepherd ships have unsuccessfully searched for the Japanese whalers in the Ross Sea for the past 12 days.

"The New Zealand Air Force flew over the whaling fleet in the Ross Sea on Friday and filmed them killing whales, but the Government won't reveal the co-ordinates," Captain Watson said from the protest ship Farley Mowat.

"We'll offer a $25,000 reward to get someone to leak the co-ordinates.

"We'll save that much on fuel."

Captain Watson said the air force plane had been searching for illegal fishing but did nothing except take pictures.

As usual, Watson likes to blame the Japanese for everything, including his own inability to make good use of the donations he attracts:

"Japan requested New Zealand not to release the co-ordinates . . . That makes the New Zealand Government complicit in criminal activity, as what Japan is doing is illegal."

Previously, Chris Carter told media (see "view video") that "for a public safety reason we won't be releasing these co-ordinates to Greenpeace". Once again later, responding to Japanese concerns about the safety of the ICR crew, he confirmed that the co-ordinates would not be released.
Sea Shepherd ships Farley Mowat and Robert Hunter have another three weeks before they must return to port to refuel.

This is the real problem for Sea Shepherd now, and it's just a matter of time. They have to dock again somewhere to re-supply, but I don't think any government - even those of Australia and New Zealand - will want to risk the condemnation of the international community that would follow if they allowed Sea Shepherd to set out for the Antarctic again, now that the Farley Mowat is sailing without a flag.

"We believe the whalers are within 400 nautical miles of us, but we have information the Japanese are using satellite tracking to find out our position every day. That way they can keep clear of us," Captain Watson said.

"We have also found out US Naval Intelligence has been tracking us by satellite and giving information to the Japanese."
So apparently now, not only Japan and New Zealand but the USA too is colluding against him. Are his suggestions true? Probably not. Last year he claimed that he had "received a tip from a reliable source in Japan, that Japan has dispatched a warship to the Southern Ocean" which never eventuated, giving the impression that it was an hysterical fabrication.

The real concern out of all of this is that depending on how frustrated Watson is, he may take even more seriously dangerous actions to try to make the most of his last chance to do what he said he would set out to achieve. I'm sure the ICR folks are aware of this, and will surely be doing everything they can to ensure their safety.

The Greenpeace ship Esperanza left Auckland on Friday and will reach the Ross Sea late this week to join the hunt.

But the two groups hate each other almost as much as they hate the whalers.

Greenpeace said it did not know the co-ordinates of the whalers but would not tell Sea Shepherd even if it did.

"We have a principle of peaceful protest, which Sea Shepherd does not," Greenpeace spokeswoman Sara Holden said.

Being a great big nuisance is apparently still "peaceful" by whatever standards and principles Greenpeace holds itself to, even though it only results in delaying the inevitable. The ICR will remain in the Antarctic until they are done - simple as that.

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Hi! David-san,

>>>The real concern out of all of this is that depending on how frustrated Watson is, he may take even more seriously dangerous
actions to try to make the most of his last chance to do what he said he would set out to achieve.<<<

This is right indeed !
The main aim of the crazy captain is not to save whales but to give a big show to the world for his donations.

Judging from David-san's views,Japanese government will continue to give the real time info of the SS or GP vessels's location to ICR members so that they might not encounter.Before the crazy vessels come,the ICR ones will run away.Because ,for the ICR, I guess it is the best way to avoid the dangerous interfere. The ICR knows it is diffucult for SSCS to refuel.
So,once SS lost fuel, it means end.

>>>Greenpeace said it did not know the co-ordinates of the whalers but would not tell Sea Shepherd even if it did.<<<

David-san,I doubt this a little.
Because last year GP gave the location info of ICR vessels which SSCS did not get for themselves.


GPは公式にはSSとは協力しないと主張しているが、実際には洋上で調査船団の位置や情報をSSに頻繁に伝えていた事は、 SS自身が認めているところである。 SSのホームページには、調査船団を追航していたGPしか知り得ない日新丸の詳細な行動まで、正確な位置情報と共に記載された事もあった。

Anyway,they are noisy gnats.

Yep, based on last years information, the Sea Shepherd vessel can be at sea for about 50 days (7 weeks). They have been at sea for about 4 weeks, so probably only two more weeks to go before they have to leave the Ross Sea for refueling. And I imagine that that will be the end of their campaign for this year, and given their track record, maybe they will struggle to get off the ground next year as well.

I don't know whether GP will co-operate with SS this year - only two weeks left, and they will only be criticised for it if they do. You never know with the excitable folks at GP though - what seems to be common sense rarely ever is with them.
Hi David, Y/H-san,

I'm quite amazed by the number of newspapers and media who have relayed the information about SSCS offering money to whoever will tell them where to find the Japanese whaling fleet. It's like SSCS having a lot of publicity for free.

The information in itself is not much interesting, so why so many reports about it?

However, if the Japanese fleet is really using "satellite tracking to find out [SSCS's] position every day", as Watson says, any information will be useless to SSCS as the Japanese will be able to continue avoiding them.

Nevertheless, with GP starting its "commercial anti-whaling in disguise", dodging both SSCS and GP might be difficult.
Hahaha, "commercial anti-whaling in disguise" :) Very good!

Sea Shepherd sure have had a lot of reports of their bribe offer. Perhaps this silly sort of stuff sells news in the western media these days.

Anyway, Sea Shepherd can only hang out there for a while longer. Maybe they will cut some deal with Greenpeace behind the scenes to co-operate together in their search. But Sea Shepherd will only be a feature of the season for another two weeks or so, based on the reports we are seeing. I don't think they'll be able to leave port again after refueling without registrations, which no registry in their right mind should grant them.

Amusingly, one report says that Sea Shepherd claims to have had trouble with fog reducing visibility and making it hard for them to find the whalers even with two ships and their helicopter - yet if it was foggy then the whalers wouldn't know where Sea Shepherd are, either - satellites can't see through fog. Sea Shepherd are full of lame excuses.

Even if Greenpeace can find the fleet, I wouldn't be too worried about them. I don't think they'll take things so far after their excessive actions last year. At their core Greenpeace are just a bunch of show ponies. With the fleet having 3 sighting-sampling vessels, and Greenpeace having just the Esperanza, I don't think the inflatables can afford to chase after more than one SSV at a time due to safety reasons. Greenpeace aren't serious about risking their lives. Nor should they be. The minke whale has just been taken off the Red List, so people should start asking what Greenpeace are complaining about here. The world's biodiversity must be just fine if Greenpeace can afford to be wasting resources on this (unless it isn't a net waste of resources).
HI! Isanatori-san,

>so why so many reports about it?

Well,the anti-whaling bloc are
looking forward to seeing the
Watson's big show,are'nt they?

Are we,the Japanese the criminals?
WANTED $30000 Japanese whalers.

Sad enough.

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