Anti-whalers dismiss 'sham' Australian surveillance

Dec 23, 2013
The Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker (R) collides with the Japanese whaling fleet fuel tanker the San Laurel, on February 25, 2013

Militant anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd on Monday dismissed as a "sham" Australian government plans to track Japan's annual whale hunt by air instead of by sea, saying it was a toothless and "cowardly" response.

Australia on Sunday announced an aerial Customs and Border Protection mission to the Southern Ocean as a showdown looms between Japan's whaling fleet and Sea Shepherd activists, saying it would send a message to both sides that the world was watching.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt had first promised to send a government ship to tail the warring groups but said the Airbus A319 would increase the surveillance mission's reach and effectiveness.

Sea Shepherd criticised the move, with Australian chairman Bob Brown describing it as a "pretty, cowardly" backdown by the conservative government in a bid to appease Japan due to ongoing free trade negotiations.

"They'll fly over and look from a great height. What are they going to do if something's going wrong down there? Where are they going to send a vessel from? Because those planes are not going to be able to intervene," Brown told reporters.

"It's a sham operation, this plane."

Instead of patrolling the southern fisheries, Brown said the government's custom-built Antarctic vessel ACV Ocean Protector was on border patrol duties between Australia and Indonesia as part of a military-led crackdown on people-smuggling.

Graphic on minke whales, main target of Japan's annual whale hunt.

"It is dangerous down there, we've got a violent Japanese whaling fleet on the way with grenade-tipped harpoons and it is dangerous to get in the way of that and uphold the law," he said.

Brown said Sea Shepherd's fleet had "three good days sailing" since departing Australia last week and they would beat the Japanese harpooners to the Southern Ocean.

"We'll be there when they arrive," he said.

"Now Greg Hunt has said there will be a plane overhead sometime in January and February—the whaling fleet's going to be there before new year and we warned the government of this.

"This surveillance operation should be there from the outset, (instead) it's going to fail from the outset."

High-seas clashes between the Japanese and Sea Shepherd are common, with the activists regularly pelting the whaling ships with stink bombs, attempting to foul propellers and manoeuvring their vessels between harpoons and whales.

Both sides claim to have been rammed by the other over the years and Sea Shepherd's vessel Ady Gil sank during confrontations in January 2010.

Japan hunts under a "scientific research" loophole in the international moratorium on whaling.

Australia says this is illegal and has taken its key Asian trading partner to the International Court of Justice seeking an injunction against the harpoon programme. A ruling is due next year.

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User comments : 14

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BSD
4 / 5 (4) Dec 23, 2013
Another broken promise by our right wing government whose leader said he will say or do anything to become Prime Minister except sell his arse. Meet Tony Abbott, dickhead extraordinaire:

http://www.indepe...ies,5566
Sinister1812
3 / 5 (2) Dec 23, 2013
I don't know who voted for Abbott either. Strangely enough, a lot of ballet papers went "missing" in WA during the election. So something definitely doesn't sit right here.
ForFreeMinds
1.8 / 5 (5) Dec 23, 2013
Those who want to protect the whale, should support ownership of the wales and property rights to fish them. If someone owned the right to fish for whales, then they'd let the population grow so harvesting them minimized the resources, and maximized the output on an ongoing basis. That would eliminate the danger of them going extinct. Instead, it appears they want to use government restrictions instead, which means governments will be fighting about this from now until they change their minds.
Mike_Massen
3 / 5 (2) Dec 23, 2013
Why is it there is such a weird similarity between contemporary US Republicans & Aust Liberals with the other side of the coin similarity of US Democrats & Aust Labor. The tea party (US) would not be lost on the Liberals as a routine run of the mill fundraiser whilst the Democrats in US re intellectual achievement appear eg as Clinton of his time close to Keating to a point, oh my gawd is USA only a late amplification of Australian politics or gawd help us the other way around suitably downsized Washington DC as Canberra ACT - ArrrrGhhhh !
Sinister1812
5 / 5 (3) Dec 23, 2013
Those who want to protect the whale, should support ownership of the wales and property rights to fish them.


Isn't that what they do with animals in South Africa? It doesn't seem to be working out so well there..
Jonseer
5 / 5 (2) Dec 24, 2013
Why is it there is such a weird similarity between contemporary US Republicans & Aust Liberals with the other side of the coin similarity of US Democrats & Aust Labor. The tea party (US) would not be lost on the Liberals .... ArrrrGhhhh !

Not weird, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp n Fairfax Holdings control media news there. Gina Rhinehart who owns controlling interest in Fairfax makes Rupert look like a commie. They've successfully made the Extreme Right Wing the national mainstream there whereas in the USA its power is restricted to the Republican party. (Rhinehart once complained that she couldn't pay Aussie miners a $1 a day like she did in her African miners). Murdoch's success in Australia in many ways was a template for Fox News in the USA. Alone he was on his way to repeating the Aussie results here, but Fox news success was in part tied to GW Bush. When he left office the efforts stalled before they could make that extremism a contender outside the House.
Jonseer
1 / 5 (2) Dec 24, 2013
With more creatures on the international red list than the rest of the world combined, and the Tasmanian devil's future looking more and more bleak thanks to Tasmania holding massive mineral wealth any effort to save species should be focused inward.

That it is instead focusing on what Japan does basically says this is just a facade to hide Australia's abdication as its role of protector of its unique fauna and flora.

While the Devil publicly is said to be facing extinction in the wild due to a contagious cancer, the real cause is it stands in the way of mining in Tasmania.

Should it disappear in the wild, nothing would hinder mining interests in Australia from ripping apart the Island's ancient highlands to extract tin, copper, nickel and gold.

There is no more powerful industry in Australia than the mining interest. Those mining interests will decide if the Devil lives or dies. Their "support" explains the sure to fail efforts to save the Devil as well.
Sinister1812
5 / 5 (3) Dec 24, 2013
With more creatures on the international red list than the rest of the world combined, and the Tasmanian devil's future looking more and more bleak thanks to Tasmania holding massive mineral wealth any effort to save species should be focused inward.


It's nothing to do with mining (which isn't common in TAS), it's the disease that's wiping them out. They're doing a lot to try and stop it, like trying to find a vaccine. I came across this idea though.
http://theconvers...nd-16388
Mike_Massen
5 / 5 (4) Dec 25, 2013
Jonseer's guesses are so bad
..Tasmanian devil's future looking more and more bleak thanks to Tasmania holding massive mineral wealth..
What the hell ! what is the causal link ?

Jonseer goes on with awful thinking
...the real cause is it stands in the way of mining in Tasmania.
Show this causality ?

Jonseer then lumbers with
..ripping apart the Island's ancient highlands to extract tin, copper, nickel and gold.
What mineral surveys show this where the animal has habitats ?

Jonseer has real trouble
Those mining interests will decide if the Devil lives or dies.
How ?

Jonseer makes all sorts of dumb claims with
Their "support" explains the sure to fail efforts to save the Devil as well.
Causal link please ?

Am aware of the animal's cancer & sincere attempts to halt it - you come up with rubbish implying researchers & carers have no integrity & easily bribed !

What an ugly ugly way of thinking Jonseer ugh !

Science please, not an old man's complaint site !
OZGuy
5 / 5 (2) Dec 25, 2013
Jonseer- You obviouslty have no idea of what's happening in Australia on any level ; Australia - yes it's that rather big bit of land in the Pacific Ocean when you search for it in Google Maps . Are you espousing your own ill-educated beliefs or simply regurgitating someone elses? Either way stop it your ignorance is showing and it's NOT a good look.
freethinking
1 / 5 (4) Dec 25, 2013
If I were the Japanese I would have my ships ram and sink the terrorist ships of the sea shepherds. If you are dumb enough to go in front of a large ship.... you deserve to be sunk.

BTW. I'm no fan of the Japanese whale hunts, but crazy environmentalist terrorist groups are a bigger danger.
Sinister1812
5 / 5 (2) Dec 26, 2013
If I were the Japanese I would have my ships ram and sink the terrorist ships of the sea shepherds. If you are dumb enough to go in front of a large ship.... you deserve to be sunk.

BTW. I'm no fan of the Japanese whale hunts, but crazy environmentalist terrorist groups are a bigger danger.


So your solution then is to do nothing? Makes sense.
dav_daddy
3 / 5 (1) Dec 27, 2013
If I were the Japanese I would have my ships ram and sink the terrorist ships of the sea shepherds. If you are dumb enough to go in front of a large ship.... you deserve to be sunk.

BTW. I'm no fan of the Japanese whale hunts, but crazy environmentalist terrorist groups are a bigger danger.


Yeah but they make one heck of a reality show. That whale wars (or whatever its called) is one of the few I can stomach watching.
Mike_Massen
5 / 5 (2) Dec 28, 2013
freethinking offered this oddity
BTW. I'm no fan of the Japanese whale hunts, but crazy environmentalist terrorist groups are a bigger danger.
Does freethinking consider his blurt is nothing other than propaganda ?

Is this really 'free thinking' or instead 'not thinking' by being a mere follower as if an automaton ?

Do environmentalists wishing to save sentient species from destruction need to be characterised as terrorists, who is the greatest terrorist here - those small number of people trying to protect intelligent species who live in harmony or the Japanese 'researchers' who *must* kill in order to learn (ie research).

Is this anything to do with the economics of harvesting whales under the blatant & ugly lie of "research", when the profits of the sales of whale meat support several industries ?

It has been know for decades it is not necessary to kill in order to learn via research, yet there is no effort from the Japanese to reduce slaughter & suffering to this end !