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Byron Shire
March 6, 2021

Sea Shepherd welcomes end to Southern Ocean Whaling

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Sea Shepherd vessel moored off Byron Bay. Photo Jeff Dawson

Sea Shepherd says its objective of ending the slaughter of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary has been realised following the announcement that Japan is to quit the International Whaling Commission. The group is calling it ‘a victory for the campaign to make the Southern Ocean a whaling free zone’.

Since 2002, Sea Shepherd has opposed Japanese whaling operations in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary with expeditions to Antarctic waters first in 2002 followed by continuous campaigns from 2005 until 2017.

‘During this period over 6,000 whales were saved from the harpoons of Japanese commercial whalers posing as research whalers by Sea Shepherd interventions,’ the group said in a Boxing Day media statement.

‘In 2017, the Japanese government began to invest millions of dollars in security efforts to prevent Sea Shepherd from engaging their fleets. These security measures included military grade real time surveillance.

‘Although this prevented Sea Shepherd from returning to the Southern Ocean in 2018, it also placed Japan in a position of expending huge resources on continuous security.

‘In other words, the cost of preventing Sea Shepherd intervention became very expensive.

Sea Shepherd’s Captain Paul Watson. (file pic)

Sea Shepherd’s Captain Paul Watson said that this ‘and the verdict of the International Court of Justice that exposed Japanese research as fraudulent’, coupled with worldwide condemnation of their Southern Ocean activities had ‘led to this decision to declare they will openly undertake commercial whaling activities’.

‘The scheme to pose as researchers will now be dropped and that means there can be absolutely no justification for hunting whales in an internationally established whale sanctuary. This will be the last year of Japanese whaling activities in the Southern Ocean,’ he said.

He believes that if Japan decides to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC), as it has proposed to do, ‘it will allow the IWC to pass the motion to establish the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary thus effectively ending whaling in the Southern Hemisphere’.

‘Japan will now join Norway and Iceland as rogue outlaw whaling nations in the North Pacific and the North Atlantic.

‘The Whale Wars in the Southern Ocean will soon be over. The focus now must be the Northern Hemisphere.

‘Sea Shepherd welcomes this announcement by Japan and views it as a positive development.

‘We are delighted to see the end of whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. We are delighted that we will soon have a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary and we look forward to continuing to oppose the three remaining pirate whaling nations of Norway, Japan and Iceland. Whaling as a “legal” industry has ended. All that remains is to mop up the pirates,’ Captain Paul Watson said.


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  1. ‘Set a thief to catch a thief’…the likes of Paul Watson, self-proclaimed ‘Admiral’ to be gloathingly rubbing his hands is ironic. He’s a man still with several outstanding international arrest warrants due to his wilful disregard for various countries’ laws. Safely secured in some out-of-the-way hideout, he’s grabbing all the air time he can before the law catches up with him.

  2. The Dalai Lama sent a monk to give Captain Paul Watson a Buddha statue. Many years later when Paul had a personal meeting with the Dalai Lama, Paul did raise the apparent contradiction of the gift with his activities of ramming unlawful whalers and sinking their boats in ports, and the Dalai Lama responded that the Buddha Image that he’d sent to Paul was the Buddha aspect of “waking people up”.
    I suspect that the close of Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is significantly due to the work of Sea Shepherd. Through trials and tribulations, aimed at both shutting down Sea Shepherd and eliminating Paul Watson, their work continued, and I join in with the whales and praise them and thank them.
    Go Sea Shepherd!!!

  3. When the going gets rough… the Dalai Lama responds with a Buddha ‘wake up’ via
    the Sea Shepherd’s Captain. We also call it ‘drawing the donkey’s attention’. We do
    have a lot of these around unfortunately. Go Shepherd! The whales know what’s
    right about the wrongs.


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