Sea Shepherd’s continuous opposition to illegal Japanese whaling is bearing fruit. There is a limit to just how deep in debt the Japanese government is willing to go to continue to subsidize an industry that loses money and diminishes the prestige of Japan in the eyes of the world.
Last month, Sea Shepherd prevented the killing of whales for more than three weeks and that not only cost the whalers by ensuring they will not get their quota, it also forced them to use over 2500 tons of fuel in the pursuit and that conservatively would have cost them over two million U.S. dollars spent on fuel without a slain whale to show for it.
Disruptions over the last few years have resulted in the whalers unable to reach their quotas. Last year’s devastating fire onboard the Nishiin Maru costs millions of dollars in repairs.
Japan is spending tens of millions of dollars bribing small nations to vote to overturn the global whaling ban imposed in 1986 by the International Whaling Commission. They are spending money on public relations and sending armed Coast Guard units to the Southern Oceans.
The Institute for Cetacean Research is presently in debt on interest free loan repayments to the Japanese government to the tune of over 37 million U.S. dollars.
The demand for whale meat in Japan is falling. The whaling industry is in deep financial trouble and without government subsidies would have died years ago.
The Japanese whaling industry is nothing more than a glorified welfare scheme and the whaling industry executives and whaling crew reduced to nothing more than pathetic beggars existing on hand-outs from Japanese tax-payers.
“We must continuously hound them, we need to constantly nip on their heels and harass them, blockade them, worry them and annoy them,” said Captain Paul Watson. “We will never rest, never retreat and never surrender to their illegal acts of cetacide. We intend to be in their face, up close and personal until we vanquish those vicious harpoons from the waters of the Southern Ocean forever. We will make whaling into the most expensive and embarrassing issue for Japan that we can.”
The Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin is presently heading south towards the coast of Antarctica in search of the Japanese whaling fleet in round two of Operation Migaloo. Once located, the Steve Irwin will once again intervene and harass the Japanese whaling fleet with the objective of shutting down all whaling activity.
Captain Paul Watson has also responded to recent criticisms that what Sea Shepherd is doing is unsafe and puts human life at risk.
“Of course it’s unsafe.” He replied. “We’re not ocean posing down here, pretending to take risks, pretending to be heroes. This is a bloody risky venture and it always has been. As Captain John Paul Jones once said, ‘give me a fair ship and I’ll sail her into harm’s way.’ I have a fair ship and that is exactly what I am doing, sailing into harm’s way to block explosive harpoons, taking on a hostile whaling fleet that outnumbers us 7 to one and taking on one of the most powerful and ruthless nations on the planet. Would we die to save a whale? Why not? People are dying right now to defend oil wells and for religion. How much more noble it is to take these risks for an endangered species and for the future heritage of this planet. I could proudly die for this cause and one day I surely will but I can’t imagine the alternative of doing nothing as these magnificent sentient beings, these gentle armless Buddha’s are cruelly slaughtered and exterminated.”
For more info and updates on this story, go to www.Seashepherd.org.