[ View the story "Ocean defenders " on Storify] Ocean defenders How far should activists go in the name of protecting the environment?
The Stream· Thu, Apr 17 2014 10:51:44
a pirate and "eco-terrorist" by his critics. On Thursday, The Stream speaks to environmental activist Captain Paul Watson about his efforts to end whale hunting and defend ocean life around the world. His fleet’s aggressive “direct action” tactics toward Japanese whaling vessels in particular have drawn both praise and controversy from environmental activists.
TEDxSF - Captain Paul Watson - 4/27/10tedxtalks
Watson was originally a founding member of Greenpeace. After a
over his aggressive methods of activism, Watson left and founded what was to become the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in 1977.
The group is best known for using confrontational tactics to interrupt commercial fishing, shark poaching, seal hunting and whaling operations. The Sea Shepherd has rammed and disabled other ships, sunk commercial vessels at harbour, used mines to blast open hulls, and hurled homemade stink bombs to induce nausea. Watson claims he and his crew have sunk 10 ships.
the group, calling them reckless.
Anti-Whaling Activists Ram Shipntdtv
Violent extremists Sea Shepherd ram into whalershundefar
@CaptPaulWatson Obnoxious self aggrandizing pirate oaf who is acting appropriately. An astute character would be better accepted.TV Miller
This guy is crazy, dangerous, and maybe racist. "Interpol issues arrest notice for Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson."
Hooray! A clear statement of the obvious from Tim Stephens of Uni of Syd about Sea Shepherd: "Their histrionics are unhelpful and dangerous"Mark J. Cohen
Operation Relentless - Sea Shepherd's 10th Antarctic Whale Defence Campaignseashepherd
Sea Shepherd campaigns have taken them to the South Pacific Ocean, the Galapagos Islands and the Mediterranean.
WA Shark Cull Claims Another Two Victimsseashepherd
In 2003, the crew brought attention to the annual dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan. A long tradition in Taiji, the people of the remote village drive dolphin pods into a local cove where they are slaughtered with spears. The Sea Shepherd first used the hashtag
in 2011. Since then it's been mentioned in more than 80,000 tweets in the last month.
Dolphins herded to the Cove and slaughtered on November 13thseashepherd
The Sea Shepherd's most recent campaign was to stop Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean. They claim to have saved 784 whales at the end of their mission in early April.
Operation Relentless Saves 784 Whalesseashepherd
Commercial whaling has largely been outlawed since 1986 under the
International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling
. Only about a dozen
hunt whales, but do so with certain permissions granted from the
International Whaling Commission
(IWC). These exemptions allow whaling for cultural and scientific purposes. While most whaling countries have killed fewer than 10,000 whales since the ban took effect, no country has hunted more whales than Japan. Japan has killed 20,162 whales,
to the IWC.
Japan says it hunts whales for scientific
, but makes no secret of selling whale meat on the open market.
On March 31, the International Court of Justice
that Japan's whaling programme did not meet the standards for scientific research. Japan was ordered to immediately stop its whaling operation.
People celebrated the news on social media sites, and gave a lot of credit to Watson and his crew:
Deserved pats on back over tonight's #icj whaling decision but don't forget brave @SeaShepherd crew who exposed issue&prevented slaughter :)Peter Whish-Wilson
Great win for the whales! Congratulations to Peter Garrett, Mark Dreyfus and Sea Shepherd's Paul Watson. #auspolKelvin Thomson
Incredible victory for our friends at @SeaShepherd!!! No more whaling in the Southern Ocean!!!!Lisa Veronica
Everyone should party today because Japan's whaling program in Antarctic has been declared illegal!! Woot woot. #SaveTheWhalesMathis
EARTH WARRIORS STICK TOGETHER!
OMNIA is proud to say:
WE SUPPORT SEA SHEPHERD !!
Captain Paul Watson is a man...
The celebration was short lived once it was
that Japan would seek permits to continue whaling for scientific purposes in 2015.
So Japan will simply restart whaling as JARPA III and wait to be taken to court? Illegal, shameful and morally bankrupt. @SeaShepherdLeith McPherson
Japan has been barred from hunting whales, but looks as if whaling industry will do what they want but in different regions now. #greedyMelissa ❦
@AJStream Japan must find a way to make whaling sustainable and limited in area.Luiz Sanchez
Japan will not abide by icj decision. Will continue illegal whaling. Sea shepherd will be thereSam Simon
If Japan returns to the Southern Ocean, the Sea Shepherd says they will resume their campaign. "I fully expect that Sea Shepherd Global will be prepared to return to the South Ocean in December 2015 to once again defend the integrity of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary,“ Captain Watson
in a Sea Shepherd statement.
In early 2013, Captain Watson stepped down as president of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, but he's still involved in working to protect marine wildlife around the world.
The Stream's asked its online community for their thoughts on "eco-terrorism" and whether the environmental activism of Watson and the Sea Shepherd should be described as such.
@DeemaAlpha @AJStream @CaptPaulWatson Japanese whalers are destroying our planet, in my view they are the eco-terrorists.PW has never killedTravis McCrea
@DeemaAlpha @AJStream @CaptPaulWatson there are enforcement bodies out there that do their jobs. The UN stopped the Japanese whalingTerry Audla
@DeemaAlpha @AJStream @CaptPaulWatson @SeaShepherd I am naturally against the threat of violence with that being said ...Billy Dees
@DeemaAlpha @AJStream @CaptPaulWatson @SeaShepherd sometimes you have to rattle people's cages to get their attention or nothing changesBilly Dees
@DeemaAlpha, kidding? To intimidate residents in #taiji is tactics? @CaptPaulWatson is a coward fugitive who bullys the weak.
@AJStreampeace with fairness
What do you think? Tell us in the comments below.