Friday, 29 July 2011

Dolphin Arms! Sounds Like a Boozer To Me

Something fishy going on here.


July 28th, 2011
By Frank Lake

TOKYO — Ginzo, the dolphin with human arms, is leading a dolphin fight against Japanese fishermen.
Japanese fisherman are preparing for their annual dolphin hunt. Once again they are preparing for a slaughter like this:

But, they have a formidable opponent this time – GINZO, the DOLPHIN WITH HUMAN ARMS.

Ginzo is leading a battalion of angry dolphins in a counter-attack against fishermen. Several local citizens in “the cove” heard a human voice coming from Ginzo, who gave a passionate and dramatic plea for all dolphins to defend themselves – aggressively – against the blood-thirsty fishermen.

Japanese police and coast guard officers have held a security drill to practice protecting a village from the bloody battle they are anticipating for the annual dolphin hunt.

A Wakayama prefectural police official says Wednesday’s drill was aimed at guarding the southwestern town of Taiji from protesters before hunting season starts in September.

About 10,000 law enforcement officers gathered in the bay where the Oscar-winning film “The Cove” was filmed.

Japan allows about 20,000 dolphins to be caught each year. Most Japanese have never eaten dolphin meat but the government defends the hunts as tradition.

But that’s the way it used to be… Now, GINZO is take the matter into HIS OWN HANDS and will stop the Japanese fishermen from slaughtering his people again.

WWN’s intrepid reporter, Dr. Taxi, will be at The Cove to cover the battle. He will be embedded with Ginzo’s platoon. Stay tuned… WWN

Friday, 22 July 2011

Steve Irwin Desperately Needs Our Help

Would you please join me in sending a desperately needed donation to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Thank you.

Emergency SOS from Captain Paul Watson: Save Our Ship!

Captain Paul Watson has a personal message for you. Please watch now!

I am writing to you from the ship, in Lerwick, Scotland: I need your help to free our flagship vessel, the Steve Irwin.

On the afternoon of Friday, July 15, the Steve Irwin was detained in the Scottish Shetland Islands by the British courts due to a civil lawsuit brought against us by Maltese fishing company, Fish and Fish Limited. They are claiming damages for the bluefin tuna we rescued from their nets in June 2010, fish that we believe were illegally caught after the season has closed, without an inspector onboard, or any paperwork documenting the legality of their catch.

We have a legal firm representing us, and believe we have the necessary evidence to support our case. This lawsuit will also give us the opportunity to expose what we allege to be illegal activities by Fish and Fish and we will be aggressively defending the case on this basis. The protection of the endangered bluefin is vitally important to our oceans, and to humanity, because if the oceans die…we die.

Now, unless we post a bond for USD$1,411,692.87, the Steve Irwin will be held indefinitely and possibly sold. This would not only be a financial hardship for Sea Shepherd, but more importantly, it could prevent us from reaching the Faeroe Islands to protect pilot whales and threaten our ability to defend whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary from the Japanese whaling fleet this December.

I urge you to help Save Our Ship today! We must urgently raise USD$1,411,692.87 to post bond. Gifts are coming in, but we have a long way to go. I urge you to send the largest gift you can today – your gift is incredibly important and will make a difference by helping us save the lives of endangered whales.

You've already helped save thousands of whales and untold numbers of other marine creatures, but unless we get our ship back soon, whales will die tragic deaths because of our inability to move this ship and protect them.

Please make a donation to save the Steve Irwin so we can return to sea and do what we do best – defend life in our oceans.

Never has the need for your help and support been any greater.

Thank you,

For our Oceans and for the Steve Irwin,

Captain Paul Watson

Click again after opening.
Photo David Gifford.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Any Old Iron!

I suppose there are plenty of other issues I could report on, but this little piece appeals to my off-beat ''Jack the lad'' side. Not only that, it might be just the right kind thing to help me pick up the threads again and start posting on the issues once more.

This article, written by the Old Man, is not without a certain humour in places, as equally it is not without a few facts and figures. Although in the grand scheme of things, and as a percentage of running three vessels and Sea Shepherd CS as a whole, I don't suppose the particular figure that I'm talking about is all that great. Nevertheless, the (unpaid) berthing fees quoted in the article is hardly small change, and let's face it, Lunenburg Nova Scotia, is hardly the inner quay at Monte Carlo is it?

To tell the truth, I have no idea what the annual budget is for SSCS; something for me to look up I guess.

The Gift that Just Keeps on Giving: the Continuing Adventures of the Farley Mowat

Commentary by Captain Paul Watson
April 13, 2011

Retiring a ship can be a costly affair unless you have a way of getting someone else to take care of the dirty work for you. Sea Shepherd has used the services of the Canadian government since 1992 when we first retired the Sea Shepherd II and again in 2008 when we retired the Farley Mowat.

It is a strategy that has three benefits. First, it provides a means to remove a ship that has become a liability at no cost to us, secondly, it can be used to launch a final publicized intervention, and lastly, it can be a gift that just keeps on giving.

What we have done is effectively given the government of Canada a white elephant on two separate occasions. We get them to seize the ship and we convince them that it is their idea to do so. At first they feel very smugly victorious as they declare fines and costs to be rendered. This smugness turns to confusion when they realize we don’t intend to pay the fines and costs. Confusion turns to embarrassment when they realize that the costs of keeping the vessel have become a burden onto themselves.

This week the Farley Mowat was arrested in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Appropriately on April 1st, the sheriff posted an arrest warrant on the wheelhouse door where it is presently docked at the government wharf.

The Waterfront Development Corporation, a provincial crown corporation, took legal action against "the owners and all others interested in the ship" last month.

According to documents filed with the court, the corporation is seeking $29,410.96 for unpaid berthage between March 6 and December 15, 2010. In default of payment, the corporation is seeking an order "for appraisement and sale" of the ship. The ship is not Sea Shepherd’s property so it’s therefore not our problem. The current owners bought it from a government auction for $5,000 with the intention of fixing it up and making it seaworthy again. But they ran out of money and appeared to have abandoned the vessel.

So once again, the government is stuck with the chore of unloading a retired Sea Shepherd ship. This is three years after the government of Canada seized the ship in the Gulf of St. Lawrence for interfering with the prestigious and glorious Canadian tradition of baby seal bashing.

Then Canadian Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn was an easy politician to manipulate. He was a staunch, short-tempered Newfoundland supporter of seal clubbing and had vowed to defend the poor little sealers from the bullies like us who want to defend the baby seals from their clubs.

So, I sent the Farley Mowat into the ice floes under the command of Dutch Captain Alex Cornelissen and Swedish First Officer Peter Hammarstedt. I was not onboard because I was a Canadian and that would have given the Canadian government the excuse to legally crucify me. What I wanted was a European registered ship with a European crew to bring attention to the seal hunt to help with the European Union’s decision to ban seal products.

Predictably, Hearn overreacted and attacked the Farley Mowat with a heavily armed SWAT team from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. We could not have asked for a better scenario for publicity. The images of them brandishing automatic weapons in full combat regalia were priceless.

The Farley Mowat was seized and Captain Cornelissen and First Mate Hammarstedt were both charged with the horrific crime of witnessing the slaughter of a seal pup. The Farley Mowat bailed them out with $10,000 worth of Canadian $2 coins that we call Doubloons because the Canadian $1 coin is called a Loon, or a Loony, which means that Canadian banks are Loony bins.

Cornelissen and Hammarstedt were not allowed to return to Canada to stand trial because immigration Canada would not let them into the country, so the trial proceeded without them and they were fined some $45,000. But since they could not return to the country, they simply did not need to pay the fines.

The government then arrogantly informed me that I would have to pay a $75,000 fine for the return of the ship. I replied that I was not interested in paying the fine.

A year later, the government sent me a bill for $750,000 for the cost of berthage and security for the ship. I ignored the order. They then said they would be fining me $1 million unless I paid the costs and removed the ship. I ignored the order yet again.

The government then ordered the ship to be sold to recover costs without even taking it to court. I issued a media release stating that I would consider the ship as belonging to Sea Shepherd and if purchased, we would steal it back. Not that we wanted it, but we wanted to discourage any purchase.

Finally the ship was sold for $5,000 to an environmental organization in Oregon and because of that, we decided to cooperate with the new owners. Unfortunately, the new owner went broke and abandoned the ship in Lunenburg where it now sits, once again under arrest, continuing to make waves politically and continuing to embarrass the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Our objective of publicizing the seal issue in Europe was very successful and indeed contributed to the decision by the European Union to ban seal products thus pulling the carpet from under the feet of the sealing industry, and effectively shutting the commercial operation down. Since then, the Canadian government has been spending millions in a fruitless effort to overturn the European Union’s decision.

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me

The bureaucrats and politicians of Canada are not known for their intelligence. The President of the Treasury Board, Stockwell Day, thinks that dinosaurs went extinct because they could not get on Noah’s ark. The Governor General likes to eat raw seal hearts on television, the former Prime Minister Jean Chretien thought that pepper spray was what you put on a steak, and former Prime Minister, William Lyon MacKenzie King, made decisions by talking to the ghost of his dead mother. And my own experience with the government of Canada is how they can so easily fall for the same trick twice.

In 1992, Canada ordered my ship the Sea Shepherd II into Ucluelet harbor in Vancouver Island. I was returning from the North Pacific to Seattle with the intention of retiring the old vessel, and I was concerned that it was going to cost a few hundred thousand dollars to do so. I did not need to go into Ucluelet and the government had no legal authority over me to force me in but I saw an opportunity and the ship entered the harbor with a pilot where we were immediately pounced upon by the Mounties and Canada Customs. They brought dogs and all sorts of equipment to do a complete search of the ship for weapons and drugs. They of course found nothing and said we were free to go. But the pilot then presented me with a bill for $7500 for pilotage fees. I told the pilot that I had no intention of paying said fees because I entered the harbor at the request of the government of Canada. The pilot said that if I did not pay the fee, the ship could not leave. I replied that I had no intention of paying the fee.

I sent our ship the Sirenian into the harbor and we offloaded everything of value and made three trips to pump out the fuel and oil. We then left the Sea Shepherd II at anchor. The government took us to court for the fee but we did not show up for the trial and the judge ordered that we pay half the fee because the fee was for in and out of the harbor and we had not left. I ignored the court order.

I then went back to Ucluelet and sold the ship to a guy in the bar for $5,000. Unfortunately he died six months later in a kayaking accident and the ship was left in the harbor where it broke anchor once and almost took out a local marina. Finally after 10 years, the ship was towed out of the harbor at the government’s expense and taken to Victoria to be cleaned up and broken down. The entire saga cost the government over one million dollars and all because they tried to stiff us for $7500.

Then 18 years later, they fall for the same tactic once again.

If I have to retire another ship, I wonder if I will be able to use the services of the Canadian government once again. I’m betting that I can. The current Fisheries Minister Gail Shea is dumber than all of the previous Fisheries Ministers put together. She recently raised the seal kill quota to almost half a million seals despite the fact that there is no market for their pelts. Even the sealers are shaking their heads at that one because they know that there is no point killing seals if you cannot sell the pelts. But Shea is in Ottawa and in Canada, that is about as far removed from reality as one can get. Sea Shepherd
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