Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Sea Shepherd’s Aerial Drone Revealed

Some additional information about the drones used by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has come to light. The sUAS (Small Unmanned Aviation Systems) were deployed last week and successfully discovered the Japanese whaling fleet more than 1,000 miles north of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

The technology, not unlike the larger military drones used by American forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, is considered a major advantage for the conservation org; which in the past has relied upon a mix of guesswork, experience, and outside assistance to locate the whalers. more

Yes Teddy I Know, Greenpeace Are Such Wankers

Greenpeace Should Address Its Own Disgraceful Behavior
December 12, 2011

Junichi Sato, Executive Director of Greenpeace Japan, has publicly condemned Sea Shepherd Conservation Society for accusing the Japanese whaling industry of using funds, earmarked for the Tsunami Earthquake Relief Fund, to provide security for its fleet.

A few days before, Greenpeace claimed credit for exposing the scandal that relief money was being utilized for the support of the whaling fleet. Sato made the following statement: "Not only is the whaling industry unable to survive without large increases in government handouts, now it's siphoning money away from the victims of the March 11 triple disaster — at a time when they need it most. This is a new low for the shameful whaling industry and the callous politicians who support it."

In response to Japan’s suspect claims that the money came from taxes and not from the relief fund (contradicting the Japanese Fishery Agency release that the funds indeed came from the relief fund), Sato, forgetting his earlier statement, decided to use the opportunity to discredit Sea Shepherd. According to Sato, Captain Paul Watson said on Sky TV that it was "really disgraceful" that the money had come from "people all over the world" who never dreamed how it would be used.

Sato called that claim irresponsible and stated that Watson is not doing conservationists any favors by misrepresenting the truth. Sato claims, "Its about the credibility of the whole anti-whaling movement."

We know some $30 million has been allocated from the Tsunami Earthquake Relief Fund, as stated by the Japanese Fishery Agency, with the justification that rebuilding the whaling industry is a legitimate use of such funds. Now the Japanese government is backtracking, claiming the funds came from taxes. Either way, the question must be asked: when people are homeless because of the disaster, why is $30 million being given to the whaling industry to defend their illegal whaling operation in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary? Either the Department of Foreign Affairs is lying or the Japanese Fishery Agency is lying.

Captain Paul Watson believes that it is irresponsible for Greenpeace Japan to use the contradictory messages from the Japanese government to smear Sea Shepherd.

“Sato should look to his own organization when it comes to questioning credibility over this issue. They raise some $40 million dollars a year on their anti-whaling campaigns and all they do is produce mail-outs asking for funds. They have not sent a ship to the Southern Ocean to hang banners for years. The Japanese whaling fleet will pass right by the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, now in Palau, and Greenpeace will not confront them. This is also a disgrace. The raising of money from the public to pretend to be saving whales and at the same time attacking the only organization that has saved whales in the Southern Ocean,” said Captain Watson. “I have asked Greenpeace to join us in a common cause to oppose the whaling fleet and they have refused. I have no idea what they do with the millions of dollars they raise to save whales but I do know the funds are not used for saving whales. As for credibility, Sea Shepherd saved 863 whales last year from the harpoons and Greenpeace saved none. That is the only credibility which we are concerned with.” Sea

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Arnie Gunderson Discusses China Syndrome & The Impact of Fukushima on World's Oceans

I can't give you a review of the effect on the oceans video just yet, it's an hour long and I'm just now about to watch it myself. Later then.

Fukushima - Could it Have a China Syndrome? from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.

Fairewinds' chief engineer Arnie Gundersen discusses whether the accidents at Fukushima were a meltdown, a melt-through, or a China Syndrome. Whatever the accidents are named, thousands of tons of water contaminated with plutonium, uranium, and other very toxic radioactive isotopes are flooding the site, the surrounding water table, and the ocean.

Gundersen on EcoReview: Fukushima's Impact on the Oceans from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.

Arnie Gundersen appears on EcoReview to speak about the impact that the Fukushima nuclear disaster will have on the world's oceans. Fairewinds

Monday, 26 December 2011

Japanese Security Boats Shadow Sea Shepherd Fleet

Japanese security boats shadow anti-whaling ship

Jane Hammond
December 27, 2011

Two Japanese security vessels with uniformed guards were tailing anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd's flagship, Steve Irwin, last night as it headed towards the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary.

The Steve Irwin is closing in on the whaling fleet's factory vessel Nisshin Maru as the groups head south for the start of this year's battle over Japan's plan to kill more than 900 whales.

Sea Shepherd used high-tech drones to find the whalers on Christmas Day and expects to catch up with the Nisshin Maru by New Year's Eve.

The anti-whaling group plans to block the factory ship's slipway to prevent any dead whales being dragged aboard and flensed.

Steve Irwin captain Paul Watson said yesterday he was surprised by the military-style bunkers on the decks of the vessels and extent of the whaling fleet's security.

"There seem to be a lot of changes on the Shonan Maru 2 this year, with armed security personnel and they seem to have a bunker-type thing on the top of their ship with sandbags," Capt. Watson said.

"I don't know if they are expecting us to attack them with weapons or something. They seem awfully paranoid.

"We are just there to stop them killing whales but we are doing everything we can to make sure we don't hurt these people."

Capt. Watson said rancid butter bombs were the worst thing the conservationists would be using against the whalers this year.

Late yesterday, the Steve Irwin was about 50 nautical miles behind the factory ship while the two security vessels were sitting about seven nautical miles off the Steve Irwin's stern.

Sea Shepherd's other two ships, the high-speed Brigitte Bardot and the Bob Barker, were not being tailed by the Japanese.
Twenty Australians are among the Sea Shepherd's crew of 88, including five West Australians. The

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Sea Shepherd Intercepts the Japanese Whaling Fleet with Drones

Oh I do like your style boys, drones indeed. Drive on!

And fair play to Bayshore Recycling Corp (BRC) and Moran Office of Maritime and Port Security (MOMPS) for making this possible. Good on you.

Sea Shepherd Intercepts the Japanese Whaling Fleet with Drones

Japanese Security Ships Move In On the Steve Irwin
December 24, 2011

The Sea Shepherd crew has intercepted the Japanese whaling fleet on Christmas Day, a thousand miles north of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

The Sea Shepherd ship, Steve Irwin, deployed a drone to successfully locate and photograph the Japanese factory ship Nisshin Maru on December 24th. Once the pursuit began, three Japanese harpoon/security ships moved in on the Steve Irwin to shield the Nisshin Maru to allow it to escape.

This time however the Japanese tactic of tailing the Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker will not work because the drones, one on the Steve Irwin and the other on the Bob Barker, can track and follow the Nisshin Maru and can relay the positions back to the Sea Shepherd ships.

“We can cover hundreds of miles with these drones and they have proven to be valuable assets for this campaign,” said Captain Paul Watson on board the Steve Irwin.

The drone named Nicole Montecalvo was donated to the Steve Irwin by Bayshore Recycling of New Jersey, and Moran Office of Maritime and Port Security, also of New Jersey.

Captain Watson having received reports from fishermen when the Japanese ship passed through the Lombok Strait waited south of the strait at a distance of 500 miles off the southwest coast of Western Australia. Sea Shepherd caught the whalers at 37 degrees South, far above the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. More and photo's.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Happy Christmas Sea Shepherds Everywhere

But a special Christmas and thank you to all those at the sharp end of this campaign. Stay safe.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

A Japanese Citizen Speaks: ''Japan tsunami relief funds go to save — whaling''

Putting it politely, the Japanese Government could never be accused of being the sharpest chisel in the box, one would only have to read my Fukushima coverage to have that endorsed.

That this same government knows that Japan's whaling activities are despised all over the world, passes up the perfect opportunity to end this outdated, barbaric practice, saying that it is no longer viable given the recent natural and man made disasters that have befallen the country.

Because if this most recent piece of insanity, the ripping off of tsunami relief fund to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, is in order to save face, and many think so, by sending their killing fleet to the Southern Ocean once more, then I'm lost for words to describe their way of thinking.

And so is the fellow that wrote this article, that says as much as needs to be said, letting me off the hook having to write (rant) more. But I shall just pull this sentence out of the body of the text.

And more importantly, whatever I gave to Japan, I will be giving more to Sea Shepherd to continue its fight against the Japanese whaling fleet

And he Japanese at that.

And that is something we all must remember, no money no direct action by Sea Shepherd, the only organisation that is actively involved in thwarting the Japanese killing machine in Antarctica. Where is Greenpeace?

I don't know what the budget is for running, many many millions of dollars at least, and here's the rub; every last dollar given freely by a sensitive, caring public in order to put an end, once and for all, something that should have ended decades ago.

Volunteer dollars only, fighting corrupt, and it's all of that, government subsidies and money stolen from the victims of Japan's recent devastating tsunami.

And those volunteer dollars are the most important thing in the world, no money, no action and another thousand magnificent creatures meet their deaths in such a manner so cruel, so horrendous, that it makes me wonder just what we are as a species. In fact I think I have in the past gone so far as to question if indeed whalers are part of the same species as us, and not a sub-species of humanity in their own right.

With all this in mind, might I ask you to consider supporting Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, their activities are not directed at solely stopping this gruesome trade in whales, but the protection of dolphins, sharks, turtles and many other species around the globe.

There is a direct link to SSCS donations page in the side bar. Please help if you can, thank you.

Japan tsunami relief funds go to save — whaling.
Michael Yaki
Dec 13 2011

Once again, the subject of whale-killing has surfaced, and, once again, Japan decides to lead the annual “Coal in Stocking” holiday sweepstakes. Why?

Because the Japanese government just confirmed that it has targeted roughly $30 million of its special Tsunami reconstruction budget to provide additional and increased financial support for its notorious whaling industry.

That’s right. No joke. Of the billions being spent to rebuild villages and towns wiped out by the tsunami, to repair an electrical infrastructure crippled by the meltdowns in Fukushima, to safeguard millions from the continuing threat of radiation poisoning, the Japanese government thoughtfully determined that propping up a pariah industry was a priority as well. It has used the money to bulk up security for its factory vessels that are headed down, even as we speak, to the southern oceans to kill a thousand whales in the name of “science.” It is also triple what the whaling industry receives each year from the government.

In plain English, the Japanese government is using its tsunami largess to inject tens of millions of dollars into an industry that serves no useful purpose.

In response, the Japanese government has stated that no “donations” have been used to fund the whale-killing stimulus package, but we all know that just parses the real budget issues involved. For reasons unknown and unexplainable, the Japanese government is addicted to the whaling industry and, like all addicts who found a windfall, decided to go for the big score. But money is fungible. Just because you have $10, you can’t use all $10 to buy crack cocaine if you also need $5 of that ten to buy some milk for your cats. If your friend gives you $5, and you use that to buy milk, you can say with a straight face that none of that money went to buy $10 worth of crack. But anyone knows that without it, you wouldn’t have been able to get your fix. And that’s exactly what Japan has done with the tsunami donations it has received, enabling it to divert other budget funds into enhancing its ability to kill whales.

This expenditure is immoral. It is frivolous. It is a slap in the face of the millions of donors to Japan, many who, no doubt, deeply disagree with their whale hunting but who — like me — were willing to dig into their own pockets because it’s what neighbors, friends, members of the human community do in times of crisis. We don’t expect, however, to be told that our dollars enabled them to exponentially increase its proficiency at shooting exploding harpoon grenades into sentient marine mammals. And don’t let the party line of “we’re not killing endangered whales” let them off the hook. They target fin whales, the second-largest living being, and which is squarely the endangered species list. And there is more than credible evidence that the whaling fleet has killed critically endangered blue whales. And don’t buy “it’s part of our historic traditional diet” malarkey either. 95% of Japan doesn’t eat, or want to eat, whale meat.

I just don’t get it. There remains little, if any, justification for the hunting of whales, and what little there is is more than offset by the critically low population levels of many, if not most, of the remaining species still swimming freely in our increasingly polluted, crowded, and overharvested oceans. Whales bring in far more dollars alive than dead. Every year brings exciting new revelations shedding light on their intelligence, their social groupings, even signs of culture.

Japan could have used the tsunami as an excuse to invest money into the coastal villages that it says are “dependent” on whaling into other, better, and more economically prudent and lasting enterprises. It could have gracefully saved face from the annual shellacking it takes from the international community. Instead, it stubbornly decided to amp up the stakes even more.

Well, Japan, game on.

I won’t be so petty as to ask for my money back. But I believe that amongst the international community, notice should be taken of this ill-use of disaster relief funds when Japan asks for assistance in the future. And more importantly, whatever I gave to Japan, I will be giving more to Sea Shepherd to continue its fight against the Japanese whaling fleet. Last year, because of Sea Shepherd, the Japanese called off its hunt early. Against a better-funded Japanese fleet, it appears that once again cetacean lovers everywhere must spend part of their holiday funds to ensure peace in our oceans and goodwill for all whales. Source

Monday, 12 December 2011

Japan: Country in Tatters Irradiating the Planet at Alarming Rate But Can Still Find Millions of Yen to Slaughter World's Biggest Mammals

Japan Uses Tsunami Funds for Whaling
by Brittany Hahn
December 12, 2011

Times have been tough in terms of money. Families are struggling to make ends meet and to simply get by. With the trouble that the economy has put on many people, things are even more difficult when tragedy strikes. And strike it did in Japan. On Friday, March 11, 2011, the coast of Japan was hit with the most powerful earthquake in its history. The earthquake was a magnitude 9.0, and triggered tsunami waves of 40.5 meters. As a result of the destructive incident, 15,840 people lost their lives, and 5,950 people were injured. More than half a year later, both the country and its people are still recovering. There is still much rubble to clear away and rebuilding to be done, and the threat of radiation poisoning still looms. Empty towns stand as a reminder of what used to be. Additionally, 3,647 people are still missing.

Although there is still approximately 23 million tons of debris left to be removed, Japan has decided to allocate 2.28 billion yen ($30m US) to a more commercial operation: Whaling. This is in addition to its annual funds of $6 million. Greenpeace forced Japanese officials to divulge their financial plan. The executive director of Greenpeace Japan, Junichi Sato, commented, “It is absolutely disgraceful for the Japanese government to pump yet more taxpayer money on an unneeded, unwanted, and economically unviable whaling programme, when funds are desperately needed for recovery efforts.” I could not have put it more eloquently.

Japan officially granted the money to the Japan’s Institute for Cetacean Research (ICR), which is the agency that oversees the whaling operation. The program is carried out under the guise of research, but all whale meat is commercially sold. This year, the whaling operation plans to kill more than 900 minke whales and 50 fin whales in the Southern Ocean. As it is illegal to carry out such acts within this area, Sea Shepherd has vowed to stop them. Japan claims that this program will aid the towns wrecked by the tsunami. more

Friday, 9 December 2011

Obama and His Tart Conspire to Deny Sea Shepherd Pilot a Visa

If this is what world statesmanship has come to, I think we should to look to the playground for some replacements. Pathetic doesn't even come close.

What say you kiddywinks, are you up for the job?

Australian Government Attempts to Sabotage Sea Shepherd’s Campaign to Defend the Whales
December 5, 2011

On the eve of Sea Shepherd and its three ships' departure to defend whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, the government of Australia has tossed an obstruction in our path designed to delay our plans to confront the Japanese whaling fleet.

Chris Aultman, who has been our helicopter pilot annually since 2005, was today denied his visa to Australia. He was not given a reason for this decision.

Chris Aultman, a United States citizen, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corp, a professional helicopter pilot, a star of Animal Planet’s Whale Wars series, and a man who does not have a criminal record, has been told he will not be permitted a visa to enter Australia. The Australian Embassy in Washington D.C. would not give him a reason.

It appears that the Japanese ambassador to Australia has been making phone calls.

Australia denied visas for Captain Paul Watson and 1st officer Peter Hammarstedt two years ago. After a two-month delay, 25,000 Australian signatures on a petition, and the assistance of former Australian Environment Minister Ian Campbell and Tasmanian Senator Bob Brown, Peter and Paul were finally granted visas. No reasons were given for the denial or the delay.

Sir Les Patterson, late Cultural Attaché to the Court of St James.

Sir Les Patterson: The best place to hide something from a Pom is under a bar of soap. Wiki

Now it appears that Australia is seeking to keep the Sea Shepherd helicopter grounded by denying a visa to our veteran helicopter pilot. Australia has also refused to send a government ship to the Southern Ocean to keep the peace in the Australian Antarctic territorial waters and the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

Captain Paul Watson spoke personally to Australian Environment Minister Tony Burke while attending the Australian Antarctic Expedition’s 100th year anniversary dinner in Hobart on December 1st.

Captain Paul Watson: Mr. Burke will you be sending a ship to keep the peace this year?

Tony Burke: That’s not going to happen.

Captain Paul Watson: I think it would be the responsible thing for Australia to do considering the potential threat from the whalers who have indicated they intend to be far more aggressive this season.

Tony Burke: Look, Japan requested that we send a ship to protect their ships from you. If we turned them down it’s only fair that we deny your request also.

Captain Paul Watson: Well, except for one thing. Our ships carry Australian citizens on our crew and we will be in the Australian Antarctic Territorial waters and it is your duty to protect Australian waters and Australian citizens.

Tony Burke: (shakes Captain Watson’s hand) It’s nice to meet you and stay safe down there.

Captain Watson said after that conversation, “I wonder what the Minister will say if the Japanese injure any Australian citizens in Australian waters? I think this is grossly irresponsible of the government to refrain from due diligence in keeping the peace. Australia has stated that Japanese whaling is illegal and they recognize that it is being carried out in waters claimed by Australia. They know that Australian lives will be at risk and yet they refuse to get involved.”

The denial of the visa for Chris Aultman is another indication of the Australian government’s hostility towards Sea Shepherd’s opposition to illegal whaling.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has received overwhelming support from the people of Australia. Unfortunately, the government of Australia does not reflect that support. This is the same government who promised just prior to election that they would take a tough stand against Japanese whaling.

Update: Dec 8, 2011: Visa granted to Chris Aultman. Thank-you Senator Bob Brown.

Sea Shepherd helicopter pilot, Chris Aultman, has been granted a visa to enter Australia, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today. "I thank Immigration Minister Chris Bowen for his swift response to my request as to why two Sea Shepherd crew members were denied visas to enter Australia. Sea Shepherd's Chris Aultman and Tim Pierce, helicopter pilot and mechanic respectively, have both successfully applied before for visas to Australia. Mr. Pierce is expected to be able to also join his colleague in Australia," Senator Brown said. "The Japanese Government is sending a patrol boat from its Fisheries Agency to 'strengthen the protection' of whaling ships as they illegally hunt whales in Australia's territorial waters.

Japan has also taken tens of millions of dollars out of tsunami relief funds to help finance the whale killing fleet heading to Antarctica. I have serious concerns that the presence of the patrol boat may escalate tensions when Sea Shepherd tries to protect the whales the Japanese ships are slaughtering. The Australian Government must have a plan in place to ensure safety as the Sea Shepherd fleet prepares to leave Australian ports to defend hundreds of whales from Japanese whaling ships," Senator Brown said. SeaShepherd

Latest:December 9, 2011 Whalers file lawsuit against Sea Shepherd in US. Paul Watson dismisses it as frivolous. More

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Australia Won't Protect Japan Whale Hunt

Australia won't protect Japan whale hunt
December 07, 2011

AUSTRALIA still doesn't buy Japan's argument that its whaling in the Southern Ocean is for scientific reasons and won't protect the hunt, Environment Minister Tony Burke says.

Japan's whaling fleet has set sail for the country's annual hunt in Antarctica, which it says is for scientific research, with security beefed up amid international protests.

Environmental activist group Sea Shepherd is preparing to confront the whalers and try to stop them harpooning whales.

Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson says both his group and Japan have each asked Australia to send a vessel to guard them from each other during what he expects to be intense high-seas confrontations.

"That is one of the reasons I asked Australia to send a vessel down to keep the peace, but they refused," Captain Watson said.

Mr Burke said Australia's position couldn't be more clear.

"We don't buy for one minute this argument that it is somehow scientific whaling," Mr Burke said today.

"You don't travel from one side of the globe to the other to harpoon whales and chop them up in the name of science."

The minister said Japan had asked for a higher level of protection for their vessels simply because they were to be involved in whaling.

"There is no way that we could countenance something like that," he said.

"I've said so publicly at the International Whaling Commission, and the fact that the opposition has now jumped on that same bandwagon doesn't change the fact that we have no plans to send a vessel down."

Captain Watson said it appeared the Japanese fleet was accompanied by two security vessels with security people and coast guard aboard.

"We are hoping to deter their operations," he said.

"I assume the security vessels will try and dislodge us."

He said an estimated $28 million that Japan had given to this campaign was likely behind the beefed-up security.

"That money did come from the earthquake relief fund," he said.

"I think that it's totally disgraceful. People from around the world sending money to help the victims of the Tsunami-earthquake were not expecting their money to be used to fund killing whales in the Southern Ocean."

The Sea Shepard fleet will set sail in about eight days on three ships.

The Steve Irwin and the Brigitte Bardot leave from Albany in Western Australia while the Bob Barker will depart from Hobart.

Comment was being sought from a spokesman for the whalers.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Twats Are On Their Way Japan Whalers Head for Antarctica

Japan whalers head for Antarctica

Japan's whaling fleet left port for the country's annual hunt in Antarctica, press pictures showed, with security measures beefed up amid simmering international protests.
06 December, 2011

Three ships, led by the 720-tonne Yushin Maru, set sail from Shimonoseki in western Japan on a mission officially said to be for "scientific research", according to local media reports.

The government's fishery agency declined to confirm the reports, citing security reasons.

In February, Japan cut short its hunt for the 2010-2011 season by one month after bagging only one fifth of its planned catch, blaming interference from the US-based environmental group Sea Shepherd.

The fleet aims to catch around 900 minke and fin whales this season, according to a plan submitted by the government to the International Whaling Commission.

Commercial whaling is banned under an international treaty but Japan uses a loophole to carry out "lethal research" on the creatures in the name of science.

It makes no secret of the fact that whale meat from this research ends up on dinner tables and in restaurants. TimesLive