by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Causes
Tags: .


The early drama for this year’s “Whale Wars” appears to have been resolved.

According to The Age, an Australian newspaper, Watson’s visa to join the rest of his Sea Shepherd crew in the country was granted yesterday. The move came after some tense weeks of delay on the part of the Australian government; an action that was seen as giving in to Japanese pressure. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship, however, fought back at critics saying it was a matter of the type of visa Watson applied for that made the difference.  “Though Mr Watson may have previously visited Australia as a tourist, the visa required for that type of visit is quite different to that for a short-term business visit, which is what is required for his forthcoming trip,” the department said in a statement. “This is a matter being handled by the department in a manner no different to the standard procedures in place for the processing of millions of visa applications each year.”

Nevertheless, Watson believed the delay to be more than just red tape and slammed the Australian government and their handling of the situation. “I am confident that the Australian people will send their voice to Canberra to support us and the whales. Rudd and Garrett need to be reminded that it was not the Japanese whalers who voted them into power, it was Australian citizens, and Australians want the bloody slaughter in the Southern Ocean ended.”

Well, game on. We’re not sure if 1st Officer Peter Hammarstedt, who also was held up in visa limbo, has been approved — but one can assume he’s packing his bags as well.

Sea Shepherd’s “Operation Waltzing Matilda” kicks off this December.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • Rolf

    just confirming that both Paul and Peter have had their visa’s approved.

  • chris

    god lets hope not… less tool onboard the HMS DEE DEE DEE

  • Pingback: A Victory for Paul Watson & Sea Shepherd! | Animal Alerts()

  • Jeff


  • Drew

    Another victory for state-sponsored terrorism.
    Watson sure knows how to push the Australian governments buttons.

    • Dynamite

      No Drew, it’s yet another (impending and long overdue) defeat for the state sponsored terrorism perpetrated by the Japanese whalers upon the otherwise defenceless whales. Thank goodness for the heroic actions of the Sea Shepherd crew. Love their work!

      • Downunder

        Drew Dynamite Downunder

        Drew …and you sure know how to push mine. Is your last name ‘Political Brainwashed’

      • Drew

        Jeez they slaughtered a few million defenseless kangaroos in Australia last year. Didn’t hear about anyone tossing bottles of acid at the people shooting them. And they kill about 10,000,000,000 defenseless animals a year for food and clothing in the US. Y’all didn’t seem too concerned about those animals being defenseless being slaughtered. Neither did Watson. If he did he would be in the US throwing bottles of acid at slaughterhouses.

        Your hero Watson is a phony and you are the gullible idiots taken in by him.

      • Sara Keltie

        That is such a pitiful arguement (October 22)- there are a thousand battles to be fought around the world and its wonderful that the crew of the Steve Irwin have dedicated so much of their lives to this cause. Your arguement that they dont care for other issues is completely baseless. You talk about the Kangaroo issue, clearly you are not aware that the ship manager Benjamin has spent years researching and planning to make a doumentary about kangaroo hunting in Australia? You speak of the animals slaughtered ever year for food consumption, so how wonderful that the entire ship exists on a vegan diet and animal produce is not accepted even when donated but instead passed on to other charities such as Food Not Bombs.

        I am sure we are all interested to know what causes you fight for?
        Is it animals? If so, why not the environment? If its the environment, why isnt it animals?
        If its wildife, why isnt it farmed animals?
        Its easy to bitch at others for not doing EVERYTHING. What matters is we all do SOMETHING.
        The more caring and understanding people we have in the world the more causes we can fight for. Just appreciate that Sea Shepherd are working to protect the Oceans and we will appreciate and thank you for whatever betterment you work for!!

  • Pingback: Eco-Beat, 10/21 |

  • Whoever…

    Some people fight for what they believe in and other people criticize them for it!

    Apart from everything else, that’s the major difference between people at SS and those who criticize them.

    Terrorism? Damn… You have been so well brainwashed!

    Do you know what terrorism really is?
    Do you want to know what terrorism is?

    Then watch:

    If doing everything to stop whalers and the likes of them is terrorism, then I can guarantee you I’m one major proud terrorist!!!


  • Crazy Man with a Boat

    Paul Watson is a nutter who is going to get one of his naive little zealot crewmembers killed, or a Japanese sailor, or both sooner or later. No doubt he’ll consider that acceptable collateral damage.

  • Ted

    Watson was able to get a simple ‘tourist’ visa for years, but somehow the evil bad Japanese government is pulling Australia’s strings this year and trying to ‘ban’ him from entering? Bah. Sorry, I don’t buy that.

    Perhaps it is because now the vessel is carrying a full production crew on board, and ‘Whale Wars’ has become a cash cow for Animal Planet. There’s no way the A.P. video crew is riding along for free; I’m sure they are paying passengers, as every camera guy on board is one less volunteer to throw bottles, etc. Although Watson probably registers the money as a donation and I’m sure he tosses it into the common funding pool, it is still seen as money paid for services rendered (carting the AP crew around Antarctica). A.P. is making a serious bundle from televising Watson’s clashes, which makes Watson the star of a television programme, one that is in Australia with the intent to get more footage for the next season. That now makes the purposes of Watson’s trip a business trip, not a vacation, and you have to apply for a much more complicated visa for business purposes. Hence, the rejection of the original application.

    Most countries require some kind of background check for that kind of visa, to make sure you are not trying to take advantage of its citizens. You would not like to find out that your new investment broker had a warrant placed on him in Zurich for bank fraud and embezzlement 6 months ago, would you? How about finding out your new neighbor is the current contact point for a Nigerian bank fraud scheme?

    The truth is that Watson had to stand in line, just like the rest of us – and he didn’t like being one of the commoners. I thought it was in poor taste for him to lash out at the visa office like that; I can understand his frustration, but what did he expect to happen? You can’t relax the rules for one person’s business visa without relaxing the rules for everyone (and chance letting criminals in). If you looked at the turnaround of the business visas for the Animal Planet crew, you would probably find out that theirs took even longer than Watson’s, but they probably filed their applications months ago.

    I would not expect the visa office to be as accomodating next time around, due to all the criticism they are taking now because of his little tantrum. The whaling season was still 3 months off when he was told his original visa application was being reviewed, and he still received it in just one month. I wish I could get my visas pushed through that fast (Brazil takes 2-3 months to approve, just for vacation purposes).