by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Causes, Film/TV.

whale wars, sea shepherd

Next Monday, December 7th marks the start of yet another season of cat and mouse games between the Sea Shepherd and the Japanese whaling fleet. Paul Watson and his crew have taken this week to finalize strategy, do a bit of fundraising, and prepare to embark to the Antarctic Ocean to intercept the whalers already en route.

It’s been an extremely busy off-season for the anti-whaling organization. Its reality television series Whale Wars on Animal Planet brought in big ratings, the futuristic stealth boat Earthrace (now known as the Ady Gil) joined the fleet, and publicity from South Park’s lampooning drew even more attention — something Watson called a “a damn good message” for linking “Japan to the horrific and senseless slaughter of dolphins and whales.”

When they leave Australian port next week it’s safe to say that the Sea Shepherd fleet will be feeling much more empowered than any season before. Not only do they once again have an Animal Planet film crew on board to document the campaign, but the Steve Irwin has been fully repaired and, new to this season, installed with a high-power water cannon. They also now have a “fleet” of sorts with the powerful Ady Gil ready to provide additional harassment.

I have to wonder, however, if all of these new additions, coupled with increased publicity and expectations, might make this season of “Whale Wars” a much more risky one. Here are some of my concerns:

The Ady Gil

In all previous campaigns against the Japanese whalers, the Sea Shepherd have never had a ship much like the Ady Gil. This fast, sleek powerboat under the command of Captain Pete Bethune holds the record for fastest powered circumnavigation of the globe. Whereas it was difficult before for the Steve Irwin to intercept and disrupt the much faster Japanese harpoon ships, the Ady Gil can now choose one (of the three) to harass with ease.

Of course, this presents it’s own issues. One being that the Japanese Harpoon vessels will not be as familiar with how to safely handle a powerboat circling around them as they might the Steve Irwin. The same goes for the Ady Gil, as this is its first campaign against whaling vessels — in particularly rough seas. Then there’s the whole thrown around quote from Watson of using the Ady Gil as a “harpoon blocker”. As Captain Behtune mentioned in an email earlier this summer, “If they ever hit us with an explosive harpoon it’ll be massive damage. but certainly we’ll do our best to get in their way. If they hit us it will always be their guy that pulled the trigger — but hopefully things won’t come to that.”

I hope so too — but an explosive harpoon in the side of the Ady Gil would be damn catastrophic; especially to the people onboard.

The Japanese Whaling Industry and Economics

It goes without saying that the Japanese whaling industry is feeling the pressure to bring home targeted quotas of 850 minke whales and 50 fin whales. Sea Shepherd’s activities reduced catches in 2007 and 2008 to 60–75% of expected figures. Even though the marketplace for whale meat is sinking fast, Japan still buoys the industry with taxpayer subsidies to make up the difference.

That’s all potentially about the change under the new Japanese government as politicians look for ways to cut bloat and cash-sucking programs — with whaling currently up for review. But to the average whaler out there as part of the various crews of each Japanese vessel, that’s his or her job on the line. You have to imagine these people getting fed up with the Sea Shepherd’s tactics interfering with their livelihood. As the pressure rises, could we see some Japanese crew cross the line and fight back more violently? Could all that antagonizing lead to someone flipping out? Sure, it would all play into the Sea Shepherd’s hands in terms of PR — but at what cost of human life?

Publicity and Exposure

Thanks to a hit television show and media mentions of all kinds, the Sea Shepherd are now more popular than ever before. That South Park parody was the icing on the cake. Will all this attention, however, cause Paul Watson and Co. to feel a little more bold in stirring up trouble with the Japanese. Being called “vegan pussies” by a show that advocated for more action may be completely against the Sea Shepherd strategy, but could that goading come into play when things get frustrating? Will the Animal Planet crew, new high-pressure water hose, and Ady Gil make it more tempting to up the stakes?

I’ve no doubt that both the Sea Shepherd and the Ady Gil crew have trained extensively for what’s about to happen over the next several months. As with anything that borders on the confrontational, however, the pendulum between safety and disaster can swing very quickly. The Japanese equipped themselves with a long-rang acoustic device last year. This year, the Sea Shepherd have a water cannon and the stealth boat Ady Gil. Who knows what the Japanese boats might have up their sleeve to counter these new additions? Can such a tango continue — with every year bringing new technologies and strategies — and something not eventually go horribly wrong?

I wish the Sea Shepherd luck in saving as many whales as they can this year — but more than that, I hope their own lives are kept safe, as well as those on the other side. With Japan potentially about to put the axe to this industry, lets hope that peaceful means can result in the final season of Whale Wars, and not something more tragic.

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.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Hart

    Time to sink some poachers.

  • Inchworm

    “but at what cost of human life?”

    Are we the only beings that matter on this earth? What is your basis for coming this this conclusion?

  • MInke Monkey

    #Hart: I say let the poachers sink themselves, metaphorically of course ;)

  • Captain Paul Watson

    In two days time our flagship the Steve Irwin will depart from Fremantle in Western Australia. On the same day our fast interceptor will depart from Hobart in Tasmania. Both ship will head south to hunt down and harass the illegal operations of the Japanese whaling fleet. If we can hurt them bad enough financially we may be able to end whaling this season. Our objective is to bankrupt them and they are already $100 million in debt with a new Japanese government threatening to end their subsidies. Last year we saved 305 whales, the year before that nearly 500, we intend to do much better this time with the advantage of more than one ship.

    I would like to take this opportunity to explain a couple of things to those who make unsubstantiated posts on issues they know little about.

    First for those who claim we are acting in a criminal manner – the fact is that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society nor my crew or myself have not been charged with a single offence over our actions in the Southern Oceans. The Dutch Registry under whose flag we fly has not investigated our activities and thus have not filed any violations. Even the Japanese have not filed any charges preferring to use public relations firms to imply criminal activity. The problem is today that it does not matter if one is saving whales, trees, frogs or snails or running for the office of President of the United States, the most convenient accusation of choice is the label “terrorist” or in our case “eco-terrorist.” If I were in fact an Eco-terrorist I would not be allowed to fly or to travel. As it is there is not a single country that I am not allowed to visit if I should so desire to do so. I also have never been convicted of a felony in any nation in the world.

    Secondly is the constant charge that Sea Shepherd is violent. The fact is that we are so non-violent that we have a vegan vessel – no animal dies to feed our crew. Since I founded Sea Shepherd in 1977, we have not caused a single injury to anyone we have opposed and none of my crew have suffered a serious injury. We have been shot at, depth charged, and had concussion grenades and chunks of metal thrown at us. I have been severely beaten by sealers. But we have been steadfast in not inflicting violence.

    For those who ask what gives us the right to interfere against poachers, I will cite the U.N. World Charter for Nature, ratified by the U.N. General Assembly in 1982 that allows for individuals and non-governmental organizations to intervene against illegal activities affecting the environment and especially in areas beyond national jurisdiction. We are also in a partnership with the Ecuadorian Federal Police and the Galapagos Park rangers to intervene to shut down the activities of poachers in the Galapagos National Park Marine Reserve.

    The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is not an animal rights organization nor are we a protest group. We are a marine conservation anti-poaching organization. We oppose illegal activities.

    For those who accuse my crew of being incompetent and inexperienced I can respond by saying that similiar accusations were made against Ernest Shackleton and I agree with what he said at the time that he would rather have men of passion than men of specialized skills. I could not pay professional to do what my passionate volunteers do. And the fact is that I have never lost a crewmember or had one injured yet the so called professional Japanese fleet has had three fatalities, dozens of injuries, two major fires and an oil spill.

    For those who claim I am not a real captain, again the facts speak for themselves. I have skippered my own ships for three decades and I was first officer on Greenpeace voyages before that. I was a rescue officer and Able Seaman in the Canadian Coast Guard and an Able Seaman in the Norwegian and Swedish Merchant Marine. I was a fireman on the Canadian Pacific Steamship Princess Marguerite and a deckhand on yachts in Greece and Turkey. I have extensive ice navigation experience and I’ve completed over 300 Sea Shepherd voyages without any oil spills, losses,fires, groundings or injuries. I have navigated the Southern Ocean, Indian Ocean, Pacific,Atlantic and Arctic Oceans and I have transited the Panama Canal fourteen times. If I were not qualified, I would not be allowed to command my ships in an out of major ports worldwide. I have not been convicted of any regulation dealing with the operation of my ships. I have never been sued. Over four thousand crewmembers have sailed under my command and not one has come forth to prove that I was not a legitimate master of a legitimate ship. I sign their crew time certificates and these certificates have been recognized for sea time by merchant marine academies worldwide. I find it especially amusing when some tinpot little sealing skipper who seldom navigates out of sight of land accuses me of not being a “real captain.” Another accusation was that I wear enough gold braid to command the Queen Mary which is silly since four bars is the designation of a Captain be it the Queen Mary or the local whale watch or fishing boat.

    Another common criticism is that we are foolishly tossing stink bombs by hand when we should be dropping them from the helicopter. We do it by hand so as not to strike any crewmember on the Japanese decks. It would be illegal for us to drop objects from a helicopter and we could lose the registration and the pilot would lose his license if we did so. Things are not always as simple as they appear.

    I get called lots of things by lots of people but it really is irrelevant what people call me. If we don’t break laws and we don’t hurt people than everything else is simply an opinion and opinions mean little to me. My clients are whales, sharks, sea-birds and fish and I will continue to represent their interests and I will continue to defend biodiversity in our oceans despite the opinions of others.

    My job is to say things people may not wish to hear, to do things that people may disagree with. My job is to piss people off, to save as many lives as possible, to rock the boat and make waves. I’m not here to win popularity contests or the frigging Chevron Environmental Award. I’m not here to greenwash anything with false promises and sugar coated criticisms. I’m hear to make a difference and people may dispute the fact that I am or I am not. I don’t care, that is for history to judge.

    On December 7th we head out to sea to hunt whalers and we intend to kick their illegal asses out of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary once and for all. I mean what is it about the word “sanctuary” these poachers do not understand?

    The next three months should be interesting to say the least and we will be producing a third season of whale wars to air in 2010.

    • joesolo

      Paul, good luck out there! i always watch the show. and thanks for all youve done for marine life of all sorts. im planning on spending time in Sea hpeherd once i’m done with high shcool.
      p.s. ever thoght of using those arm sling shots to fling the rotten butter bombs?

      • Jackie

        You are my hero Paul and I too plan to apply to become a part of your wonderful organization after I graduate high school. It was because of the S.S. I became a vegetarian.

    • Rolf Henning

      Best of luck to you and your crew Captain Watson, Hoka Hey!

      I will be following OWM closely, Wish you a safe journey, and hope you find the whalers early on :)

    • Michael d'Estries

      Well said, Paul. Thanks for your comments yet again. Ecorazzi wishes you and your crew the best of luck.


      Paul, good luck and give ‘em hell!

    • BJ Wanlund


      Good luck to you and to the rest of the Sea Shepherds on Operation Waltzing Matilda. I can’t wait till Season 3 of Whale Wars comes on, and you guys are heroes to both me and my mother.

      As Steve Irwin (your flagship’s namesake) would’ve said, “Go get ‘em, Paul!”


    • Lori Stevens-Hogue

      Captain Watson – my prayer for you and your crew is smooth sailing, may our Higher Power protect you and your crew.Go get those “murderous blubber-chewing barbarian” POACHERS! Go Sea Shepherds! Huzzah for Operation Waltzing Matilda and may the Japanese Whaling Fleet see a 100% decline in their illegal poaching activites in 2009 / 2010 !

    • Robert J


      I fully believe in your guys fight and I agree with everything you have said in this post. Keep up the good fight and let them have it. Keep it legal and let them sniveling babies say what they may say but what it comes down to is that you are there keeping them from poaching in a SANCTUARY. Keep your crew safe as always and good luck with the Aby and the mission!!

    • Lorra Hadle

      I am so…proud of all of you! I wish people would realize the whales are mammals not just fish!

    • josue ortiz

      Thank you ! and good energy for you and your crew. a la victoria!

    • John (Capn Crunch) draper


      This is cap’n Crunch, now working in the entertainment. All of us guys here at en2go patiently wait for the next Whale Wars episode, and last year, I was totally upset to see those huge animals suffer from so much Jap financial greed, that this time, I want to pay closer attention to your activities. First off, have you ever published details on your Internet connectivity, or global communication systems other then Sat Phones.

      From what I see on TV of the Sea Shepard’s Bridge and equipment, I imagine you must have some kind of Sat Link into the internet for feeding your reports back to the Oz Mainland.

      How many people in the Animal Planet crew are on board this time? Do they subsidize or assist in the video and audio communication systems? In all entertainment systems, video rights is always a sticky issue, and we would like to also tell you about our High Def Video delivery system called Flyxo, through cutting edge compression technology, we’re able to deliver video to any connection with 4mb/sec or greater, giving world wide Video delivery systems.

      If you have an upstream rate of 4 mb/sec, the Sea Shepard can send out LIVE streams in 1080P High Def video and audio.

      I know you cannot possibly answer every single Email your fans send you (I’m also doing a TV Show), but perhaps you can send us additional details on the Communication systems the Sea Shepard is using (I assume the Japs already know), as a lot of us Technology geeks here would really like to know.

      By the way, one of the guys here at the studio who makes animations proposed the idea of “Capn Crunch Saves the Whales”, a kind of cartoon program. Not sure what we can dig up to produce the program, as it’s just a thought at this time.

      Anyway, best of luck to you Paul, we are all rooting for you, and anxiously awaiting for the new Whale Wars season to start, and lets all make this the LAST Whaling season….

      You guys are great

    • Scott Brown – San Diego, CA


      My girlfriend and I are huge fans of you and your crews; we believe in your cause, and we hope that one day you’ll be able to shut down the Japanese whaling fleet completely. Keep up the good work, and be safe. We look forward to this coming season of “Whale Wars”, and we also hope that the addition of your new trimaran will wreak absolute havoc and cripple their harpoon boats.

      Bless you and your crew, for all you do. Never back down, and finish this fight!!!

    • graeme mccarthy

      Go get em Paul, you are a legend and I wish you and your crew a safe return.

    • Allen

      if you ever need anyones help count me in. I been in the Navy over 8 years and experinced everything from deck seamonship to radar specailist and ship navigation. you can ask jane taylor on what the Rating “OS” does in the U.S. Navy. I would love to come and help you hunt down these slant eye buggers. I have seen the pain and suffering of your crew endures and the whales for pure slaughter that just makes me sick and saddens my heart to see a defensless mammel die for some cash and so called scientific research. Well shoot me an email if you can use somebody like me with my skills and i am really good at spotting ships and know the rule of the road of international waters. I just wish you all fair winds and following seas in your journey to stop the whalers.

    • lee

      Thanks paul. Well said

    • Mary

      You and your crew are sent from heaven.You ALL so rock!
      I thank you from my heart for ALL you do to save so many lives in our
      vast oceans and beyond!
      I pray every day for the safety of all of you
      WE LOVE YOU !!!

    • Zitwal

      Hi Paul,

      My two boys and I love to watch your show, and TOTALLY support your efforts. We would love to jump in and help. We have our own small battle here with the fight about protecting animals that people just don’t understand. That gives them the right to kill them-they think. But we are trying to help people understand how important wildlife, on land or the sea, is. What the Japanese are doing is WRONG! And we’re sure glad to see you out there doing something. You are an inspiration to my boys, DON’T GIVE UP! The animals need people to fight for them. Before people decide on the life of any animal species, they should get the facts about them first! Without corrrect information and understanding, all animal species are in danger of being extinct. From the prairie dogs, to wolves, and yes! Whales too!!!

    • Angelina Retamal

      Captain Watson,

      I applaud your efforts. I am a huge fan of your organization. I actually just applied to be an on-shore volunteer for your group. Please keep yourself and the crew safe during your efforts to save our marine life.

      I will pray for you guys everyday and I hope I can be of service in the future.

      Best Regards,

      Angelina Retamal

    • ryan

      your useless you risk lives by your terriorist tactics be glad that they dont sink your fat ass for piracy and endangering human lives. if I was on a whaling ship and you tried this illeagal tactics i would shot you dead.

  • Sabrina W.

    Captain Watson and Crew,
    May you find the Japanese early in your ventures and stop 80% or better of their illegal activities. May you all return safe. I await your return with positive thoughts sent your way daily. Please take care of our friend Mr. S.W., we will be there for his wife and children. Love to all!

  • Michael May

    Ok Just a quick mention we who go down know the risks of the harpoons esp on Ady Gil the crew are willing to die for the whales so its not something to worry about but also I to give prey to the crew of Ady Gil And Irwin and hope they all return safe and victorious!!!

  • Danny Boy

    If anything does happen it will be the whalers who cause it not SSCS. As Pete Bethune said it is them behind the trigger.

    As for violence 850 whales being slaughtered (hundreds of them pregnant)…. that’s what I call violence

  • JC

    A Holiday Thought…

    Aren’t humans amazing Animals? They kill wildlife – birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed.

    Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative – and fatal – – health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer.

    So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions of more animals to look for cures for these diseases.

    Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals.

    Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and once a year send out cards praying for “Peace on Earth.”

    ~Revised from Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm by C. David Coates~

    • v-tach

      All true.

      It starts with one fight: the brutal brutal japanese whaling industry and its fleet of high tech ships armed to the nines with modern military grade weapons. What are they doing? re-enacting WW2?

      Scum bags

    • ddpalmer

      High tech ships that are 20 to 30 years old?

      Armed to the nine with military grade weapons? There are cruise ships with more weapons than the whaling fleet. And any ocean going tanker has the same if not more powerful weapons as the whalers.

      And heck, the whalers have explosive tipped harpoons. Do you know aht kind of damage those things would do to the Steve Irwin much less a RHIB? One of those harpoons at the water line and the Steve Irwin would be on the bottom in minutes. It looks to me like the whalers are showing restraint compared to what they could do.

      If they were really as brutal and evil as many of you seem to think, why don’t they let one of the SSCS boats get close to the fleet, use a military grade jammer to block all communications, sink the boat and kill the crew, then just sail away. With the natural dangers of those waters no one could prove anything.

  • devon

    I have a sinking feeling that this time it’s going to be a real disaster.

    • John (Capn Crunch) draper

      Have no fear,
      Crew of the sea shepeard are fully aware of the dangers and take every precaution to play a hard game safely. Even a disaster can become a world changing event.
      I seriously doubt there will be any mortal injuries in the upcoming season. Green and sustainable economics are proving to be the soultion to real sustainable profits. And I believe that the majority of Japanese agree.
      Thanks to Paul for explaining the financial strains that the Japanese whaling industry is undergoing, THIS IS GREAT NEWS!


      I have seen the new boat and she is MAGNIFICENT!

      This is going to be a wonderful year.

      May 2010 be the year that we remember as the year that “The Tides Change!”

  • piermario

    Best of luck Captain, for you and all Sea Sheperd’s crew.
    You got my deepest respect and admiration.
    We’ll be looking forward to have you back victorious and safe.

  • Kim

    We went and saw the Ady Gil when she was in Hobart. She is a lovely boat, but so very small. All the best to the crews. Stay safe.

  • Stephanie

    I loved the South Park episode about Whale Wars even though they called vegans “pussies” several times. :(

    • Mic~Mac

      I saw the episode too but laughed my arse off,and FYI,PW is not vegetarian or vegan and neither is his girlfriend.

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  • Mic~Mac

    I wish the SS crew a safe journey but PW can kiss my arse,and as far as Whale Wars goes I and many other former SS supporters will boycott the show by way of not viewing the 3rd season,the ratings go down then Whale Wars may be scrapped and we have also contacted AP due to PW’s bigotry and racists comments while spewing his and his grilfriend Mia’s muck towards ethnic races but yet takes their donations,he was a good man until he got involved with this Mia who has his head turned so bad that he has not realized he has lost many supporters because of her,she will be his downfall,mark my words…and to say he could not keep pursuing his cause if she wasn’t in his life is a joke,since when do ye put a female before the whales,makes my mind boggle and of late he has been psoting so much dribble where she is concerned that it turns the stomach,be safe SS crew.

    • Captain Paul Watson

      Hmmm, according to this MicMac character I am a hypocrite, a racist, a bigot and I’ve lost so many supporters that their refusal to watch Whale Wars will have the show canceled. Really! I did not know. Oh my gosh this is such a worry. Whatever should I do? Must I repent?

      Apparently this person has a source of information about my life that I am not even aware of. Our support over the last year has actually quadrupled and we have never been stronger. I’m actually hoping the show will be canceled, and it will be, if we are successful in driving the Japanese whalers out of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Our ships are 100% vegan run vessels. This person does seem to have some silly issues and priorities. It seems to bother him/her/it that I am a romantic so much that it “boggles” their mind that I might actually have a life outside of my conservation work.

      This person states that they support the campaign to end whaling but they condemn us for saving whales while doing nothing themselves except to whine and moan because I do not conform to the image this strange complainer has of me.

      If I had a dollar for every loser with an opinion who has predicted my downfall over the last three decades, I would be very wealthy indeed.

      There are those who do and there are those who complain about those who do. I have saved thousands of whales yet this anonymous MicMac character has not saved one whale, choosing instead to direct negative energies to condemning me.

      I love how people call themselves supporters as justification for verbally assaulting me, yet invariably when I do find a real name to go with the complaint, I find the person has never donated anything to our work at all.

      Animal Planet assures me that Whale Wars is doing very well in the ratings and after the nation of Japan failed to shut down our show, I don’t think Animal Planet will be overly concerned about a few losers that have problems with enemy identification.

      • Whoever…

        You and your crew go get them! :)

        I hope you end japanese whaling once and for all, and as far as true activists (who do want to change the world) are concerned you have our support.

        I am sick and tired of cowards on the internet trashing people who actually are out there fighting for what they believe in and changing this world into a better place.

        Personally, besides being a vegan I am locally involved in an animal shelter (which has nearly 600 animals) where I volunteer during the weekends (instead of going to malls or watching tv) and I know that many people still look at us as being crazy hippies.
        However, I couldn’t care less because I’m in this for the animals and my reward is the unconditional love I receive from all of them when I’m at the shelter.

        Humans are not the superior species on the planet and accordingly to our behavior I even refuse to accept we are the most intelligent one.
        When we humans stop being the arrogant fools we are, maybe we can truly evolve and make this world a wonderful place for all of its creatures to live in harmony….

        I just hope we still have the time to do it!

        I recently watched a documentary where a Native American said something like this: “Earth will not end and eventually it will regenerate itself completely because it has all the time in the world. However we don’t!”

        True wisdom…

      • josh

        hey paul
        i dont believe in this whaling crap, and hope you are able to accomplish shutting these crazy japanese assholes forever. i think killing animals is insane. (RESEARCH)???????? wtf is that crap? do i need to let every one know the meaning,defenition of the word research?

        research is search for individual facts or data. May be part of the search for a solution to a larger problem or simply the answer to a friendly, or not so friendly, bar bet! Concerned with facts rather than knowledge or analysis and answers can normally be found in a single source.

        ok so there are many things these japs are doing wrong. their not researching,their not studying the animals, they havent done any of this yet. they are breaking the law 100%!! they need to be remove from the waters and they all need to be arrested. they are just killing and cutting up whales for profit.

        i agree with you paul. i hope one day when i get out of highs school and i can come help you guys out. i would like to show the japs they cannot just go out into these waters and kill harmless animals like whales,dolphines,shark, and ect. i support steve irwin and the crew 111111000000%!!!!!!! my new made up number XD GOOD LUCK PAUL AND THE STEVE IRWIN!

  • dominique

    Cheers to the Sea Shepherds putting so much on the line for the whales. I am sorry it takes so much force to fight for mercy.
    Lets do what we can for all living beings and for the earth herself.
    When I say “Peace on Earth” I mean it.

  • Andrew

    The crews on the whaling ships are professional sailors, and come from a very hierarchical society. You can bet they take their orders from their bosses, and obey them.

    If the whalers hurt anyone, it will be because they’ve been either told to do it, or at least given permission. They could even told to make it look like an accident.

    That doesn’t necessarily make things any safer, in my personal opinion.

  • v-tach

    Japan’s whaling fleet has been expanded to four harpooning vessels (Yushin Maru 2, Yushin Maru 3, Shonan Maru, Shonan Maru 2), a factory ship (Nissin Maru), a supply ship, a spotting vessel and two “security vessels”. No doubt the refuelling vessel (Oriental bluebird) will come down mid-season to refuel the ships and take some of the meat. They used a spotter plane to find the Steve Irwin.

    The Japanese are expected to hunt in Australian Antarctic Territory waters this summer (a declared whale sanctuary).

    The entire whaling operation costs normally costs $65 million to $76 million per year. This year however with the extra ships, it is expected to top $85 million dollars.

    No cutbacks because of the GFC? All for what? Some face saving for a dying industry where there is zero demand. Unbelievable.

  • josh

    i hope to all seashepeards good luck with the japanese this year. i am a great fan of ur show ( no lies ) : ). i wish even i could be there on the seasheaperd and help stop japanese whalers. i am against whaling 100%. i think its wrong, its hurtful to what it all happen.i would think of myself as a whale being harrasses by stupid crazy eyed poeple trying to kill me. i mean these harpoons must way what a couple hundred thousand pounds being shot at whales. its like 1 whale vs 3 or 4 ships. to tell you the trueth i would like to see all harpoon, and factory ships on the bottom of the ocean right now. it would be some thing to laugh at. GO SEA SHEPEARD!!!!

  • Mary

    I pray you all stay safe
    what you do is beyond words
    the world is a better place because of you and your team
    of brave angels
    ROCK ON BABE!!!!

    • ddpalmer

      You may not want to pray for Paul. He doesn’t believe in religion and actually thinks religions are the cause of much of the earths suffering.

      “All human religions – what I call ‘the Monkey-God religions’ – they all worship some giant primate in the sky that tells us that we have to really ignore the rest of the natural world, not even care about it in many cases. I think that the beginning of religion was really the beginning of our disrespect for the natural world which we live in,”

      • John

        @ddpalmer / Mic-Mac

        All I really have to say to you guys is…. AMGUMAD? You guys are seriously posting sites, complaining and bashing Paul and his crew in any way you can? You people need to get out more, instead of nerd-raging at your computer. These people risk their lives out in seas of extreme danger to make the world a better place for you guys, and the least you can do is bash them? How pathetic…

        Instead of angerly pounding your hands on your keyboard with furrowed brows, do a little research.. Read all the “amazing” stuff that people do EVERY SINGLE DAY that is hurting our world. I type “amazing” as a sarcasm joke, for the non-believers looking for a way to bash me as well..

        For Paul and the Crew of the Steve Irwin, Good Luck this season. Hopefully you can get rid of those bastards for good. Your viewers and sole believers are standing behind you 100% of the way.. Your doing the right thing, Don’t let them get away with this.

    • ddpalmer

      Thanks for the advice John. I get out plenty as it is. I figure I spend on average less than 20 hours a week at home. Most of my time is out at sea, where I have considerably more experience than Paul Watson and I actually am certified as a Captain.

      Could you explain how the Sea Shepherd breaking the law is making the world a better place for me?

  • John

    First for those who claim we are acting in a criminal manner – the fact is that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society nor my crew or myself have not been charged with a single offence over our actions in the Southern Oceans. The Dutch Registry under whose flag we fly has not investigated our activities and thus have not filed any violations. Even the Japanese have not filed any charges preferring to use public relations firms to imply criminal activity. The problem is today that it does not matter if one is saving whales, trees, frogs or snails or running for the office of President of the United States, the most convenient accusation of choice is the label “terrorist” or in our case “eco-terrorist.” If I were in fact an Eco-terrorist I would not be allowed to fly or to travel. As it is there is not a single country that I am not allowed to visit if I should so desire to do so. I also have never been convicted of a felony in any nation in the world.

    ^ Clearly you missed to read that, I’ll give you a minute to actually do so….. Okay, now that your done, I can also say that I am a Captain of a ship. Clearly I’m not, but see how easy it was to say that? How do I know your a captain? I don’t.. So therefore, why would I believe anything that you say? I can get into an internet epeen battle just as good as you can, if not better.

    Your missing the whole point behind all of this, he’s trying to make this world a better place by stopping an organization from killing over 900 Whales a year… Apparently life on this planet to you, is completely meaningless. You wanted an explanation on how he is making the world a better place, and you got it. QQ more on the forums about someone who is doing something right. Please.. Continue..

  • ddpalmer

    I didn’t say I was a Captain, I said I am certified as a Captain, which Paul Watson is not. I don’t care if you believe anything I say about myself, but try refuting the facts.

    He is trying to stop an organization from doing what it is legally allowed to do. How does that make the world a better place for me? You say you explained how but I don’t see an explanation. Is it that he is trying to stop the killing of 900 non-endangered creatures a year while there are millions of animals killed every day? Is stopping 900 whale deaths per year going to make the world better somehow, as opposed to 900 cows or pigs or kangaroos?

    And as far as his statement about convictions, that is just a nice little trick he uses to fool the gullible. He is technically correct that he has never been convicted of a felon but he fails to mention that most countries don’t use the term felony for serious crimes. In Canada they don’t use the term felony they use the term ‘indictable offense’ instead. And Paul Watson has been convicted of an indictable offense in Canada. So it is like someone saying they were never convicted of ‘Drunk Driving’ because the actual crime is called ‘operating a vehicle while impaired’ or some other term.

  • John

    The fact that I told you to continue to QQ and you did, amuses me. And stopping the organization from doing what they are legally allowed to do? Isn’t the new Japanese law threatening shutdown? I believe so.. And it was a short explanation, if you didn’t quite notice. I don’t need to sit here and rant on a full detailed explanation when I can summarize. And have you ever heard the saying “A little change goes a long way?” Well, it’s true.

    Btw, Who hasn’t been convicted of some sort of offense in their life? No matter what it may be, or from who it was given by? And I’m sure whatever the offense was, it was doing what he is trying to do now… And last I check, getting a felony in the US is worse then just being convicted of a crime. So you are wrong.

    And before you start spouting out any false accusations about me or my life to try and make me look bad.. I’m a 19 year old HS graduate, that has plenty of options.

    Oh and the message is clearly getting across especially, because a lot of people in the United States (If your not of this country)are growing in numbers to support him and the crew.

    • ddpalmer

      Well since I have better things to do with my money than play online computer games I had no idea what QQ meant. I thought it was a mistake. You really should assume people that everyone knows some obscure Warcraft reference especially when even the urban/slang dictionaries state that it is no longer generally used to mean what you were using it for.

      And as to Paul Watson’s conviction, you obviously didn’t understand what was written. So I will make it easier. If he had been convicted of the same offense in the United States it would have been a FELONY, but Canada (which is another country with different laws) calls those serious crimes indictable offenses rather than felonies. The two terms mean the same thing just in different countries. Understand now?

      Yes a lot of people in the US are being taken in by his lies. It is a sad thing but hopefully their eyes will be open soon.

      You still didn’t explain how saving 900 non-endangered whales makes the world better. With the money they have they could save thousands of dogs or cats or kangaroos, why isn’t that a better use of the money?

      And I have never been convicted of any sort of offense in my life which is almost 3 times as long as yours, and none of my immediate relatives have been either. I guess you just hang out with a bad crowd.

      Well sorry to hear that you can’t support your argument and are running away but since you seem to emulate Paul Watson I guess running from adversity is to be expected.

  • John

    Anyways, I am done with this petty argument, as to I have many things to do besides this..

  • John

    Heh.. I mistakenly left this page open, so I guess I will make ONE last reply… Knowing you of course, you’ll spam your refresh button until I post something else…

    Nice Failure of the Urban dictionary, since they have no clue what the meaning is behind it as well. QQ is a pair of eyes, crying… Crying being complaining in forums, such as this. Nice try. It originated way before Warcraft and has always been used in computer slang… Get your facts straight.

    Oooh and now that you know that I am under your age limit, you automatically think I know nothing? Again… Nice try… Congrats you can talk down to a mere kid to boost your ego. Your simply turning this into an argument that steers away from the point at hand..

    If you want another “Warcraft” reference I am merely trolling you. As to stir up your emotions to a point where you can’t help but to check back every 5 Minutes to see a reply to your idiotic nonsense of what you believe in, compared to what someone else believes in..

    As for the convicted of a crime, I meant mine in the sense of doing anything wrong. So your saying you were the golden child? Never got yelled at? I do not hang into bad crowds.. As my enrish wud luk like dis nah meen? And I am very well supporting my argument as long as “trolling” your responses in the process. Another Warcraft Ref for ya. And I’m not running away from anything, As If I truly wanted to. I could cancel my day, and sit here with spams of messages. I will continue to Support the moves of the SS. Nothing will change my opinion.

    Btw with the money everyone has these days could have been used for a better cause, instead of spending it on our wants, that we think we NEED. When in reality we don’t need them, we just severely want them. This is a step process… You can’t save the whole world in one swoop. Only parts at a time. This is a part. Another step to saving it.

    Goodbye, this is my last Comment, don’t bother to comment back. Because I will not be reading it. :) <– SEEWUTIDIDTHAR? Running away. So to speak. Not. Childish, I know. Your one of the people who deserves the immaturity.

    • ddpalmer

      So you are a racist also. Well that is good to know. All bad crowds aren’t black and don’t speak broken English.

      If you meant in the sense of doing anything wrong then why didn’t you say that. Are you sure you graduated HS? Did they teach English and writing at this ‘school’?

      I see you still don’t want to deal with facts. And if you really mean that nothing will change your opinion then you should be prepared for a lot of disappointment in your life.

      I am on my way to a business diner I will check back later. But i will leave you with these facts. Paul Watson is a convicted criminal. Whaling is legal. Whaling will continue for many years to come. Have a nice day.

  • Kent Savage

    Hi, Paul I thank you for all you do. I have a question on your tactics. Why don’t you use your helicopter to drop your stink bombs onto the decks of the whalers ships? My next questions is are you able to use CS gas? I am ex military this the root of my questioning. Thank you again and continue to fight the good fight.

    Kent Savage

    • tori

      I too am glad of of the work you are doing to save our whales we have starting to watch season three we were very angered at what we seen and have decided to boycot japanese sales and we will spread the word as well