by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Causes
Tags: .

water cannons, whalers, sea shepherd

It’s on.

The first clash of the season between the Japanese whalers and the Sea Shepherd took place yesterday — with the later getting the chance to use their new water cannon.

Captain Paul Watson wrote on his MySpace blog that the Steve Irwin and the Shonan Maru # 2 exchanged shots with their water cannons. The Japanese harpoon ship has been keeping tabs on the Irwin since it left Australian port last week. From his post,

“At 1400 Hours (Melbourne time) (August 14) the Steve Irwin went around an iceberg, did a figure eight out of view of the Shonan Maru #2 and re-emerged within a quarter of a mile of the Japanese whaler’s portside quarter catching the whalers completely by surprise. A pursuit began and the Shonan Maru #2 turned on two water cannons. The crew of the Steve Irwin immediately responded by placing their water cannon in readiness.”

“For the next two hours the harpoon boat and the Steve Irwin were engaged in a high speed pursuit with the Steve Irwin chasing the Shonan Maru #2.”

“After two hours, Captain Watson decided to break off the pursuit and resume course to the coast of Antarctica. The Japanese whalers are spending a great deal of money, first locating the Steve Irwin by air and then directing the Shonan Maru #2 to the coordinates of the Sea Shepherd vessel. By staying on the tail of the Steve Irwin, the harpoon vessel is able to keep the rest of the fleet aware of the Sea Shepherd position. Captain Paul Watson needs to lose the tail of the Shonan Maru #2 in order to locate the whaling fleet. He is counting on heavier ice conditions to assist in this effort. ‘We will use the icebergs and the ice floes to our advantage.’ Said Captain Paul Watson. ‘I’ve observed today that I am a more experienced ice navigator than the Japanese captain chasing us. We need to get him to follow us into the ice fields and let the ice work for us.’

“The Steve Irwin crew were left wet, but in good spirits after the confrontation. “It was awesome seeing them run like cowards when we turned on them,” said Third Mate Vincent Hayes.”

The Sea Shepherd’s newest addition, the Ady Gil, left from New Zealand late last week after some satellite communications gear (spotlighted here) became faulty. With its great speed, it should avoid any tails by the Japanese and potentially locate the fleet before the Irwin. Stay tuned.

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 →
  • Rolf Larsen

    Great stuff! keep them on their toes Paul!

    • jack

      that is right paul

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  • ddpalmer

    The Ady Gil is back in port. They destroyed their radar soon after leaving port after the satellite communications gear was fixed. They hope to make their third departure soon.

    • Rolf Larsen

      The radar is fixed, they’re just waiting for the NZ gov’t to allow them to enter NZ waters.

  • LeeTree

    Go Paul. Stop those defiant sob’s. They dont need to be there!

    Hopefully the whaling ships have some on board fires again…

  • Fat Man

    I’m sure the Japanese govt got permission to enter NZ & Aust antartic waters? Yeah Thought so. They do what they please. Raping the oceans. Japan only responds to strong action. Look what it took to stop WW2 in the Pacific…


    Go getum sea sheperd!

  • Little Boy

    Paul Watson should take a leaf out of the French book of negotiation and give these whaling scum bags the Rainbow Warrior treatment. Either that or a well placed torpedo and put this fleet at the bottom of the Southern ocean. I’m sure they would save face and refuse to be rescued.

  • v-tach

    The quicker SSCS dispatches these cretins to the seabed the better.

  • v-fib

    “Japanese taxpayers money is being squandered on life-support for a whaling programme that produces virtually nothing of value,” said Jun Hoshikawa, executive director of Greenpeace Japan.

    “With well over 9,000 minke whales killed in 22 years and no useful data produced, Japan’s so-called ‘research’ in the Antarctic is an international embarrassment.”

  • Bundle of kent

    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.

  • trindle

    Rewritten maritime safety and environmental laws threaten to rule Nisshin Maru out of Antarctic operations within a few years, and a new Japanese Government waste-watch committee is focusing on organisations that subsidise the whaling.

  • abacus

    Remember when the Australian customs and fisheries vessel went down there to ‘monitor’ the whale slaughter? Remember how they discovered Japan was taking pregant whales, baby whales (calves) etc etc?

    Their response was to get good data a range of ages and sexes was needed in their study.

    Just like the banners they hold up “We’re examining the stomach contents”, “We’re doing research”

    What about the study that found they hasd been harpooning Blue, Sperm and Humpback whales?

    Brutal savages. Boycott Japan

  • sidewinder

    Paul Watson should take a leaf out of the French book of negotiation and give these whaling scum bags the Rainbow Warrior treatment. Either that or a well placed torpedo and put this fleet at the bottom of the Southern ocean. I’m sure they would save face and refuse to be rescued

    I know it’s harsh – but they might respond to this!

  • Hideyoshi Toyotomi

    Great to see Japan taking a harder line, but still pathetic that Japan has not yet militarised this abysmal situation.

    Peace and security on the high seas is imperative and Japan should use the appropriate military force to neutralise the threat from these eco-terrorist vermin.

    • Michael Raymer

      You guys have tried using military force in the past. How did it work out for you? And you are implying that concussion grenades and sonic devices are not enough, yet you call the Sea Shepherds terrorists. What weapons are these “terrorists” using against you? Tell me, how should the whaling fleet arm themselves to combat vegans and pacifists?

      Why is killing whales so important to you? Who, in the entire country of Japan, is going to starve if whaling is discontinued?

      Do you want to play the “cultural tradition” card? America and Northern Europe had a much bigger whaling operation in the 18th and 19th centuries than the Japanese ever dreamed of, yet we abolished it and never looked back. In fact, it took the Norwegians, at the beginning of the 20th century to teach you how to conduct whaling (make sure to tell them “thank you”). So again, why is this so imortant to you?

      • Hideyoshi Toyotomi

        Vegan pacifists? Please. Sea Shepherd are violent, fanatical criminals who value animal life over human life (or at least non-caucasian human life). They are a misanthropic organisation committed to violence. Remember, it is Sea Shepherd to go to the Antarctic to attack the whaling fleet. Slightly significant, what.

        The question you need to ask yourself, sir, is why are YOU so obsessed with the issue of whaling? It is accepted that humans kill animals for food and other reasons, provided they are not endangered. Minke whales in particular are not endangered, so it’s open season on them. Hmm?

        The onus of proof is on YOU to prove why they should not be sustainably harvested. It is NOT for the Japanese to explain themselves to others (let alone eco-terrorist degenerates) for doing what they are entitled to do under international law.

        I need not play the cultural card, or any other card for that matter. Because whaling does not need an excuse, it is the default. If you think it should be stopped, then please, explain why. And pray, keep it to fact and reason.


    • Michael Raymer

      I’m against whaling because it it a cruel practice employed against an animal species that we don’t fully understand. I’m against it because there is absolutely no need for whale meat anywhere. I, personally, am not even close to being a vegan. Cows, chickens, pigs, etc. are needed to feed the world (as well as fish). But (and this is my issue), we have humane ways of slaughtering this animals. It takes 20 minutes to kill a whale, during which time it is thrashing in agony. These are animals that are fully capable of feeling pain, fear, despair and remorse.
      It is abundantly documented that the whalers will target juvenile whales first, because the parents will stay close by to try to protect it, making them easier targets. This is barbaric. There is no other animal species in the world where this would be tolerated. In short, if I treated a dog the way the whalers treat a whale, I’d be arrested.
      I find your stance interesting Mr. Toyotomi. The whalers, which you seem intent on shilling for, claim that they are killing these whales for scientific research, with the harvesting of whale meat merely being a by-product. Yet you are not invoking research into your argument. Of course, you are in good company. Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada has come clean and admitted the same thing recently. It is still telling that your masters felt the need to lie in the first place. And since you want my argument kept to fact and reason, the law ONLY provides for whales to be killed in the name of research, with no waste afterwards. Face it, my friend, with every word you type, YOU justify the actions of Sea Shepherd.
      You say that the Shepherds are “committed to violence”, but have not addressed the fact that it is the whalers that have resorted to the use of concussion grenades, firearms and LRAD devices. All these weapons deployed against people armed with bottles and paper bundles, who specifically keep their shots away from the people on-board the whaling ships. For what? Where is this meat going? Again I ask, who will starve when whaling is eliminated?
      Fact and reason. I think I have provided both.

      • Hideyoshi Toyotomi

        My dear Michael,

        I thank you for your attempt at fact and reason. It is not an easy task to stick to fact and reason when espousing the anti-whaling agenda.

        I have a few points in reply and I hope you’ll indulge me.

        1. You say whaling is a cruel practice employed against an animal species that we don’t fully understand. But the fact is that it is no crueller than the slaughter of common livestock – infact, it is more humane as the whales enjoy lives of great freedom and are in effect “free range”. Also, we need not understand a species in order to kill it. If you claim to “fully understand” (whatever that means) the cow, chicken and pig then I would say you are either a liar or simply deluded.

        2. You say there is no need for whale meat anywhere. Correct, there is no need. Just like there is no need for cow, chicken or pig meat. Meat is actually a highly inefficient form of food. The world would be better fed if everyone was a vegetarian. But the fact is we like to eat meat. Cows, chickens, pigs and whales are a luxury. Need has nothing to do with it.

        3. You say it takes 20 mins to kill a whale. You are factually mistaken. The IWC stated that in 80% of cases, death for whales was INSTANTANEOUS. The idea of a lengthy and painful death is just another lie from issued by the eco-terrorism industry.

        4. You say whales are capable of feeling pain, fear, despair and remorse. This is completely without scientific foundation. You simply arrived at this bizarre conclusion through a process of anthromorphism – that is, projecting human qualities upon animals. It is just delusion, Michael. Remember – fact and reason!

        5. The issue of scientific research is irrelevant. It is simply a by-product of Japan’s desire to play by the rules and abide by the laws of the IWC. Japan has openly stated a desire to have the moratorium lifted and resume commercial whaling. It is just blocked by fanatics in the IWC. Anyway, Norway and Iceland openly practice commercial whaling. Where is your outrage there? Where are the eco-terrorists? Or is it OK for the white man to conduct commercial whaling?

        6. The Japanese sailors use defensive equipment as they are under attack in dangerous conditions. It would all stop if the eco-terrorists left them alone and abided by international law. Japan has exercised incredible restraint in dealing with these criminals. No other country in the world would hesitate in sending the Sea Shepherd rodents to the bottom with military force.

        As you can see, fact and reason often present a very different reality to that offered by sentimentality and extremism. As I’m sure you’ll agree, it is fact and reason that will ultimately secure the long-term survival of the whales. Not violence and propaganda.

  • Gordon

    Collecting Stomach contents and tissue samples??
    I watched Whale Wars and could Clearly see These Stomach contents, Stomachs and Tissue Samples Being Discarded and Floating around poluting the Ocean!! How many Whales does it Take to have a tissue sample??
    Whaling Farse!!

  • ddpalmer

    The Ady Gil is stuck in port. Seems the SSCS didn’t get the necessary permits. The permits can take up to 90 days to be issued. Looks like the futuristic stealthy secret weapon may sit out the campaign.

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  • JustASheep

    Dear all,

    What sea shepherd is doing is not criminal. Waiting and pointing to others is criminal. Giving those Japanese killers a free ticket to
    kill all the whales is criminal. Maybe it is time to defend the planet with more powerful actions instead of waiting for the moment it’s definitely to late.

    Money and greed has conquered the world, it time to take back what is
    ours, a clean planet with hope for our children.

    If needed with aggressive actions.

    Respect to Sea Shepeherd.