by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Causes.


Some new updates from Captain Paul Watson have been streaming in — and it appears that the Japanese are on the offensive against the Sea Shepherd.

Since leaving port, the Shonan Maru #2 has been tailing the MV Steve Irwin, along with an unknown airplane relaying their position. Late last week, there was a clash of water cannons when the Sea Shepherd turned the tables on their stalker — but now the Japanese have escalated the confrontations. From Paul Watson’s blog,

At 1730 Hours the Steve Irwin’s helicopter flew back to film the Shonan Maru #2. In Response the crew of the Shonan Maru #2 activated their Long Range Acoustical Decive (LRAD) in the direction of the Sea Shepherd helicopter. “This was an extremely irresponsible thing to do,” said Sea Shepherd helicopter pilot Chris Aultman (USA). “That device can cause nausea and disorientation and the use of it against an aircraft is both extremely dangerous and grossly irresponsible.”

Immediately after the helicopter landed back on the Steve Irwin, Watson said the Shonan Maru pulled up to the stern of the ship “with water cannons blazing in an attempt to destroy our helicopter on the landing pad.” Both boats sped up to keep pace through a dangerous ice field with the Japanese ship taking a “big hit” — though SS crew could not confirm any damage.

The Shonan Maru is now pursuing the Steve Irwin deep in French territorial waters — something the Sea Shepherd have permission to do, but not the Japanese. Both attacks on the helicopter have been reported to French authorities — though whether any action on their part is taken is unknown.

All this — and the Sea Shepherd haven’t even encountered the whaling fleet yet.

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 →
  • Michael Raymer

    I will be interested to see how Hideyoshi Toyotomi tries to spin this latest episode. Interfering with an unarmed aircraft while in flight. Over fatally cold water, no less. My, that’s a rather extreme tactic to resort to in the name of “scientific research”.
    How would the critics have responded if the Sea Shepherds had tried a similar tactic to the Japanese spotter aircraft that is tailing them? I think we are seeing graphic examples of who the terrorists really are.

    • Rolf Larsen

      Very much so, All supporters should contact the French embassy in their countries and encourage them to take action immediately!

    • Z

      If a Japanese aircraft flew above a SS boat, they would point a laser in their eye, throw their rancid butter, and yell. If they had anything stronger, they would use it. Don’t try to act like you guys have the high moral ground.

  • Micheal

    Too bad we can’t fight coal plants with water cannons and LRADs..

  • Ari

    I hope the pilot is wise enough to stay out of range. It should not be too bad – last season one of the crew members was standing on the rear deck without ear protection and he said the lrad wasn’t as bad as some concerts he had been to.

  • Dan Roman

    It defies comprehension how these heavily armed Japanese “researchers” can be so bold in the face of the international laws they’re breaking. By risking the lives of the Sea Shepherd crew, who are the only people enforcing UN conventions against illegal whaling activities (no government has committed to this yet, even Australia who has publicly threatened to take action), the Japanese poachers are proving their commitment to continue eating whale meat and compounding the absurdity of the public lies they put forward about “scientific research”. With Copenhagen talks going on as we read this story, it is truly shocking news that the Japanese whaling fleet has such contempt for international cooperation on this subject. I want to show respect to the Japanese culture, but it’s just not as important to respect the need of theirs to eat an endangered species at this point, as they don’t respect international law. To Captain Watson: do whatever it takes within your plan (respecting human life in the process, as you always do) to break the backs of their operation…I hope you bankrupt them this year and awaken the giants in Australia and other countries to finally step up and serve their constituents who want to see action on this! It’s time to take the whalers to international court, but that won’t happen with a complacent government that can be bought!!

    • scientist

      “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.”

      There is nothing cultural about steel spring loaded harpoons. What if a country had a custom of eating people? Should we respect their culture??

      Bomb Japan again like they did in WW2 – that will stop them. scum bags.

    • ddpalmer

      Minke whales aren’t endangered. What laws are they breaking? And you consider an LRAD as being ‘heavily armed’?

  • Enola Gay

    The Japanese lied to the world on December 6, 1941

    In 1945, and appropriate response was made to these lies ending WW2.

    It feels like a response like this is needed again.

    • Z

      Yes, let’s nuke Japan a few times because they are legally killing some whales.


      The criminal sympathiser named “Z” wrote:

      “Z”, February 22, 2010 at 10:58 pm
      Yes, let’s nuke Japan a few times because they are legally killing some whales.” =FALSE!


      QUOTE “Japans assertion that its whaling activities are legal is incorrect and misleading. Scientific whaling as conducted by Japan violates international law”
      Alberto Szekely, Expert in International Law
      -Intl Law Professor
      -Center for Intl Law
      -Legal Advisor to the UN Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
      -Mbr Intl Court of Arbitration at THE HAGUE
      -Member of the UN International Law Commission

      Thus, the entirety of the premise of the user “Z”s post is false, and posts by the username “Z” are thus discredited.

      If you EVER see any comment, post, article, or pro-whaler attempting to assert that the activities of the Japanese Whaling Fleet are “legal” you can now regard that user as disqualified on the topic.

      If the user attempts to assert that the “IWC” says Japanese Whalers are legal, this is FALSE. The IWC has actually *CONDEMNED* the activities of the Japanese Whaling Fleet. In fact, the International Whaling Commission IWC’s prestigious SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE actually issued a Formal edict AGAINST the Japanese Whaling Fleet, and the IWC’s scientists found gaping flaws in Japan’s JARPA II program. Page after page of the IWC report showed blatant flaws in nearly all of the Japanese documents, and the IWC is AGAINST Japan’s Whaling program. Not only that, the IWC members voted over 40 to 2 *AGAINST* Japan and there are formal motions of condemnation against Japan for Whalers violations. So anyone attempting to falsely post that Japan is whaling legally can not only be dismissed outright, but they also reveal lack of proper qualifications to talk about the subject.

      NOTE also, that if the user “Z” happens to be from the U.S., the user Z’s siding with foreign eco-terrorist whalers is in direct contention with his own U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT. In other words, “Z” is siding with a small sect of foreign extremists, against his own country, and against the United States of America:

    • ddpalmer

      So one legal experts opinion is all that is required?

      Sorry that is not how it works. If it was Japan would have been taken to court years ago and the situation would have ended. the fact that this hasn’t happened proves that there are two sides to the story and the anti-whalers aren’t sure they would win.

      Further proof is that Australia, New Zealand and the USA along with a number of other IWC members have drafted a proposal to lift the moratorium and allow Japan, Iceland and Norway to COMMERCIALLY whale under the IWC.

      So I guess your whole post is a little off and a waste of time.

  • Agent blue

    BTW – Hideyoshi Toyotomi (February 2, 1536 – September 18, 1598) You died a long time ago, so get lost loser.

  • sidewinder

    - Japanese whalers are defying a global moratorium on whaling
    – They are commericially whaling under the guise of science
    – They are in the Australian Antarctic Territory without permission
    – They are illegally taking whales from a declared whale sanctuary
    – They are in the Antarctic zone operating illegally because they are carrying weapons and are refuelling & dumping waste into the ocean
    – They are in contempt of an Austrlian High court injunction on whaling in the Whale sanctuary
    – The killing methods are slow, brutal and highly cruel
    – They are taking threatended and endangered whales. Minke numbers are an estimate & no one really knows how many of them there are.
    – Using military grade weapons is illegal

    • agent orange

      Moderator / Michael – can someone remove Z’s comment & ban this idiot.


      TO WIT:
      “US State Department Forcibly Opposes Japanese Whaling”

      “The US has forcefully expressed opposition to Japans scientific whaling program. The US supports the moratorium banning commercial whaling adopted by the IWC in effect since 1986 and opposes Japanese whaling”

      -Richard Boucher
      Undersecretary for Public Affairs

      — What this means, is that the United States of America is *AGAINST* the Japanese Whalers. And ANY U.S. citizen caught sympathising with the Japanese Whaling Fleet is going against his own nation and against the will of the American people (Pro-Whaler = ANTI-AMERICAN). Obtaining whale meat, and possession of whale meat is criminalized in the United States:


      U.S. GPO Access [CITATION: 50CF-R230.3]

      “It is unlawful for a person to: engage in whaling in violation of the US Convention, IWC regulations, commit an Act or breach US Commerce regulations; to ship, transport, purchase, sell, offer for sale, import, export or possess a whale or whale meat products.”

      What this means, is, that any U.S. citizen caught posting in favor of Whale killers, is cheering an act in another locale, by a tiny pack of foreign extremist killers, that is considered a FEDERAL CRIME in the U.S.

      In addition, Sea Shepherd staff includes United States military service personnel. This includes U.S. Navy personnel, and honored Iraq War veterans. These are U.S. citizens. Thus, any pro-whaler, by cheering a tiny subgroup of fanatical Japanese whale killers which put U.S. citizens in harms way, this and any other commenter who is from the U.S. and attempts to back a FOREIGN ENTITY’s attacks on American citizens aboard Sea Shepherd vessels is cheering a foreign faction to attack U.S citizens, including said pro-whaler cheering harm to U.S. Military service personnel.

      SEA SHEPHERD is LAW ENFORCEMENT. – Sea Shepherd is AUTHORIZED under Article 24, sections (a), (c), and (e) of the U.N.W.C.f.N. for ENFORCEMENT against the Japanese Criminal Whale killers. The Japanese are in violation of the Antarctic Treaty, Article I, the Japanese Whalers have already been convicted in court in 2008, and are wanted fugitives.

      Sea Shepherd staff contains U.S Federal Agents. In addition, Sea Shepherd staff contains U.S. Law Enforcement officers.

      The user “Z”, by cheering a small hoarde of less than 100 foreign whalers which even most of the 128 Million good Japanese people do not agree with., is thus also coming down AGAINST U.S. Law enforcement officers and against U.S. Federal Agents. Pro Whalers are ANTI-AMERICAN. Not to mention Pro Whalers are also ANTI-JAPANESE.


      Whale meat contains (MeHg). Methyl Mercuric poison. Ingesting whale meat causes birth defects. It causes brain tissue damage if eaten. Ingesting whale meat babies to be born deformed, and with brain abnormalities. Ingestion by of whale meat by children results in cognitive damage. Ingestion by human males may cause male sperm damage, lowered IQ, liver and organ damage, and death. Thus, any person advocating the Japanese Whaling Fleet is cheering the mass-poisoning of hundreds of thousands of Japanese people, including children.

      The person caught advocating Japanese Whaling is thus promoting the chemical poisoning of children and human death. Pro-Whalers cheer an act which is poisoning hundreds of thousands of Japanese citizens. Thus, any and all pro-whalers are AGAINST Japan and pro-whalers are ANTI-JAPANESE.

      96% of Japanese people DO NOT EAT WHALE MEAT

      What this means, is, that anyone who is FOR whaling, is AGAINST 96% of Japan. And Pro-Whalers are only FOR less than 4% of the population. In addition, the Japanese Whaling Fleet has attempted to push mounds of un-eaten whale meat into Japan’s childrens SCHOOL LUNCH program. In other words, most of the tiny 4% minority that ate whale meat are children! And in addition, many of those children did not CHOOSE it, they ingested it merely due to the Japanese whalers attempting to entice children to eat the Mercuric poison tainted whale meat through the child’s school lunches. They either eat what is contained in it, or go hungry that day. Whalers are poisoning thousands of children. Any person who backs the Japanese whalers is thus complicit in the act of facilitating the poisoning of human children.

      Whalers are NOT the entire population of Japan. Whalers do not even number 4% of that portion of the Japanese populace that has eaten it. Whalers comprise merely a tiny group of less than a few hundred extremists, often with ties to the criminal Yakuza orgainized crime sect, and a minority of corrupt officials, and rogues. Whalers are essentially a foreign faction of eco-terrorist extremist criminal killers.

      Anyone siding WITH Sea Shepherd is helping the majority of good Japanese people, and anyone siding WITH Sea Shepherd is a patriot who is WITH the U.S. and its allies.

      Any person caught posting FOR Japanese criminal whale killers is ANTI-JAPANESE, AGAINST America and is cheering harm to U.S. citizens and is simply backing a small pack of known criminal whale killers who are poisoning thousands of human children.

    • ddpalmer

      Give it up OFFICE of the REGISTRAR, the USA has help draft a proposal to allow the moratorium to be lifted and to allow Japan, Iceland and Norway to resume COMMERCIAL whaling.

      I guess your diatribe was a waste of time because the US obviously isn’t agianst whaling. They just want it regulated which is all Japan has wanted.

  • TokyoGoddess

    Japs are brutal butchers illegally whaling in a sanctuary. That is up there with poaching. Its high crime on the high seas what they are doing.

    Using military weapons now? Wow they have steeped to an all time new LOW

  • pilot

    Somebody should have painted ‘Research’ onto the Enola Gay ahead of its experimentation over Japan

    • From MN, with hope…

      The only difference would be was that America was conduction some sort of “field research” because they had no idea what would happen.

      This is getting dangerous. Think about the audacity of it all. The Japanese are trying to harm Sea Shepherd, just so the Japanese can kill whales that Sea Shepherd is trying to protect! Next thing, all out war! I think the “Steve Irwin” should be renamed the “Enterprise CV-6″ (homework for those who dont know the ships story)

      • Agent Orange

        here here!

        I watch this battle get drawn out through the media.

        I really just hope SS doesn’t get hammered by the all mighty Japanese whaling (or should I say war) ships.

        They certainly have gone to extreme lengths to protect the dying industry. The mind boggles…why why??

        Cmon ADY GIL – get down there.

  • Pingback: Finally: Stealth Boat Ady Gil En Route To Join Sea Shepherd « :: the latest in green gossip()

  • James

    Ya know, I am NOT a tree hugging liberal(since being pro-whale, I’ve been accused of this) I like to think I am sensible and with the ever depleting humpback/blue whales among others the Japs are killing, it is fact that we are nearing them to extinction. Sea shepherd reports that they(the Japs) impose a 50 whale a day killing allowance, including calfs. Then they lie calling it research. This is repugnant, plain disgusting. So here, I WILL insult those 4% of Japs who so badly want whales for food: don’t you have enough dogs/cats and else to eat? Why is it that the Asian culture is so fascinated with eating the strangest of foods, and so often backed by ridiculous voo doo beliefs(eat a tiger’s penis, males become more effective in bed) Such utter nonsense. Now these Jap killers want to deplete the oceans of mammoth creatures such as the blue/hump back whales, and for what?? This is just disgusting and with them in so many violations, I can only hope that someone can put a cannon thru each of their vessel’s hulls. Drown their fleet=no more whaling. You Jap supporters are the same people who catch shark by the thousands cutting off their fins and throwing them back in the oceans to bleed to death-all in the name of ‘shark fin soup'(also magical powers-BULLSHIT) They respect nothing, to them it’s their earth to destroy.

    How can anyone subject such beautiful animals to barbaric deaths, and think they are doing anything good. It’s my hope that somehow someone will ultimately sink their fleet. Since I am not a liberal and strongly believe in the death penalty, maybe if international law made it an offense that can result in 25 years of prison and/or the death penalty, maybe the Jap freaks will find another means to suppliment their income. See what happens when illogical, unproven voo doo beliefs make it’s way into people’s lives, they eagerly look to kill. Shame on you and God’s speed to the Sea Shepherds, you make us proud.