by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Causes.
Photo: Barbara Veiga/Sea Shepherd

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society yesterday formally requested assistance from Greenpeace in helping keep tabs on the Japanese whaling fleet.

“All that is needed to shut down the Japanese fleet by 100 percent, is a third large vessel to keep the third harpooner occupied, but Sea Shepherd does not have another large vessel,” the release states. “The Greenpeace Foundation, however, has two ships in Taiwan. One Greenpeace ship in the Southern Ocean could shut the door on the killing of whales completely, and all Greenpeace would have to do is just show up.”

To be sure, this is a familiar tune. Ever since Greenpeace stopped sending ships to monitor the activities of the Japanese in 2007, Sea Shepherd has used the inaction to criticize the org and their “soft approach” to ending whaling. In a December 2010 article titled “Where is Greenpeace“, Paul Watson writes,” I would willingly cooperate with them to defend the whales. But they refuse to cooperate with us. In fact they refuse to even get involved, well except for the fund raising part. They seem to be very good at raising money but not very good at spending it for the objectives they originally raised it for.”

For their part, Greenpeace has made clear that they will never associate themselves with Sea Shepherd. From a 2008 article on their site:

“We passionately want to stop whaling, and will do so peacefully. That’s why we won’t help Sea Shepherd. Greenpeace is committed to non-violence and we’ll never, ever, change that; not for anything. If we helped Sea Shepherd to find the whaling fleet we’d be responsible for anything they did having got that information, and history shows that they’ve used violence in the past, in the most dangerous seas on Earth.”

“In addition to being morally wrong, we believe the use of violence in protection of whales to be a tactical error. If there’s one way to harden Japanese public opinion and ensure whaling continues, it’s to use violent tactics against their fleet. It’s wrong because it puts human lives at risk, and it’s wrong because it makes the whalers stronger in Japan.”

As Enviroleaks points out, that last paragraph rings less true with the information obtained recently from Wikileaks:

“If Greenpeace are correct then Sea Shepherd’s activities would not register in Japanese diplomatic circles – if anything it would be Greenpeace which would be seen as a threat,” the site says. “However, what is made very clear in the following cable (final paragraph) is that it is SSCS, not Greenpeace, that are considered a major obstacle to Japanese commercial whaling efforts. It seems that for all Greenpeace’s rhetoric, Paul Watson’s tactics are having the desired effect.”

Boiled down, this latest request is yet another poke by Sea Shepherd at Greenpeace and their methods. We have about as much chance of seeing the Rainbow Warrior tracking a harpoon ship as we do commenters on both side hugging it out down below. No doubt, the many millions of viewers of “Whale Wars” will also hear first-hand the Sea Shepherd’s call for help from Greenpeace; and their admonishment when no one responds.

In some ways, it’s very much a PR pickle for Greenpeace and their anti-whaling campaign. With Animal Planet showcasing engaging activism that is certainly having a direct effect on whaling in the Southern Ocean, viewers may funnel more of their dollars away from orgs on shore and more towards those in the water, monitoring, and reporting back. Greenpeace certainly does not have have to mimic Sea Shepherd’s tactics, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they change their minds about physically showing up to the party. How they choose to operate with Sea Shepherd is anyone’s guess, but arms-length cooperation may be something that’s not only possible, but expected.

Hug it out below.

Photo: The Gojira in pursuit of the Yushin Maru #2

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 →
  • donator

    The reason I donate to Sea Shepherd is because they actually do something and have an actual impact. Sometimes, whinging and asking for donations isn’t enough, and while I might not always be totally impressed with SSCS, who else is actually trying to stop whaling? Nobody.

    Couple that with the massive corruption of government, and no amount of begging by regular people will have any effect on anything. Money talks and the regular people of the world don’t have it in the concentrated form required for governments to listen. That leaves nothing but SSCS type action for the people to actually impact policy.

    • GPK

      I actually say to the GP donation collectors on the street that they should join SSCS! Thats where my money is heading!

      As for the Artic Sunrise or whatever it is called, sitting in port in Taiwan collecting tour fees? Come on GP…the more ships cruising around the illegal brutal whale killers the better!

    • calvin

      If GP dont show up in the southern ocean, all of the money that has been collected in the anti-whaling name be donated to an org that is anti-whaling, if not who in GP is getting their pockets lined with anti-whaling money

  • frytoy

    i’m ready for a hug. greenpeace: greedy interests will demonize environmental activists no matter the tactics, and chaining oneself to a tree is hardly different than blocking a slipway. get off your butts and go help, please!

    • Watson Hater

      SSCS is only doing this to HUMILIATE Greenpeace. This from a most reliable inside source. Trust Watson to do something spitefully vile as always. Karma will find the fat man before too long.

      • crumpets are yummy.

        Well, looks like Greenpeace has been humiliated. Rightly so, they are a fraud and should be exposed.

      • Stuart Roberts

        Green Peace needs to GET OFF OF THEIR HIGH HORSE AND HELP! Jezzzz!

      • candice

        I knew it was a set up – to all those who say GP is a fraud, do you what their campaigns are?

    • Michael Raymer

      Yes, yes I do. I am on their website quite regularly.

  • frytoy

    follow up: greenpeace supporters: imagine the sound of trumpets as one of the rainbow ships arrives on scene to save the day. be heroes. contact greenpeace and tell them you want to help sea shepherd save the whales for real.

    • Dana

      i have contacted Greenpeace several time and demanded a response as it pertains to whaling…nothing.

      • frytoy

        well, thanks Dana. maybe someone in their massive PR department monitors ecorazzi comments – we can hope. :)

    • Anna, Ireland.

      I have also contaced GreenPeace asking them to show up and the only response I received was a boring standard letter stating their committment to conservation etc. etc. If GreenPeace do nothing in response to the many requests from around the world to send down just one of their ships to the Southern Ocean to assist Sea Shepherd, then they are showing themselves up for what they are: only interested in paying lip service to the whales and have let these beautiful creatures down badly at this critical time when they could easily go to SSCS’s assistance. GreenPeace has been asked by many many people to simply show up and to date there is no response to assist in any way. What a terrible betrayal to the whales by GP. I also feel people will remember GreenPeace for their disgraceful lack of backbone at a time when the japanese poachers are on the brink of financial disaster and a little extra support at such a crucial time would have gone such a huge way to finally tip these whale poachers over the edge and get shut of them from a whale sanctuary once and for all.

  • compromise

    I have to agree. Greenpeace so dead set to be ‘peaceful and non-violent’ are setting up a PR disaster. So they don’t want to take any physical actions…. Then just show up…. Don’t do anything but join the parade of ships playing follow the leader… WHILE THE WHALES WATCH and LIVE! If you don’t like it.. Then you can take your toys and not share and then go home….. You tried. But Greenpeace, you won’t know cause you won’t even try. And you say you want to save whales??

  • Dana

    I think Greenpeace and SSCS should just call a truce and work together. I think Greenpeace’s hard lined stance on non-violence is a joke when Greenpeace is in fact endorsing violence against the whales by not showing up to the party. SSCS have not harmed a human but have saved hundreds of whales while Greenpeace has done what for the whales? So are they (Greenpeace) in fact non-violent when they don’t even show up to prevent the Japanese whalers from harpooning a whale? In my eyes, they (Greenpeace) are endorsing violence against the animal they campaign to save.

    • frytoy

      in fairness, greenpeace was the original group that brought the hearts and minds of the world to bear against whaling, and their actions in the 70s-80s have probably saved millions of whales. but that was then. it seems like the big issue here is still the break with Paul in 1979, and ensuing sour grapes. they just need to bury the hatchet and remember their glorious past. for the record, i support both organizations, but the lion’s share goes to the effective one.

      • candice

        Hey in fairness Paul Watson is not fighting dirty oil, toxic chemicals and nuclear waste either. Sea Shepherd people who don’t know what GP is involved in think they do nothing cause they’re not out on the seas with SS

      • crumpets are yummy.

        In all fairness…Paul Watson is not advertising SSCS as an anti nuclear org, either but has stepped in to help the clean up the dirty oil in the gulf of Mexico. Was Greenpeace there?

        To be fair, Greenpeace send mail outs to people asking them to help them save the whales. People donate expecting them to save whales and do as they promised. So where are they?

    • candice

      that argument is beyond a stretch. Hey you are endorsing violence in Afghanistan by not showing up there to prevent it Dana

  • Malcolm J. Brenner

    Since when has Paul Watson been “violent”? It seems to me it’s the Japanese who cut the Ady Gil in two and who are slaughtering whales. If that isn’t violence, then I don’t know what is. Greenpeace is just afraid to make Watson look good because it will expose their own inactivity.

    • candice

      Gp has more issues that Oceans…which everyone seems to ignore…tell Paul Watson to come up here and campaign against the oil sands too, okay?

      • Michael Raymer

        Yes, to their credit, GreenPeace tackles a wide range of issues. Like coal.

        Could someone explain to me why you need a ship to campaign against coal? The answer is, you don’t. You use your maritime assets to campaign about maritime issues (like whales). GreenPeace is not doing so. Sending the “Arctic Sunrise” to the east coast of the U.S. is a waste of a perfectly good asset on a mission that it has no relevance for. Meanwhile, GP keeps hustling donations for an issue they are not addressing with any effectiveness, whatsoever. The collective point that people are making here is, either get in the game, or quit acting like you are in it.

  • Jen

    Let’s be fair…. working together is really the only way anything gets done! Paul is truly an awesome dude for what he is doing. There is no one out there that does what he does EVERY year without fail. Yes I too have asked GP to help, I also think that they will sit idle and do nothing again this year like so many previous years, and who will be the ultimate victims? The whales. It’s the people who donate who want the job of saving the whales done. I have donated for years to GP and now for the past 5 years I have donated to SSCS instead, and currently volunteer as an on shore volunteer. I think that the people who support GP who want the whales saved are bitter with the “no action” of GP and are now seeing what real direct action is with SSCS and it has become more of “SAVE THE WHALES” no matter how it gets done. I hope that there is some sort of truce for the “whaling season” and that GP can make an appearance in the Southern Ocean. It would be good for the whales first and foremost and it would sure boost what is left of the supporters GP have. Again, this is just my opinion…
    May God bless all the souls down at the bottom of the Earth trying to save the whales!!!!

    • David

      “I think that the people who support GP who want the whales saved are bitter with the “no action” of GP…”

      “…it would sure boost what is left of the supporters GP have.”

      Well the SSCS has been on TV for 3 years now, so everyone who has any interest in whales should know about them. And how much more money does GreenPeace collect every year than SSCS?

      So maybe you are wrong about what the people who support GP want and what kind of charity they want to be associated with. I am sure some have switch their donations to the SSCS but I would be surprised if some have switched from SSCS to Greenpeace because they don’t support the SSCS tactics.

      • Jen

        I agree with you that I could not know what every supporter of GP would want especially as someone who no longer supports them actively. I can see what you mean by some people not supporting SSCS, that’s just not me.

        What I think I was trying to relate is that GP is a peaceful org, and that SSCS is a “get the job done” kind of org and therein lies a difference and the bottom line is that both orgs want the same thing- to save the whales.

        I would like to see them work together but again I just don’t see it happening. That was what I was trying to say and sorry if you took it the wrong way. The history that the founders have in the past they will never get past, it’s unfortunate. But each of them is pursuing what they believe is the best form of enviromental conservation.

        We have choices of what we would like to support either side or both…but again just like GP and SSCS arguing about who is right and who is wrong is not saving any lives. It’s not effectly hurting the Japanese economy and not helping the oceans. What can we do together to save the oceans? Not SSCS or GP.. but you and me?

      • josh lamb

        Greenpeaces annual income is 192m But they have several other outlets and it could be between 300m-400m. Sea Shepherd last year was 8m.

  • Michael Raymer

    Well, it seems great minds do think alike. I suggested this very thing a few days ago:

    Michael Raymer, January 3, 2011 at 4:33 am
    I don’t want to imply that GreenPeace doesn’t get anything worthwhile done. But it has become clear to me that when it comes to Antarctic whaling, the SSCS way is the only effective way. And no one is saying that GreenPeace has to go throw butyric acid at anyone. All they have to do is send a vessel, or use their ample funding to charter one or more vessels to act as spotters. They don’t have to get within a mile of the whalers, they would just have to relay their location. Even then, they do not specifically have to relay that information to Sea Shepherd. They can just set up a public website and post the coordinates there, for anyone to read. w w w.thisiswherethewhalersare . com. SSCS then can pursue the whaling fleet more effetively.
    But no. They want our donation, but they are not doing anything useful to stop whaling. People can treat the Tokyo Two like they are a big deal to the end of whaling, but I think they’re more of a fire in a frying pan.
    Michael Raymer, January 3, 2011 at 4:28 pm
    To elaborate on my earlier post, GreenPeace can help out with reconnaissance without making a big deal, or even going public about it. You don’t need the Esperanza or any other “frontline” ship. Just charter a small but seaworthy boat with a crew of, say, 6 or 8. They go out, try to spot the whalers, if they do they call it in. No engagement, they don’t even need to get all that close. Hell, with the money GreenPeace has, they could charter 2 or 3 boats like this and the money would hardly amount to petty cash.
    Michael Raymer, January 5, 2011 at 6:45 am
    And that brings me to my last point about GreenPeace. There is an inter-operational affliction throughout the world called the N.I.H. Syndrome. Not-Invented-Here. I think the root of GreenPeace’s decision to disavow all SSCS actions comes from the fact that GreenPeace hates someone else doing something to get headlines, that they are unwilling to do themselves. I think that down deep, they understand the effectiveness of Watson’s actions, they just can’t grow up and admit it.

    The above is the edited version of my posts on the Ewan McGregor thread. It seems that I’m not the only one who feels this way. And I’ve been checking out the GreenPeace site. No shortage of support for this idea there, either. GreenPeace seems slow in responding though.

    • Donator

      SSCS isn’t even asking GP to send coordinates back to the Sea Shepherd ships. Paul Watson suggested that SSCS could send coordinates to GP and they could just show up and be seen. SSCS is really asking for only the most minimal assistance possible from GP. Watson even said that GP doesn’t have to chat with SSCS — just receive a position, go there and take photos or whatever it is GP does and thus, not risk taking part in any action GP that doesn’t meet GP’s approval.

      GP is acting like the billionaire who’s too stuck up to give an acquaintance a small coin when that person is a dime short of a latte.

      • suspicious

        I’m really suspicious of his motives, considering he utterly hates them, he must know that they either can’t do it or won’t do it for some reason, he’s just trying to make them look bad

      • Michael Raymer

        I don’t agree. I don’t think Admiral Watson “utterly hates” them. Disgusted with them, sure. And he should be, as we all should. And I think that nothing would make Watson happier than if GreenPeacegave him reason to not be disgusted anymore.

        ” he must know that they either can’t do it or won’t do it for some reason”

        That’s the point. They CAN get involved. The ironic fact of the matter is that it would be easier for GreenPeace to send a ship to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary than it is for Sea Shepherd to send a ship (let alone three). They won’t do it because GreenPeace has the same petty animosity toward Watson that we see all over the place, including here. But when someone turns a personal hatred of a man into an apathetic attitude towards the slaughter of whales, that tells me all I need to know about their character.

        “he’s just trying to make them look bad”

        So am I.

    • herwin

      thanks Michael for the posts, absolutely agree with you about Greenpeace and happy to see that you wrote it so well, they could help Seashepherd in their own way and with their own choiche, nobody expects them to ram ships or throw rotten butter bombs.
      Ab-so-lu-te-ly so right, the Seasheperd way is the only way to stop the antarctic whaling within a reasonable time.
      Greenpeace just cant stop it, and even maybe just dont have the drive and the passion to do it.
      I mean, SS ships all are vegan, in contrast Greenpeace isnt veggie at all, on their ships meat is served.
      That said, Greenpeace just isnt an anti whaling org, or not even specifically interested in protecting animal lives, they are more for other environmental issues, eh, diferent cup of tea, diferent passions.

  • crumpets are yummy.

    Greenpeace are happy to rake in the cash but all they want to do is party in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

    There is a fantastic opportunity for Greenpeace to get involved here in some shape or form and help put an end to Japanese illegal whaling.

    will they take up the challenge?

    I doubt it.

    • herwin

      “Greenpeace are happy to rake in the cash but all they want to do is party in Hong Kong and Taiwan.”

      One liners like these wont help the anti whaling cause nor Seashepherd, it only makes the anti whaling movement looks competative, dumb and ill informed.

      As you probably are aware of, several Japanese Greenpeace members have gone to prison because they exposed the illegal whale meat trade.
      So its a bit unfair to say “they” are only partying in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
      More respect please for other activists who have gone to jail in their fight against whaling, even if they are from an organisation that you dont like.

      let it be the whaling trolls using one liners, let it be us who do the more inteligent talking.

  • Michael Raymer

    Well, it looks like GreenPeace is a no-show in the whale saving dept. It’s a shame. I have really tried to give them some benefit of the doubt but I really can’t see anyone justfiying their lack of action, lack of response, lack of integrity and lack of courtesy. This sucks.

    • herwin

      sure it sucks , i fully agree. But thats exactly the reason why Paul watson, animal rights activists , inspiration and hero, started with Seashpeherd ; because Greenpeace sucked.

      On the other hand, Greenpeace bashing also sucks, because Greenpeace isnt the problem or the enemy, they are just busy with other environmental issues, and not animal issues, eh.
      Greenpeace, on other topics exept anti whaling, are also doing a very good job, like protecting old forests, exposing illegal cutting of these forests and stopping transports of illegal cut wood. Now tell me, that aint a bad thing..

      • herwin

        and before you reply ;-), i dont mean that you are bashing Greenpeace, contrary, your posts about Greenpeace are very to the point and very true.
        i just mean it in general. :-)

      • Michael Raymer

        Sorry for the wait, herwin. I just now noticed the additional posts on this thread and came for a look-see.

        I am not saying anything about Greenpeace efforts in any other environmental area. My points refer to their stance that they are the ones who are addressing the Antarctic whaling issue, therefore please send them a donation today. This is misinformation, as far as I’m concerned. There is no current Greenpeace strategy that is going to stop the whaling fleet from firing up the Nisshin Maru, etc. and heading down to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Petitions, mailing campaigns, embassy protests and so on just make the whalers laugh and keep doing what they are doing.

        The point you, I and our allies keep making is that there is no law enforcement or any other kind of enforcement in the Southern Ocean. I wish there was. Australian Navy/Coast Guard, New Zealand Navy/Coast Guard….hell, I’d like to see the U.S. Navy in on this. I don’t recommend holding our collective breath on this. So, it comes down to NGO’s like SSCS to do the dirty work others are unwilling to do. And Greenpeace should either do their part or they should stop asking for money, in this one area.

        As far as the other work Greenpeace does, and the money people donate for them to do it; more power to them. They just need to either put up or shut up about Antarctic whaling.

      • herwin

        you are right, GP asking for donations by pretending to save whales is misleading, because the simply dont have any serious international anti whaling campaign.

        I am not so sure though that regular embassy protest, mailings, petitions and all the media attention that is part of it, is something the japanese laugh about. Protests are all part of the name and shame game, and nobody likes to be exposed that way.

      • boo radley

        Seriously, does it cost millions of dollars to send a few bits of mail out there or stand in front of an embassy? Greenpeace are big on spin, short on results.

  • crumpets are yummy.

    I see Greenpeace are heading to NYC soon…when they do there will be some protesters there throwing origami whales at them. How ironic.

  • Max

    What’s all this rubbish about Greenpeace being in Taiwan. One look at their website shows that the ship in Taiwan is not ice class and could not go to the Southern Ocean anyway.

    Irrespective of your views on the subject, at least get your facts right, people.

    • Michael Raymer

      The “Steve Irwin” isn’t ice rated. It doesn’t seem to be stopping them. The “Gojira” isn’t ice rated. It doesn’t seem to be stopping them.

      We don’t really care where GreenPeace is. It’s about where GreenPeace ISN’T.

      • boo radley

        exactly , back to the bunker max

  • zombie

    It is unfortunate that we are dealing with a tide of pro-whaling propaganda zombies – from hired PR junkies in New Zealand (Glenn Inwood), to various forum posters (DDPalmer, Hideyoshi Toyotomi etc) to the Japanese Fisheries agency the ICR which puts out blanket statements similar to what North Korea does in relation to the violent eco-terrorists (The SSCS). Plus all the made up claims of injuries the Whaling vessel operators put out.

    The reasons for conducting the “Research whaling” are just as absurd with no scientific standing.

    It actually reminds me of what Hitler did – a very successful propaganda campaign, feels like Japan’s pro-whaling lobby are definitaly going dow this path (Werent Japan and Nazi Germany allies? and the last two nations that had to fall for the official end of WW2 – how interesting that link is).

    • herwin

      oh boy, its granpa with some old nazi stories…

      • sidewinder

        Has a good point – second part can be taken with salt ;)

        Japan is an international disgrace – driving whales and tuna to extinction.

      • herwin

        Haha !
        yes, serve the second part with enough salt please. ;-)

        you are quiet right unfortunetaly.
        Japan is a disgrace regarding endangered animals.
        In Japan you still can buy ivory or elephant leather handbags, or a haircomb made from an endangered seaturtle.

      • Joe

        it was not that long ago in the bahamas that i was on vacation and visited a “zoo” you could see the turtles laying their eggs and see the baby turtles and hold them, take pictures and then after you were thru you went into the gift shop to buy your coffee mugs and whatnot you could also buy a bowl of turtle soup! Just disgusting!!! had i known i would had never been in the place to begin with. my wife stormed out of there so fast throwing things around you would have thought the owners of the place would have called the police. The point being, it is not just Japan. You need to be aware that this is happening all over the place, make a difference, be aware. as my wife sat on that bus hysterical crying we made a choice to be supporters of saving ocean wildlife. Although we have jumped ship from GP to SSCS about 6 years ago that was our choice and do not influence anyone to follow us, it is an individual choice. But we have met Capt Watson we do believe in what he does and will continue to support him. It is up to everyone out there to make their own choice if they want to wear “ivory or eat turtle soup”.

      • Michael Raymer

        @Joe – I’m nominating that as the post of the week. Great story, sad as it was. And tell your wife I admire her integrity.

        I try to guard the wording of my posts. I do my best to stay away from saying “Japanese”, unless there is no other way, in whatever the context of the given post is. They’re “whalers”, “dolphin killers”, or whatever. The nationality is meaningless because there are punks from every country. An Lord knows, the U.S. has its share. And don’t think that there aren’t plenty of American fishermen who wouldn’t vacuum out the oceans if given half a chance.

      • herwin

        @ Joe.
        yeah, there are lots of countries with a disregard for endangered animals, its not only Japan, but these are all underdeveloped countries.

        International laws protecting endangered wildlife like the CITES lists etc, are all respected and carried out by developed countries.

        JAPAN is ACTIVELY promoting and trying to sabotage international legal protection for endangered animals.

        While the whole international developed comunity is trying to save endangered seaturtles, elephants, tuna and whales, JAPAN is blatantly (what a nice word) working against that.
        Something you would indeed expect from aan Island in the Bahamas or another underdeveloped nation, but not from a high tech developed countrie like JAPAN.

        JAPAN is a great country and culture, but it rightfully has a very bad rep on environmental and endangered animal issues. They should shape up on this part.

      • mariner

        While we are bashing Japan: there is def an element of denial about Blue Fin tuna running out.

        Since Japan consumes most of the global catch, they should be the ones putting important reform in place….otherwise, that last tuna will be sold for $100,000,000 and will still be eaten.

        Yeah that’s right, they will know its the last one and yet still will catch it because tuna is a cherished delicacy. The concept of tuna running out hasn’t hit home yet. Tuna has already increased in price (you would think that would start to affect demand right?) but it really needs to increased in price by 500-600% before you’ll see a marked drop in demand.

        Even then, the govt might subsidise.

  • Mick


    “JAPAN is a great country and culture, but it rightfully has a very bad rep on environmental and endangered animal issues.”

    I agree that Japan has a “bad rap”. However, I do not agree that this is “rightfully” so. According to CONNECT GREEN America ranks #2 in the top 10 nations ruining the world environment with Japan at #5. They rank the U.S. at “1st place for fertilizer use, The USA also ranks in 1st place for CO2 emissions, 2nd place for water pollution, 3rd place for MARINE CAPTURES, and 9th place for THREATENED SPECIES.”(caps added) It is important to note that Japan ranks #4 for MARINE CAPTURE behind the U.S. at #3. Japan doesn’t even rank in the Threatened Species category while the U.S. is ranked #9.

    • Michael Raymer

      1st place for fertilizer use is a silly category. We have the most farmland, and we use it. Ipso facto, we use a lot of fertilizer. What Japan calls “farmland”, most people call a backyard. The same comparison can be used for “Threatened Species”. How many species did Japan have in the first place, especially in comparison to how many America has? CO2 and water pollution – that’s industry, and that’s the way it goes. We need to improve in these areas, hopefully we are. But people need jobs, plain and simple. “Marine captures” is a valid point. Of course, the article doesn’t specify the criteria for any of these categories. I’m not trying to deny any of these points, but before I take anything as gospel, I would like to see definitions.

      Considering the comparitive sizes, I’d say that Japan has more to apologize for than the U.S.

      • Mick

        @Michael Raymer

        “1st place for fertilizer use is a silly category”

        I do not believe it is a “silly category” at all.

        “Fertilizers are another huge marine pollutant. The runoff comes from farms and lawns, causing eutrophication from the extra nutrients. Eutrophication is an explosion of algal blooms that can deplete the water’s oxygen and suffocate marine life. Eutrophication has created enormous dead zones in many parts of the world, including the Gulf of Mexico.”

      • Michael Raymer

        You’re absolutely right Mick and I have no argument for you. I actually saw this myself during my childhood. The lake near where I lived was, year-by-year, going more and more toxic because of the fertilizer runoff from the adjacent homes. What used to be a blue water lake full of fish became a pea-green mud puddle that parents warned kids not to swim in. Disgusting. My family moved when I was 15 so I never found out if they came up with a solution.

        My point is that America has the farmland and we have to utilise it. Agriculture accounts for 1 out of every 5 American jobs. On this subject, I’m pissed that we’re not feeding MORE people. As the late, great Bill Hicks said, “Instead of shooting missles at people, let’s use the same technology to shoot food at hungry people. SmartFruit!” (this is how we’d win a war against N. Korea, BTW. 2 cans of Chunky Soups rolled in a wool blanket and a note, “There’s plenty more where this came from.” Mass surrender, end of war).

        Anyway, we have to use fertilizer. And that much of it. As far as runoff goes, we need to improve. Hopefully we are and hopefully we will continue to do so. But saying we are wrong for using them in the first place…..what’s the alternative?

      • Mick

        @Michael Raymer

        “Anyway, we have to use fertilizer. And that much of it. As far as runoff goes, we need to improve.”

        I agree.

  • herwin

    @ Mick.
    nice link and you’ve got a point, in another department though..

    The bad rep i am talking about is not about who is the biggest polluter. For Biggest Poluter countries like India and China and also the US have a bad rap, everybody knows that.

    I was talking more about endangered animals.
    Like, while other developed nations make conservation laws and conservation plans, Japan doesnt join and in fact does it best to undermine protection of endangered animals.

    Nice example is when countries were spending much money financing seaturtle projects by protecting seaturtle beaches and raising the young turtles and releasing them, Japan didnt join, didnt protect the endangered seaturtles, but simply keeps importing seaturtle shells, and since it was ilegal to catch them in their nativre countries, these turtles were poached
    Same for elephant products, same for whales, same for tuna, same for other endangered animals many you can buy as pet or as fur, there is just no law protecting these animals.

    • Mick


      “I was talking more about endangered animals.”

      I see. However, I disagree that Japans’ “bad rap” in this area is “rightfully” so, either.

      While I’m sure that there are people in Japan illegally trading in endangered animals, I do not think that Japan is exceptionally worse than other countries.

      “China is the world’s largest importer of wildlife products, including an insatiable demand for turtles, ivory, tigers, pangolins, and many other species used for food or medicine.”

      “Thailand still has one of the largest and most active ivory industries seen anywhere in the world.”

      “The USA is the second largest importer of wildlife products and a large destination for the illegal pet trade.”

      “The largest consumers of turtle products are China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. However, the demand for turtle products is not confined to these countries and exists all over the world.”

      “China, South Korea and Taiwan are the main consumers but tiger products are also exported to Chinese communities in the rest of the world.”

      “This ‘trophy hunting’ has been allowed by CITES in African countries which report leopard numbers to be adequate. These so-called ‘sport’ hunters are mainly from North America and Europe.”

      Once again, I want to make it clear that I do believe Japan is not innocent in regards to endangered animals. However, I do not believe they deserve to be singled out as being exceptionally worse in this area than other countries.

      • herwin

        @ Mick. Japan has bad rap, but as you show with facts, it certainly would be very injust and hypocritical to only single out Japan and pretend they are the only country.
        Its always naeseating to see people using a bad rap only to trash a country. A “bad rap” also can be used to stir up a healthy discussion (usually in the country itself) with the hope of making things better, and that kinda happens slowly in Japan.
        But again, you are very right, there is no need to single Japan out…

      • Mick


        “But again, you are very right, there is no need to single Japan out…”

        Thank you. I believe environmental issues are very complex and I strongly believe that singling out one country is not only wrong and unfair, but totally unproductive, as well. I believe it draws peoples attention and efforts away from environmental problems in their own countries and only serves to stir up hatred and resentment, thus making progress on environmental issues more difficult, if not impossible.

      • herwin

        well, Mick i agree with you that environmental issues are complex, and singling out one country isnt productive.
        I also think that environmental issues (and animal issues) have become international issues (because of technology, etc) and dont stop at any man made border.
        Both problems and solutions are international.

  • Michael Raymer

    Meanwhile, back to the topic at hand:

    “Japanese whalers face the threat of their worst Antarctic season as conservation activists tighten their hold on the whaling fleet.

    A fuel resupply that may be vital to keeping the fleet in the Southern Ocean was being thwarted by the Sea Shepherd activists, who have preoccupied the fleet.

    More than a fortnight into a shortened season, few, if any, whales are believed to have been killed. For the activists, the tantalising prospect is rising that for the first time in decades of protest, whaling will be effectively shut down.”

    “Sea Shepherd’s larger ships, which chose not to engage in a fuel-burning pursuit of the Nisshin Maru, have enough in their tanks for the Steve Irwin to stay in the Antarctic into February, and Bob Barker into March.”

    Still nothing on the ICR website since 9 January. Of course, what is there for them to say?