back to article Japanese whalers lash protesters to mast

Two campaigners from anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd are "in custody" aboard Japanese whaling vessel the Yushin Maru 2 after boarding the ship in the Antarctic, the BBC reports. The pair were allegedly assaulted and tied to a radar mast during the action, Sea Shepherd claims. The pair - Australian Benjamin Potts and Briton …

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  1. Dave Row

    Boarding?

    Just how did they board a ship at sea? Its pretty much impossible to do this from another ship (let alone the sort of inflatables Greenpeace and co usually use) without the assistance of the crew.

    Since I assume the protesters didnt point guns at the crew, and demand to be let on board, they would have been allowed on by permission. In which case, unless they actually comitted a crime (under maritime law) on board, holding them is kidnapping. Interesting...

  2. Mike Crawshaw
    Pirate

    Kidnapping?

    Ignoring completely the charge of lashing them to the mast (you know how these greenie-types like to exaggerate...) - these 2 men illegally (without permission) boarded another vessel on high seas because they personally disagreed with the activities that the vessel was engaged in, and were attempting to interfere with these activities. They weren't acting on behalf of a government to protect territorial waters or enforce a court decision, they were acting as private citizens to interfere with a mission sanctioned by the government owning the vessel. Sorry guys, but you had no right to do that, and your detention is perfectly justified until the appropriate authorities come to sort you out.

    Just be thankful you're not being forced to take part in Japanese TV in the meantime...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To (mis) quite Douglas Adams

    The scientific research they are conducting is something along the lines of "how many whales can a fleet of ships with rocket powered harpoons kill in one season."

  4. Tim Blair
    Thumb Down

    yeah right

    "will target 900 minke whales and 50 fin whales between now and mid-April in the name of "scientific research","

    so they don't eat them then?

    this "scientific research" bol**x is a sick joke IMHO......

  5. Paul Brandon
    Pirate

    Here's how

    Sea Shepard is slightly more militant in it's approach to protesting than Greenpeace, and have been known to give Japanese whalers a friendly nudge with their own ship. It wouldn't be hard to imagine a pirate-esque boarding involing swinging on ropes.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trespassing?

    In Australia aren't you allowed to shoot trespassers? Or have I just been watching too many films.

  7. Matt
    Boffin

    Ignoring

    Can ignoring be considered a response? It's easy to mix it up with not having noticed.........

  8. JP
    Flame

    re: Boarding

    Wouldn't the old grappling hooks and climbing up the side work? I can't see a whaling ship being particularly nimble or nippy. Pull up alongside, and climb onboard. Once onboard, try to vandalise the board, get beaten up, strapped to the mast while they clear a room to be used as a cell, and then thrown in.

    Edit story above depending on which side is telling.

    "We pulled up beside the boat, got onboard, and then got assaulted, and tied to the radio mast!"

    "They boarded the boat without permission via grapples, and attempted to tear down the radar mast. So we restrained them while we were organising a containment area for them."

    Depends on who you listen to.

    Actually, just read another news article.

    Stuff.co.nz:

    "

    "The two boarded the Yushin Maru No 2 after they made attempts to entangle the screw of the vessel using ropes and throwing bottles of acid on to the decks."

    But Watson said as the two boarded Yushin Maru the Japanese attacked them.

    "

    So, no provocation other than trying to damage the ship then...

  9. CerYn

    Serves them right

    While I fully condemn the actions of the Japanese whaling fleet, ignoring international bans and court orders, The crew of the Sea Shepard, are well known to be little more than environmental thugs, who are quite happy physically attacking the japanese fleet, and on more than one occassion, ramming them. So this time they get the tables turned on them and they call foul?

  10. Duncan Hothersall
    Happy

    Ooh

    Arr

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Why is it...

    ... that "White" nations (consisting of people of Western European decent) insist on telling the "non-white" nations how to run their lives?

    Why can't they just leave everyone else alone.

    If the Japanese (or Icelanders) want to eat Whales; let 'em! Just cos YOU (and I for that matter) don't like it, doesn't mean that our opinion counts out there.

    If the Whales become extinct, then they won't be able to eat them anymore - hence, it isn't in their interests to do that, anyway - sensible farming is required.

    The hypocrisy is what annoys me more. It was all fine when various "White-nations" went and killed and colonized everything in their path - all in the name of the greater good; But that was all in the past wasn't it - now, they are just so much more enlightened (Iraq, Afghanistan etc are just blips...).

    Inshort then: Stop telling everyone else how to run their lives in your self-righteous and santimonious tones - and don't complain if you get bitchslapped for the effort.

  12. Aaron Fothergill

    actually..

    "Sea Shepard is slightly more militant in it's approach to protesting than Greenpeace, and have been known to give Japanese whalers a friendly nudge with their own ship"

    actually, last year it was the Japanese that rammed the Sea Shepherd ship.

  13. Simon Painter
    IT Angle

    The master has soverign control of the vessel.

    The Master of a seagoing vessel has almost absolute soverignty on a vessel in international waters. That is why they are allowed to perform weddings and funerals and also act as judge in cases of piracy and mutiny. A person or persons boarding a ship without authority can be considered pirates and hung from the yardarm.

  14. /\/\j17
    Paris Hilton

    re: Boarding?

    Well if it was me on the Steve Irwin and I wanted to get on to another ship at sea I'd probably use the helicopter...http://www.shippingtimes.co.uk/item998_steve_irwin.htm

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Piracy.

    Can't you still be hanged for that?

    >Just how did they board a ship at sea? Its pretty much impossible to do this

    You mean like this:-

    http://www.haaba.com/news-story/2007/12/02/somali-pirates-release-comoran-freighter-us-navy.html

    or this:-

    http://www.arabianbusiness.com/506828-heavily-armed-pirates-spark-regional-shipping-alert

    It seems it is possible after all..

  16. Spleen

    Good

    Even if they were assaulted and lashed to the mast, they invaded private property. This is no different from knocking out a burglar and tying him up until the police arrive. Wankers.

  17. Simon
    Pirate

    A Good idea

    "a pirate-esque boarding involing swinging on ropes."

    Actually that's not a bad idea, except with them swinging from ropes - hang these two and it'll make the others stop and consider their actions.

  18. Insane Reindeer
    Pirate

    Keelhaul

    Yes that right, keelhaul them. Lashing them to a radar mast is too good for them. Instead tie them to a couple of concrete blocks (or similar) measure out some lengths of rope and keelhaul them! Twice. Naked.

    This is the very reason why Greenpeace and most of the other groups avoid these lot!

    And so what if they say it is for scientific research and then some of it gets eaten, means they are not wasting it then!

  19. Karl Lattimer
    Pirate

    avast!

    Surely in international waters, if someone you're boarding in a piracy style fashion decides to strap you to the mast there's pretty much bugger all you can do about it.

    Even though I don't agree with whaling, I would have made them walk the plank, just for the laughs!

    Piracy isn't what it used to be.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A better strategy

    Will someone please PLEASE PLEASE sell Sea Shepard some decent torpedoes.

    I cannot imagine even Japan would build/buy a new fleet of whalers for scientifc research if the current one stragnely disapeared.

  21. Chris Taylor
    Flame

    Possible solution

    Pretty much every country in the world agrees that sinking foreign owned ships is usually an act of war.

    However I propose an annual exemption to be dispensed by Parliament allowing "Scientific Research" to be conducted on Japanese Whaling boats

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Leave everyone alone

    "...hypocrisy is what annoys me more. It was all fine when various "White-nations" went and killed and colonized..."

    And slaughtered thousands of whales a year to provide lighting oil.

    Maybe we've just grown up a bit. Unlike the barbarians who machete their neighbours to death because an election didn't go their way. Or riot and kill thousands of ordinary citizens because a couple of score idiots killed one or two people they identified with. Or the people who whimper and cleave to "strong man" politics and think that a milirtary dictatoship is the only route to personal security because the able or at least incumbent people see the path to self-enrichment over the improvement of their nation.

    I don't care what colour they are. It's not about race. It's about fucking growing up as a polity.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Sweet!

    That is all....

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Why is it...

    >telling the "non-white" nations how to run their lives?

    What's non-white about Iceland or Norway?

    It's not a race thing.

  25. Tony Barnes
    Thumb Up

    @ Anonymous Coward

    Shame you decided to keep your name hidden, as yours is the most relevant post so far.

    I don't really have anything against whaling, so long as levels are maintained, and the dead animals are used correctly, I couldn't really care.

    If we do get to the real point of extinction, and someone who controls the waters deems it illegal, then yes, they need to stop. Until then, it's not very different to any of the other animals we kill globally.

  26. caffeine addict Silver badge
    Pirate

    wtf?

    Wow.. what a load of twats this post has brought out.

    No matter how pure your motives are, damaging someone's property (be it through acid, ramming or torpedoes (!?)) is criminal vandalism. Why do the greenies think that just because they're protecting some random creature they can put others at risk?

    Don't get me wrong, whaling is disgracing the Japanese but these protesters deserve everything they get.

  27. Keith T
    Pirate

    re: leave everyone alone

    "Unlike the barbarians who machete their neighbours to death because an election didn't go their way" You're right, y'know. In the civilised world we can afford guns and petrol and fertiliser and the courts and commerce to kill each other.

    As for the whales - the 'experiments' tend to lead to a lot of spare meat.

    And Sea shepherd's logo is a pirate -they believe in direct action but not enough to match the violence done to the whales.

  28. Graham Jordan

    Oh my

    Reminds me of an old Rugrats episode (yes I watched that as a teenager)

    Angelica - "Prepare to be board!"

    Phil - "Oh no, she's gonna bore us!"

    But seriously, it is to my understanding that in international waters anything goes? Don't get me wrong I don’t condone these actions and throwing the pirates in the ocean would be a better response than tying them to the mass... I just fail to see how this action is illegal (this is all based on a Simpson’s episode where Homer steals Mr. Burns’ boat).

    @anon coward - Again, I don't pretend to be clued up on anything special but it’s to my understanding Whales play a vital part of the food chain within the oceans eating plentiful plankton which as far as I'm aware are carbon sinks on their own. Taking Whales out of the equation, aside from being an inhumane way of doing so pretty much fucks up the whole eco cycle...

    But I say, that’s not a for sure answer, just what im sure I read some where.

  29. Sam

    Anyone got any Veras?

    Whale meat again, don't know how, don't know when...

    Military Airstrike scientific research sounds good to me...if they can't adapt, lose 'em!

    I read somewhere they are fucked anyway, gene pool size..

  30. ImaGnuber

    Big Bucks

    Always amazes me how much expensive gear these pure soul do-gooders have access to. Sea-going ships? Somebody is making a lot of money.

    Always remind me of tele-evangelists - "Dig deep, folks. Dig deep for the true faith/Christ/whales etc."

    Not that they would ever use any of it for their own comfort, oh no. Not a penny. Well other than not having to get a real job.

    Oh sorry, saving the planet is the only job that counts and justifies everything. Your 40 virgins await.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @Chris Taylor

    "Pretty much every country in the world agrees that sinking foreign owned ships is usually an act of war."

    Try telling that to the French government, who sank a foreign-owned ship (Rainbow Warrior) in a port of a foreign power (New Zealand), murdering a crew member in the process (and then weaseled out of enforcing the prison sentences imposed on those who carried out the attack).

    Or perhaps you could tell it to the governments of the USA and United Kingdom, who refused (among many others) to condemn it at the time?

    So, what you really mean is :

    "Pretty much every country in the world, EXCEPT France, the US, the UK and many others who refused to condemn the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior, agrees that sinking foreign owned ships is usually an act of war."

  32. cor
    Pirate

    Damn Japanese ..

    Must be some kind of weird penis envy thing going on there.

  33. Solomon Grundy

    Science

    I think we should genetically modify the whales (and all the other exotic/endangered animals that the Yellow People eat) so that they are poisonous to humans.

  34. Anony Mous

    Also left out...

    "The most recent injury report was made by two Japanese crewmen [!!!] who claim being splashed with foul-smelling butyric acid during Sea Shepherd's recent action in the Ross Sea. The Sea Shepherds admitted to throwing six one-litre bottles of butyric acid onto the deck of the Nisshin Maru although Paul Watson denied that any Japanese crew could have been harmed, saying that butyric acid is "a simple non-toxic butter acid, basically rancid butter". However, safety data sheets warn of the corrosive properties of the acid, which can burn skin and eyes, and harm aquatic organisms."

    ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Shepherd )

    A quick Google reveals that this acid is NOT something that you would want splashed on you, especially if it got in your eyes.

  35. Anony Mous
    Alert

    Some information that was left out...

    "On Tuesday, the Federal Court in Australia ruled that Japan's hunting and killing of whales near the Australian coastline or off Australian Antarctic Territory is illegal.

    However, the court noted that unless the Japanese whalers entered Australian jurisdiction where they could be seized, there was no practical way the order could be enforced.

    Japan considers the sanctuary's waters to be the high seas. Only New Zealand, France, Norway and the United Kingdom recognise [sic] Australia's claim."

    ( http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/latest/200801160703/sea_shepherd_activists_held_on_whaling_ship )

  36. Jim

    Pirates

    Priates have been tossed overboard

  37. Tim Greenwood

    Act of war?

    One country sinking the ships of another country might be considered an act of war but not a global group of eco heroes/nutters (delete as appropriate) sinking ships. I think that would be considered an act of piracy, aarrrrhhh!

  38. paul clarke

    wow - de ja vu

    Not exactly breaking news this story - I read this exact story sometime in 2007!!

    I am sure that the Japanese have some well though out motives for firing rocket propelled harpoons at innocent and defensive mammals (NOT!!)

    What really worries me about this is the fact that they do this under the "research" umbrella. So there you go - Anyone fancy taking pot shots at people and claiming your right to do so under "Research"

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I'm an Australian...

    ... and i favour improving the average IQ.

    Don't tie them to the mast.

    Hang them from it.

    // Paris because she knows sincerity doesn't make one immune to consequences.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HAHA

    I hope they drown the ----ing f----ts

    Why the hell shouldn't the Japanese eat whales, we eat pigs, sheep, cows, goats, ducks, pheasents, and well lots of other animals. We keep dairy cows in a perpetualy pregnent state for milk and cheese.

    But O no it's a whale you can't eat it... screw that, it's an animal and if it's edible - eat it.

    Much like the crazy mexican in from dusk till dawn "if you can find p---y cheaper anywhere else, f---k iiiiitttttt!"

    Also before gettting all "whales save teh planets" eco warrior crap, why don't people start making a bit more noise about rainforests (not just the Amazon one).

    We have to remember that the Japanese have a vested interest in maintain stocks of Whales becouse - they eat them.

    And have you met most fishermen? A good flogging is getting off lightly if you f--k up their boats, that's their lively hood. Whilst some greasy hippy on retainer to some shady westerner can just go home to ma and pa.

    We don't see people boarding other fishing boats (well not counting the English/French scuffles of awhile back), and I bet if people dared they wouldn't be heard from again.

    How about I come down your offices start shouting at you for burning carbon maaan, smashing up your office tools and slashing your car tyres.

    I recon you wouldn't be best pleased.

  41. Matt Bradley
    Coat

    @ImaGnuber

    "Oh sorry, saving the planet is the only job that counts and justifies everything"

    in know this was meant to be sarcastic, Ima, but try saying it out loud slowly to yourself, and LISTEN TO THE WORDS. Now try comparing it to the following phrase:

    "Oh sorry, keeping the Japanese hoi polloi well stocked with whalemeat is the only job that counts, and justified everything"

    Hmm...

  42. Pierre Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    @Coward about Rainbow Warrior

    "Or perhaps you could tell it to the governments of the USA..."

    If it was an act of war, it was against this very same government. See that with them.

    Anyway, according to nowadays UK and US standards, it would appear as a totally legitimate pre-emptive anti-terrorist strike. Not that these standards should be praised of course.

    And most countries don't actually declare war for an isolated act of this kind (see how the US "inadvertently" rocketed the ambassy of China in Yugoslvavia, for example).

  43. Morely Dotes
    Pirate

    Sea Shepherd misses the obvious

    Instead of boarding and protesting, they ought to get their own harpoon gun, and follow the whalers around. Every time the whalers shoot at a whale, the greenies shoot at the whalers.

    It's International waters, so fly a Panamaniam flag (or Swiss, would be even better).

    Yarrgh! Heave to, matey, or we'll be forced ta eat the cabin boy!

  44. EJ
    Go

    They'll likely be used for "research"

    As I learned on the Institute of Cetacean Research's web site (http://www.icrwhale.org/eng-index.htm), the best way to show your love for a species is to slaughter a thousand of said species. These 2 will be used to show the institute's love for protesters, no doubt.

    Do visit the institute's web site - it is beyond belief.

  45. Benedict

    Greenpeace

    Although not the Sea Shepherds, I recently saw a TV show with Greenpeace following a whaling ship. One Greenpeace'r commented on how it was 'ironic' that their own kitchens and freezers were filled with various meats.

    Admittedly I'm completly ignorant on whaling, but to me this is blatant hypocrisy, not irony.

  46. This post has been deleted by its author

  47. Marko Alat
    Pirate

    Idiot Stampede.

    For example,

    > Why the hell shouldn't the Japanese eat whales, we eat pigs, sheep, cows,

    > goats, ducks, pheasents, and well lots of other animals.

    Whales are rare, wild animals with fidgety reproductive habits who go about their business... until and unless a whaling ship impales them with a hundred pounds of steel harpoon or so, inflicting traumatic injuries which lead to eventual death from blood loss, organ failure, drowning or - if they're reeled onto the processing ship quick enough - vivisection... a process which takes anything from minutes to hours.

    Pigs, sheep, cows, goats, ducks and pheasants are farm animals with fecund reproductive habits, cultivated by human beings for the express purpose of becoming food. They are fed, kept (relatively) healthy and warm, and eventually despatched by methods designed to be (relatively) quick.

    The Japanese like to use the non sequitur about Australians beong hypocrites about whaling because they eat kangaroo meat (and emu; the other animal on the only fully edible national coat of arms on Earth). Funny how that narrative stops short of mentioning that the kangaroo meat on sale in Australia comes from *farmed* 'roos (too high a risk of parasites in meat from wild 'roos, apparently), or that kangaroos can reproduce at a rate of four to six young per female per year.

    If people can't see the difference between the protracted kiling of rare wild animals and the (relatively) clinical killing of abundant farmed animals, then they're too pigshit-stupid for me to really try to change their mind...

    > We keep dairy cows in a perpetualy pregnent state for milk and cheese.

    Well, there you go... see why people turn vego?

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Tying them to the mast is an *excellent* idea

    "Don't get me wrong I don’t condone these actions and throwing the pirates in the ocean would be a better response than tying them to the mast"

    Actually, tying them to the radar mast is better. a) it isn't illegal; b) with a bit of luck the radiation will make them sterile and stop that particular set of DNA from procreating.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not piracy, no

    I dont know of any non-suicidal way of boarding a ship underway. I think you will find any successful pirates do one of 2 things; either they sneak at night onto a ship NOT under way, or they threaten the crew with weapons to let them on board. So I find it unliekly in the extreme that if Greenpeace were on the ship, that they were not invited on.

    A captain does not, any longer, have some sort of godlike power on his ship. In fact, fiction apart, even in the old days there were restrictions. However, tying someone to the mast, as long as not done in a manner to deliberately injure, but to restrain, would be legal as a ship usually does not come with trained police and restraint & holding facilities.

    The thing I'm finding it difficult to reconcile is the 'attack' of smelly stuff. did they toss this on board from another boat? This isnt an act of piracy, not attempt was made to take over the whaling ship (I assume). Or did they get invited on board and then do it? The legally allowable responses are different depending on how it was being done. If the captain, after having stuff thrown at him, invited them on board (presumably to talk), and then restrained them, he is guilty of a crime - he isnt allowed to go around arresting people who no longer cause a danger to his ship. However if they carried teh stuff on with them, and threatened to use it, he IS justified.

  50. Svein Skogen
    Flame

    What is really impressive,

    is a country calling itself civilized, and not taking custody of the KNOWN CRIMINAL Paul Watson, who under international law is wanted on several accounts of ship sinking AND OTHER activities covered by the INTERNATIONAL LAWS recognized as Piracy.

    Not to mention that Austrailian court has _ZERO_ influence over japanese or international waters.

    As for the suggestion of torpedoes, I totally agree. Give the Sea Shepard atleast one torpedo. Preferrably amidships and far enough from land that the lunatics has less than 10% chance of getting dry land under their feet again. Pirates like that SHOULD be sunk with torpedoes.

    //Svein

  51. CerYn
    Pirate

    Hmmm...

    From what I have seen of the actions of the Sea Shepard Conservation Society, it is most likely that the Sea Shepard came alongside the Yushin Maru 2, from there, members of the crew threw the bottles of 'rancid butter' over at the decks, possibly injuring a couple of members of the japanese crew in the process. As for how they got onboard, that is quite simple, if the decks were cleared because of the hurling of large bottles of 'rancid butter', it would be very easy to run an inflatable dingy up the slipway (have you ever looked at the rear of a whaling factory ship?). The usual method employed to prevent this is the use of high pressure hoses to wash the invaders off. If the deck was littered with 'rancid butter' could this have been done?

  52. ian
    Gates Horns

    F**kwits galore

    I've wondered how W was elected (twice, no less!). After reading these posts I understand why the USA qualifies for the Darwin award.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Blow Hards

    Amazing how some subjects bring out the worst people. No wonder they have things like the Darwin Awards. Now is there any way we can get some of these blow hards to nominate themselves and go extinct, preferably before the whales do?

    A note to Gavin and Marko - thank you for providing the only rational, sensible posts here - not that it will do any good. These people have long since stuffed wax in their ears. Even Paris has more common sense, wonder of wonders.

  54. Lloyd
    Thumb Up

    Well yes

    The crew of the Sea Sheperd are environmental thugs but you can't really disagree with the concept of someone who posesses an ex military water cannon and fires army surplus custard at whalers from it.

  55. Big Pete
    Pirate

    I say we

    Give those scurvy dogs a broadside with our guns captain, That'll teach em for strapping our men to the mast.

  56. User

    Holy cows of the sea again.

    Minke whales arent endangered. There are over a million in existance and they reproduce at a healhy rate. What the Japanese are taking is a drop in the bucket.

    There are endangered species out there, but they are mostly endangered by international shipping and pollution and past whaling by nations other than Japan, Norway and Iceland, which are now paying the price for still having stocks of whales.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Peaceful Greenpeace

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1qFSBmPEWo

  58. Steve

    Save the Tuna!

    Fuck the whales!

    Sure it's wrong to over hunt a species to the point of extinction, but the anti-whaling lot cannot get away from using overly emotive terms to describe the process or pleading for its uniqueness or beauty. If you can't make a reasoned and unemotional argument for why I should support your cause, I'm going to be sceptical.

    Ever watched a guy in a Save the Whale t-shirt tucking into a tuna sandwich? Apparently it's only OK to eat the ugly animals.

  59. Ros

    @ User

    Fin whales are endangered, and the Japanese hunt them too.

    I'm surprised at the number of people who are confusing Greenpeace with the Sea Sheperd Conservation Society. These groups have entirely different approaches. Greenpeace plan to use peaceful methods, such as spraying water to obscure the whaler's field of vision. They're not planning to board or ram the whalers.

    http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/oceans/esperanza-drives-whalers-out-of-the-southern-ocean-sanctuary

    Check out the graph of unsold whale meat on that page.

  60. User

    Fin whales arent endangered either.

    Fin whales are fewer in number and that is why the Japanese are only taking 50 per year. Another drop in the bucket.

    There are lots of endangered species in the world, some of them whales, but they are not endangered by whaling. International shipping and pollution are much more likely.

    If you want to save whales, stop tuna hunting (smart whales like Dolphins) and inuit hunting in the states (hunt endangered species).

  61. Daniel Hutty
    Stop

    "Why shouldn't they eat whales?"

    To all those defending the Japanese's "right" to eat whales (and especially, to those claiming that this is a race issue) I say, please consider this in terms of more than "Japanese vs Non-Japanese humans".

    Whales are not the same as "pigs, sheep, cows, goats, ducks, pheasents, and well lots of other animals". Whales take immensely longer to reproduce than any of the above. Their global numbers are also lower (well, maybe not lower than pheasants, I'd have to check that...) and they do not reproduce well in captivity so "proper farming" is not really feasible.

    And to those who who, like Tony Barnes, say "If we do get to the real point of extinction, and someone who controls the waters deems it illegal, then yes, they need to stop" - two points. First, no-one controls International Waters. Are you saying that all's fair on the high seas? If so, can I start dumping nuclear waste there tomorrow? After all, no-one controls the waters to tell me otherwise... And second - fin whales are endangered already, and the Japs are hunting them now.

    I do, however, agree those who accuse Greanpeace et al. of using blatantly emotive language to get their point across - but have you seen teh Japanese media's take on the situation? Two can play the play-on-their-emotions-not-their-reason game.

    And I agree Sea Shepheard are a bunch of nuts who do their cause more harm than good, and that the boarders got exactly what they deserved - and they could well have got a lot worse. I can see the headlines - "a terrible accident while attempting to illegally board another vessel caused the tragic loss of two lives today"...

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Steve

    First you say "Fuck the whales" then you contradict yourself with the argument "Sure it's wrong to over hunt a species to the point of extinction".

    You then suggest that no-one is making "a reasoned and unemotional argument" so you are "going to be sceptical"

    You've made the argument yourself, stating that it's wrong to over hunt a species to the point of extinction, so now you can stop being sceptical and support the anti-whaling cause.

  63. Don Constance
    Coat

    Never mind tying them to the mast...

    They're going to be really upset on Friday when they find out it's their turn in the barrel ;-)

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    BBC news

    Anybody else see Auntie's 10PM news report on this last night? Sent by one "Jonah Fisher". Yeees, and I'm sure he has a friend called Bigus Dickus and his wife is called Incontinentia Buttocks.

    Did also show how they got aboard. There isn't much freeboard on the whalers, so its only a short jump from a boat onto the deck.

  65. SpitefulGOD
    Gates Halo

    Sea Shepard

    Sea Shepard should have just done the usual and rammed them, with all the monies they are posted I thought they would have just bought a reinforced spiked plow and sank the bastardos!

  66. Jim

    Idiot Marko

    So, you are all for eating farm raised tigers, eh?

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    I, for one...

    ...think its about time we all took a more proactive stand to protect this planet and its endangered species - I am all for Sea Shepherd's actions.

    No-one has EVER been killed or seriously injured by this society. Ships have been... tampered with... (read as sunk) when at harbour, however, there have been no verifiable serious injuries. Sea Shepherd has a reputation for being tough, yes, and this is in the main deserved, however this reputation also allows its detractors to create apparently believable stories - including attempted murder on one occasion. Luckily, that incident was being recorded and the videotape evidence subsequently proved that the Japanese had made up the story.

    The Japanese are blatently disregarding international law in hunting whales - their exemption on scientific research grounds is agreed by all to be purely a smokescreen with no scientific accredition whatsoever. If they want to hunt whales, then fine - but it must be after a change in international law - the law that was created to prevent the extinction of a species.

    Lets hope Sea Shepherd can afford a couple of exocets - even a rumour of the Steve Irwin's presence would be enough of a deterent then!

  68. Jim
    Alien

    Gavin, Whales != a species

    Gavin,

    Since when did all whales become one species? Minke whales endangered? Since when? There are millions of minke whales alive in the world today. What you are saying is like, since Bald Eagles are endangered, let's ban all bird hunting or ban all bird eating. Goes to show just how ignorant the green-priates and enviro-nazis are.

    Not sure why you even bring up the COD issue, unless you are advocating the hunting of Harp Seal. Sure, WWF (a private organization) puts COD on its endangered list; let's not forget, WWF was founded as a private slush fund for racists to funnel money to support apartheid.

    You are exactly right, it's all about money. The green-pirates and enviro-nazis are doing it for fund raising. It's interesting to track the flow of money and hence the real purpose of those anti-humanity organizations after the useful idiots (the clueless foot soldiers) are paid.

  69. Alan Potter

    Bloomin' idiots

    Boarding someone's ship without permission means they deserve all they get...

  70. Jim

    re: I, for one

    You, for one, are a wannabe terrorist.

    Since you are so up on your international law, do you happen to know that sinking another country's ship through sabotage is act of war? There is no international law banning all whale hunting. Some species are endangered, but minke whale certainly is not. There are millions of minke whales in the world. Sure, Bald Eagles are endandgered, but shall we ban all bird hunting and all bird eating, including chickens?

    As for exocets reference, well, that just goes to show your wannabe terrorist couch-pirate credentials.

  71. Dave

    Equal Opportunities

    Given that whales are highly intelligent creatures, perhaps the solution is to provide them with some missile launchers and training on how to use them (OK, a resupply depot to assist with reloading as well), plus how to identify whaling boats. Then it would be a fair fight with the 'researchers'.

  72. Marko Alat
    Pirate

    Yay! Someone called me a name! It's working...

    Jim did sed:

    > So, you are all for eating farm raised tigers, eh?

    If someone was prepared to go through the arseache of breeding tigers for human consumption, they'd, frankly, deserve every penny of the $200 per kilo wholesale price they'd be able to charge for tiger steak... then they'd just have to find the other $200 they'd need to break even.

    Once more, for the cheap seats... the objections to whaling as opposed to farming animals like cattle and poultry for food are:

    1. Whales are wild creatures; cattle and poultry are bred in captivity.

    2. Whales are scarce and under population pressure; cattle and poultry are abundant and thriving.

    3. Whales are finicky breeders (goes with being top of the food chain); cattle and poultry reproduce at a high rate (a consequence of being chomped by predators all the time).

    4. Whales take many years to mature; cattle and poultry mature in a matter of weeks or months.

    5. Whales are killed by cruel, slow methods; cattle and poultry are kiled quickly.

    Your farming-tigers example would eliminate objections 1 and 5; if humans raise an animal in captivity, feed it and keep it healthy, it can plausibly be argued that it's within humans' right to do with the animal as they please, including eating it, and if an animal is to be eaten, it would follow from it being captive that it can be killed with minimal distress.

    Now you just have to figure out what to do about tigers' finicky reproductive habits and the sweet time they take growing to a size where they can make any kind of decent eating, or breed, so they can make more steak-tigers.

    Keeping the pirate theme going...

  73. User

    bunk

    1. Whales are wild like many other animals. This is a pro whaling reason. No inhuman treatment of animals involved.

    2. Some types of whales are scarce. None of the species being whaled today are scarce or endangered from whaling. Shipping and pollution is.

    3. Whales are not finicky breeders. They reproduce at a slow but steady rate. Case in point Humpback has come back faster than anyone thought possible.

    4. Whales raise more than one calf at a time.

    5. Whales are killed rather fast. More than 80% of minke are killed almost instantly. Sure there can be a bad shot once in a while, but take it from me, sheep and cattle dont all die instantly either.

    Your arguments are bunk.

  74. Marko Alat
    Pirate

    I feel a dance coming on...

    @ User...

    1. WTF are those three sentences, taken together, supposed to mean?

    The distinction I make between wild and farm-raised creatures, as outlined in my previous post is

    "...if humans raise an animal in captivity, feed it and keep it healthy, it can plausibly be argued that it's within humans' right to do with the animal as they please, including eating it..."

    That doesn't happen with a wild creature; the only exertion humans put themselves through there is when they make the trip out to shoot it, spear it, scoop it up in a net or bonk it over the head with a bat, then drag the carcass back with them... and, aforementioned bat notwithstanding, that's not cricket. We have the option of growing our own food without inconveniencing to the rest of the Earth's biosphere beyond usurpation of resources by our fields, farms and fish ponds.

    Unlike other living creatures, humans take much more from the Earth than they give back; a good portion of us don't even rot and feed the worms when we die... now, you can argue that our big brains and opposable thumbs give us the right to do as we please and that cows would eat us if they had the chance, but if you're going to do that, explain to me why, at 6'4", 105kg and considerable knowledge of martial arts, I shouldn't just assert myself, kick the shit out of random strangers on the street who happen to be scrawnier than me, and live off the cash I find in their wallets?

  75. HKmk23
    Dead Vulture

    If you really want to take action....

    Just stop buying Japanese products.....TV's, computers, cars etc

    They will soon stop the whalers then.

    Personally I don't care about the whales, I have no time for people who worry more about animals, than for example, homeless humans.

  76. Ros

    @User

    Fin whale status:

    http://www.iucnredlist.org/search/details.php/2478/all

    "Balaenoptera physalus – Endangered"

    And the other factors that make things harder for this species to recover are no justification for killing 50 more of them every year.

  77. Jim

    Marko

    Glad to hear that you are all for eating farm raised tigers . . . yes, there are farms that raise tigers. . . currently they are raised for tourism.

    None of the contentions about whales being rare, hard to breed or slow to kill apply to Minke whales. Sure, bald eagles are endangered and probably should be targetted for hunting, but that doesn't justify blind bird worshippers getting in the way of sparrow shooting.

    BTW, the term "idiot" was a direct quote from your earlier post.

  78. Jim

    Marko

    "We have the option of growing our own food without inconveniencing to the rest of the Earth's biosphere beyond usurpation of resources by our fields, farms and fish ponds."

    And somehow you think the pollution caused by our fields, farms and fish ponds are less than taking minke whales and their food, the shrimps from the wild. Go take a look at the dead zone at the mouth of Mississippi.

    "explain to me why, at 6'4", 105kg and considerable knowledge of martial arts, I shouldn't just assert myself, kick the shit out of random strangers on the street who happen to be scrawnier than me, and live off the cash I find in their wallets?"

    'cuz I have a gun and know how to use it; you might find yourself dead with a hole in your head before your finish swaggering about your martial arts skills. The bare risk of the random stranger mark, or someone else passingby, might have the means to knock you off is enough to outweight the unpredictable gain of how much money is in the pocket of the intended victim.

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