|SSCS & Republic of Palau March 2011 Agreement|
Back in March 2011 after their disastrous season in Antarctica the Sea Shepherds fearless leader headed off for some R&R in the Republic of Palau. While there he inveigled the President and Cabinet to sign an Agreement to patrol the waters of Palau and "safeguard a unique marine protected area designated as the world's first shark sanctuary". At the time it did seem that President Toribiong was somewhat wary of "Wats-his-name" however the Agreement was signed and the MS Bob Barker was assigned, once she got repaired, to proceed to the Republic of Palau. NAUTICAL LOG understands that that vessel is a nautical disaster waiting to happen being quite unseaworthy. Supposedly extensive repairs are needed and partially underway but as usual with SSCS the true is unknown.
Now comes news, that after discussions with the Government of Japan, Republic of Palau President Johnson Toribiong has withdrawn from and cancelled the March 2011 Agreement with the SSCS. A new arraignment is in place with Japan which has promised to provide Palau with a patrol vessel and financial support as an alternative to the Sea Shepherd Patrol Agreement. While the concern for sharks may be fairly genuine the Japanese were determined to disrupt the SSCS efforts and they seem to have been successful. This action may well result in the MS Bob Barker being scrapped due to further repairs being a waste of funds and its further operation unsafe. Already one other SSCS vessel the MS Gojira has been re-flagged, back to South Africa, and is being renamed.
Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia - let us work with maritime interests and others to free them.