Tuesday, January 29, 2013

STRANGE COMMAND

From the time NAUTICAL LOG was first published we have always taken a highly negative position against the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS).  This is due not to their gallant efforts to protect whales but the tactics used - violent acts of piracy which endanger both their own and other seafarers lives.

During 2012 the pendulum of opinion and finally the Law caught up with their leader whom we have usually referred to as "Wats-his-name" he is of course one Paul Watson.  During 2012 this individual was arrested on outstanding warrants and incarcerated in Germany.  After a period of time he was released on bail, which is an honour system, with the understanding that he would remain in Germany.  However having no personal honour or respect for the Law since he has always declared himself above the Law he decamped.  Leaving for "parts unknown" and so remains to this day but we understand that in actual fact he is on board one of the SSCS pirate fleet the MS Steve Irwin. 

In the interim his resignation as leader of SSCS was required by that Organisation, as an international fugitive with an Interpol www.interpol.int/ "Red Notice" he had nowhere to go without running the risk of being arrested for breaking his German bail.  For clarification an Interpol Notice is issued by Interpol to share information between members.  There are seven (7) types colour-coded by their function: red, blue, green, yellow, black, orange and purple they are issued in the official languages of Interpol: English, French, Spanish and Arabic.  Their activation is the domain of the sovereign member state.

The Red Notice states:

"Requests (provisional) arrest of wanted persons, with a view to extradition.  It is the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant in use today."

This season NAUTICAL LOG does not have a contact in the SSCS vessels however we do have a correspondent in their shore organisation.  That person informs us that while Watson remains in the MS Steve Irwin he is not in Command and the new Master Siddharth Chakravarty is from India.  Well now we have not heard of a former Master remaining in the ship after a new Master arrives on board or is appointed from the crew in place.  We are also rather sure that Watson has not moved out of the Masters Quarters to a crew cabin.  Thus the new Master is in a most unusual position to Command a ship.  He is also in considerable trouble under Maritime Law because with Watson remaining on board as an international fugitive he could well have his Certificate of Competency withdrawn by its country of issue - possibly that is India.  He is also subject to arrest for harbouring that international fugitive.  We are quite sure also that India, much bent on standards and raising its international status, is not at all pleased to have one of its nationals employed in this manner and position.

Also this season it is very noticeable that there is little or no word about the SSCS anti-whaling "Operation Zero Tolerance" since the demise of Watson.  The usual flamboyant bombastic statements are no longer - thankfully - published and really there is no news about the 2013 Southern Sanctuary Whaling Season whatsoever.  NAUTICAL LOG may not have much to say about it either, which may be a relief to many of you !!

Good Watch.

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