Each year more and more violent acts in violation of international maritime law were used by SS-PG to try a prevent the commercial success of the Japanese Whaling Fleet. In turn the JWF which calls it's hunting "Research" is clearly in the business of commercial whaling. In spite of hunting in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, which is supposed to be administered by Australia, nothing was done. Indeed yet today in the 2010 season there is no Naval Patrol by the Australian Navy, a national disgrace.
But how about the Sea Shepherd Pirate Group itself it too has changed it seems. This year the Japanese Whaling Fleet has adopted the tactics of SS-PG and is fighting back - hard.
When one applies for a crewing position with SS-PG there are the usual employment forms to complete. There is however a further document 'VOLUNTEER WAIVER OF LIABILITY' which is the key one of the Employment Package. It consists of six paragraphs covering key points of the SS-PG mission. The fifth is the one NAUTICAL LOG will address here. We quote in part,
"I am ready to put myself in personal danger. I also understand that I am aboard a vessel that possibly carries no insurance policy of any kind."
With this agreed too the crews mann the SS-PG vessels and set off. We have the bravado statements and interviews of the Captain and crew of the Ady Gil prior to departing - several times actually - Hobart Tasmania. But then when the Japanese decide to counter attack and the Ady Gil comes off decidedly second best we have the Captain complaining about the whalers violence.
From the MS Bob Barker comes her Captains dramatic statement again we quote,
"As we sit in the shadow of this cetacean death machine, I'm proud to captain this ship and fine crew on such a noble mission. We will end this illegal operation once and for all, thanks to support from our staff and supporters the world over."
Heavy stuff indeed that reminds one of Winston Churchill or perhaps more to the point of "Star Wars." Clearly these statements are prepared in advance ready to spout forth on the appropriate occasion.
So having developed his tactics and enacted them for several seasons virtually unopposed now that the Japanese have this year replied in kind 'Wats-his-name' seems quite disconcerted. Instead of his usual aggressive bravado statements we get this dramatic whining - we quote
"Because the whalers got away basically scot-free with the outrageous sinking of the Ady Gil, they now apparently think they can do whatever they want and they appear to have no qualms about endangering Sea Shepherd crew. What we really need is for the governments of Australia and New Zealand to step up and start enforcing maritime laws in these waters, or who know what the whalers will do next. Australia and New Zealand lives are at risk every day in these waters."
This from the people that sign to accept personal risk in uninsured vessels ready to give their lives for the whales but now are suddenly faced with a matter of perspective when the other side fights back. Well NAUTICAL LOG suggests to SS-PG to go home out of every one's way. The matter could then be resolvable between the governments concerned. The ANZAC Navies will have no excuse not to order the Japanese Whaling Fleet to leave the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and patrol the area to enforce the law.
UPDATE February 09, 2010.
From the dangerous to the ridiculous at the Japanese website (see Link List) comes the latest data. It seems they are quite well informed about the SS-PG ships, the MS Bob Barker is described as a cockroach invested Togolese ship. While the MS Steve Irwin is videoed steaming along blaring out what is described as "classical music". It seems the Japanese whalers are feeling confident and have developed a sort-of-kinda sense of humour. Pride before a fall or has 'Wats-his-name' finally lost his marbles. However giving credit when credit is due SS-PG, the Japanese Whalers have left the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.