FURTHER UPDATE: published May 30, 2010.
From the Sea Shepherds there is a reply to the announcement that the Government of Australia is finally taking an action against Japan over whaling.
"We need a definitive international judicial answer to this continuing controversy in the Southern Ocean. We trust that the international court will side with Australia to deliver a stern verdict ordering Japan to cease and desist with their unlawful slaughter of endangered and protected whales inside an internationally established whale sanctuary. We trust the court to understand just what the word 'sanctuary' means."
Considering the style of 'Wats-his-names' latest statements he has clearly tempered his tone. No doubt he is getting sound legal advice now that an internationally recognized warrant has been issued against him personally. Just about any bounty hunter could pick him up and present him to any Japanese Embassy or Consulate. One would point out to him that there is absolutely no guarantee that the International Court in The Hague/Den Haag, Netherlands will 'side' with Australia. Courts after all should 'rule' not 'side'. The Government of Australia already had a clear national duty under international maritime law to enforce the Australian Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Regretfully it choose not to do so and any further legal rulings will merely maintain the 'Status Quo'. As 'Wats-his-name' knows all too well private groups taking the law into their own hands, such as he has done, resolves nothing and of course is illegal regardless of 'spin' which the Sea Shepherds always use.
NAUTICAL LOG would hope that the International Court would point out to the Sea Shepherds that their behaviour in the Southern Ocean is piracy and forbidden. One would further hope that the same International Court would point out to the Government of Australia it is their clear duty to enforce international law in their own territory. This filing of an action against Japan is merely grandstanding and trying to create an excuse under international law instead of exercising a national will.
Since the Sea Shepherd Pirate Group are already planning to return to the Southern Ocean in December 2010 for 'Operation No Compromise' it is clear that any ruling by the International Court in The Hague/Den Haag, Netherlands the nation who has registered their pirate fleet, means absolutely nothing to them and they have already chosen to ignore any 'definitive international judicial answer' regardless. Clearly unless they are physically stopped and treated like the Somalian pirates their nautical thuggery will continue next season.
UPDATE: published May 28, 2010.
According to a reader in Australia the Government of Australia announced Friday that it will take Japan to the International Court of Justice (The Hague, Netherlands) to argue that its annual Antarctic whale kill violates international obligations, in a major escalation of its campaign against the hunt. (Since Australia never actually did anything one wonders WHAT campaign?).
The decision to take legal action against Australia's important trading partner underlines the governments "committment to bring to an end Japan's program of so-called scientific whaling" in the southern seas, Australian officals said.
Opening up our Press Release folder, which never includes USCG PR's, two items caught our eye and surprise surprise both from the Sea Shepherd gang.
First is a report of an interview earlier this week with Scott West of Sea Shepherds. Mr. West is a retired investigator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and apparently knows British Petroleum (BP) quite well. Clearly he is quite concerned about them, as is NAUTICAL LOG.
BP in its adventures when drilling and pumping oil have managed to cause a leak in the Alaska North Slope costing them US$20 million. They also blew up a refinery section in Texas killing 15 workers, this cost them US$50 million. Now we have the Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon rupture causing 11 deaths costing in expenditure to date US$800 million.
Now in Congressional Hearings a BP Executive in reply to a question about 'limitation of liability' under Maritime Law stated that 'the company will do the right thing'. NAUTICAL LOG does not doubt for a moment that BP will perform admirably - but for the general public, the US Government, and the several States involved or its shareholders. Under Maritime Law which applies fully to oil rigs BP can limit its liability to US $75 million, pay up, then walk away free and clear as it has done in the past incidents. BP have asked for a specific Judge to hear the cases it will be involved in, by any standard this is incredible.
NAUTICAL LOG has a particular understanding of limitation of liability due to a case of a collision in the 1950's between two British ships MV The Lady Gwendolen and MV Freshfield which set precedent in Admiralty cases to proceedings of limitation of liability.
The second part of the Press Release is a report of Mr. Bethune former operator of the Ady Gil. His trial in Japan began on May 27, 2010 following his arrest in March 2010 for acts of piracy. According to the Press Release he has a Japanese defense team. Two lawyers from Harris & Moure of Seattle will also attend, Dan Harris Esq. and Steve Dickinson Esq. Mr. Dickinson is fluent in Japanese and has practiced law in Japan with a Tokyo law firm. So Mr. Bethune seems quite well represented and his reported plea of 'guilty' is apparently not accurate.