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So has whaling finally ended in The Southern Ocean, NAUTICAL LOG believes that it has. With the Japanese Whaling Fleet now headed northwards home to Japan followed by the Sea Shepherd vessels this strange 2010-2011 season has ended. While we have always been very much against whaling we have always been very much against the nautical thuggery of the SSCS Pirate Group. The NAUTICAL LOG criticism has been strong and at times downright rude to the pirate group as a whole and their cult leader in particular. But even we can admit that the end result of their campaigns has been the cessation of whale hunting, at least for now. Does this mean that the end justifies the means? This you will have to judge for yourselves.

NAUTICAL LOG does not believe it does, these people will always be stained with the mark of violence on the High Seas wherever they go in the future. It will be very difficult for them to obtain seafarers papers and if they already hold them to renew them at the next five (5) year renewal. If they look for work in other vessels as seafarers many owners would not touch them with that famous forty-foot barge pole. Should they find a position they would be just one amongst many regular seafarers, many of whom would want no part of them. When their particulars show up in the crewlist presented at some Port some day, the local Marine Authority may come calling for an in depth interview. Believe me no shipowner needs or wants that hassle, the result will be immediate discharge for that former SSCS crewmember and cooperation with those Authorities in the investigation. Remember regardless of the Flag State of a vessel the Port State has control in its Ports, can therefore detain any crewmember they consider unsuitable and impound their credentials.

During the last several days there have of course been Press Releases from SSCS and articles in various Japanese newspapers. SSCS Paul Watson has summed up his point of view quite neatly in his unique style encouraging and thanking the cult members both afloat and ashore. He his clearly determined to keep his control and find somewhere else to direct his nautical violence.

As to the Japanese their current viewpoint is stated in this quote from The Mainichi Daily News of February 19, 2011:

"From both a medium and long term perspective, Japan should improve its protection of marine resources to a level meeting international standards. Japan has come under mounting criticism from the international community not only over its whaling program but also over tuna fishing. In order to avoid unjustifiable criticism from overseas, Japan should inprove its whole policy on marine resource protection".

In addition the Japanese Fisheries Agency Far Seas Fisheries Division in a phone call with the MS Nisshin Maru agreed that they could not outrun the SSCS vessels. Another Japanese newspaper the Daily Yomiuri summarized five (5) scenarios of the Ministry of Fisheries:

1. Have the whaling fleet escorted by the Japan Coastguard or others.

2. Build new vessels having higher speed.

3. Replace research whaling with commercial whaling.

4. Continue with the current arrangements.

5. End whaling in the Antarctic Ocean.

So for now the season ends and we wait to see what can be done at the diplomatic level during this off season.

Good Watch.


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