Unrep MSC to amphib

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Radical environmental pirates


Calling it as he sees it, Damian Wyld takes on the "Sea Shepards" in Radical environmentalism: sabotage and piracy on the high seas. Excerpt:
The innocuous-sounding Sea Shepherds have waged a violent campaign of sabotage and operated a pirate vessel within Australian waters. And their backers include Hollywood A-list celebrities.

Saving the whales. Hardly a radical notion these days. It’s probably also a fair call that Australian public opinion stands against whaling, especially when carried out within our territorial waters.

But what should the public think of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a radical environmentalist movement making frequent media appearances for disrupting Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean?
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A recent collision between the Japanese sighting vessel Kaiko Maru and Sea Shepherd ship Robert Hunter left each side blaming the other, but it prompted Watson to threaten a Japanese whaler, the Nisshin Maru, with “a steel enema”. “They would have to go back to Tokyo with us sticking out of their rear end,” said Watson.

That Watson is willing to sacrifice his own ship, the Farley Mowat, to do this should come as no surprise. The Farley Mowat’s Canadian registration was cancelled last year and a short-lived flag of convenience from Belize was also revoked in January, leaving the ship a pirate vessel, now apparently low on fuel.

Furthermore, the Sea Shepherds have quite a history of using this tactic. They have reportedly sunk at least 10 ships already off Iceland, Norway, Spain, Portugal, South Africa and the Canary Islands. Many of these were said to have been rammed by concrete-reinforced steel hulls, complete with an attachment known as the “can opener”.
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That these “pirates” and “eco-terrorists” exist in 2007 is one thing. But what truly is strange is, first, the fact that governments, media and others treat them seriously; and, second, that they receive support from many high-profile figures.
Last year I posted about these eco-terrorists and noted a comment by Watson:
Property damage is not really violence, Watson says. Violence, he insists, is inflicting harm on a living creature, something he says has never happened in his campaigns.
And as I said at the time, he'd sing a different tune if it was his ship that was sunk alongside the pier.

If he wants to act like a pirate, then a pirate's fate should await him. And if, as contended in the Wyld piece, the Board of Directors for his enterprise includes well-heeled Hollywood types who provide funding for this dangerous nonsense, I wonder why they are not be pursued in court for funding terrorism?

And it is not that I hold a favorable view of the whalers, but wonder what other groups Watson and his supporters might target to force their world view on the rest of us...

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