Crybaby Sea Shepherd pirates need a good whaling

Rodney Hide

(This article originally appeared March 7, 2013 - Editor)

HIDESIGHT

I am not against the occasional insurrection.  

When tangled up in the Resource Management Act, or a vicious tax audit, who doesn’t think that for a people suffering “a long train of abuses and usurpations … it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government”?

Even misguided uprisings serve a purpose. As Thomas Jefferson wrote to Abigail Adams: “The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all.”

And so I have no problem with “Captain” Paul Watson and his fellow Sea Shepherd pirates. They think whaling a terrible sin and are prepared to risk life and limb in the Southern Oceans to stop it.

Good for them. My only objection is that they don’t accept the consequences. They want the fight, but only on their terms. They use the law when it suits them and ignore it when it doesn’t. True pirates are outlaws and accept the consequence.

Mr Watson declares himself a pirate: “It takes a pirate to stop a pirate and that is why the flag of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is the Jolly Roger. Yes, we be pirates! I’m not going to pretend otherwise. … We answer only to those we have sworn our allegiance to … [and] we intervene against their enemies in an effort to defend and protect their lives and freedom.”

Serve the global ecosystem
Stirring stuff. And to whom do they swear allegiance? “We serve the global eco-system, specifically the marine eco-system.”  

It’s not just whales. “This means that the survival of fish, whales, worms, bacteria, trees and humans are all equally important.”

Unlike other Greens, Mr Watson is consistent. It’s not about downsizing the car and recycling garbage. The problem is humans. Right from the start: “The entire ecosystem of Australia some 50 millennium ago was disrupted and transformed by humans.”

He would have been there threatening hunter gatherers for daring to light a fire.

For Mr Watson, humans are a nasty virus. “I was once severely criticized for describing human beings as being the 'AIDS of the Earth'. I make no apologies for that statement.”

It’s no surprise that the US courts declared: “When you ram ships; hurl glass containers of acid; drag metal-reinforced ropes in the water to damage propellers and rudders; launch smoke bombs and flares with hooks; and point high-powered lasers at other ships, you are, without a doubt, a pirate, no matter how high-minded you believe your purpose to be.”

Mr Watson dismisses the US ruling as one-sided and irrelevant. Fair enough. He’s a pirate. He is an outlaw.  

But pirates must accept the consequences of their actions. The Japanese whalers have every right to defend themselves and their property. And that’s the trouble with Mr Watson and his crew. They cry like babies at the merest hint that the whalers might hit back.

Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and the other US Founding Fathers committed high treason when they signed the Declaration of Independence. They risked forfeiting everything they owned, ruining their families, and being drawn to the gallows, hung by their neck, their entrails cut out and burnt while still alive, their heads cut off and their bodies quartered for the King’s disposal.  

I would have a lot more respect for Mr Watson and his band if, every once and awhile, the whalers were less polite and instead dealt to them as the pirates that they are.

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140 Comments & Questions

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What other course of action would you recommend? The Pirates are doing everything they can short of hurting people. They have been creative in their disruptions, yet still fail to prevent the Japanese from killing whales under the auspices of research. It's proven that the whale meat is being sold in Japan as a result of these research fishing expeditions and few countries, NZ included, are unwilling to enforce the no-kill zones.

Your own views are symptomatic of conservative policy, and people like you who have time on their hands to write columns should devote that time to challenge the Japanese for their actions and not ridicule a few who are standing up for what is an honourable and just cause.

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I don't object to Sea Shepherd being pirates. I just want them to accept the consequences. The Whalers have every right to defend their property and their lives.

The "no-kill" zone is nonsense. You might not like it but the Whalers aren't breaking the law. Sea Shepherd are.

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“Whalers aren't breaking the law” the whalers were deemed illegal in a 2008 by an Australian federal court. They haven’t produced a single peer reviewed scientific paper in 20 years – so there whaling is not for research therefore making it illegal and they have used illegal weapons against SS (concussion grenades) in violation of the Antarctic treaty.

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SSCS continuously vilate Antarctic treaty to waste chemical, glass bolltes, rope with wire. And SO is not australian water in International agreement. And Whalers use not concussion grenades but flash granage (just lights and sounds).
SSCS intend to disturb refual and hit tanker. It will cause serious pollution is SO. IF SSCS care SO enviroment, Hw they can do such a shilly action.

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But the rest of the world doesn't recognise Australia's jurisdiction and that's why Australia is not enforcing a Clayton's ruling.

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Rodney you need to get a spine. Australia once again leads the way as NZ and polliticians like yourself sit on the fence and point fingers at those actually doing something. I like many NZlders left NZ because of people like yourself who do nothing yet mouth off about others who are actually making a difference. Maybe make comment once you have actially achieved something. Till then zip it.

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Troll much?

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It's not trolling, you egg. It's making comment. Put your name up, you coward.

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You seriously feel that Sea Shepherd is the bad guys in all of this? Why would so many people put their life on the line, if not for a good cause. And how could so many people ignore the fact that whales are not being killed for 'research.' And also, why does name calling such as tin the title of this article, seem to make some people feel and behave as small school children, unable to even do the proper research on the he organizations involved, or the whales, or the lies told to Japan citizens. Grow up, read, stop calling people names, and be glad that someone in this world gives a damn about it!

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"Why would so many people put their life on the line, if not for a good cause" - suicide bombers?

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Maybe research suicide bombers. Countries who are invaded, have their women and children raped, tortured, and sometimes killed. Who basically are treated like prisoners inside their own homes and who suffer persecution that you will never understand, sometimes strap bombs to themselves as a last resort.

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Judith, you cannot be serious! Good cause, indeed. Good causes don't make you any less of a criminal, which is exactly what these Sea Shepherd people are. Pirates and eco-terrorists.

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The whalers are in contempt of an Australian high court order against them. As well as being in contempt of the ICR moratorium on commercial whaling.

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Ramming ships in the frozen antarctic waters is not endangering people? Oh please!
Your own views are symptomatic of youthful enthusiam, immaturity and inexperience. In reality it is people like you who have too much time on their hands, little else to do between tutorials, and blind to the phrase "all care and no responsibility."
What do you suggest here?
That we send the Australian Navy down to the ice to protect these wankers from their dangerous prirate delusions?
Ah Jim lad, he be a fool...

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But humans are a nasty virus. We built ships, and spread like an airborne disease, destroying the environment one habitat or species at a time. The 'acid' the Sea Shepherd crews throw in an attempt to stop illegal whale poaching is a harmless acid, found in rotten butter. The Sea Shepherd crew try to avoid throwing the bottles at people, and never have hit a person. On the other side, using flash-bang grenades which can severely harm a persons hearing, is a lot less safe. Using ropes to tangle propellers is more suitable than ramming a ship, particularly in the Southern Oceans fragile ecosystem. According to the IWC, commercial whaling is illegal in the Southern Ocean, and a 'fraction' of whales can be killed for 'research.' Why do we need to kill a thousand whales to research them? By the time the 'research; is finished, the whales would have all died out.

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Bridgit -- speak for yourself. None of the people I know are nasty viruses.

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We are showing the symptoms of fever (Global Warming), vomiting (pollution in the waterways) and extreme population decrease in other species.

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For God's sake don't go down the climate lunacy path or you'll discredit Sea Shepherd.

Here is the ugly problem with environmentalism now, something that I support quite passionately: Too many lunatics making outrageous and offensive statements (humans are viruses etc) discrediting a very worthy cause with their extreme PETA like delusional behaviour.

Now Rodney let's not mask the Japanese with any legality to their actions. They hunt whales because they want to; not for any true commercial, ethical, scientific, historical or ethnic reason but out of petulance. They do it to assert their nationalist pride. And since their offensive flag waving is in our area of the world over which we do have historic links and claims we should rebuke them.

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Rodney, do you think African Rhino poachers have “….every right to defend themselves and their property”? Think about this carefully in respect to your previous involvement with the ACT Party and John Bank’s well know stance on animal rights. Remembering also the Japanese Whaling Industry is being taken to the World Court this year by AU for breaking the 1986 Moratorium on Commercial whaling (i.e. poaching) with the backing of the NZ Government (National Party). Please explain your position. Thanks

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Maybe you want to look in a mirror

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For goodness sake Bridget. It would appear that you have watched all the Matrix movies and are hideously gullible.. Perhaps you are NZ's Agent Smith?

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Nope, I just listen...

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Bridget. Do what any viruses do. Die

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Dear Mr. Hide,

I'm perplexed of how ignorant you are.
Here's a reality for you...
Just two years ago, a Japanese Whaler ship
Hunted down and killed a Right whale.
Claiming themselves as whale research scientists, they ought to know that the Right whale population is estimated at no more than 500 in the world.. But the reality is, that had it been the last two Right whales left in the world, these same Japanese whalers wouldn't have hesitated to kill one or both..
The reality is, that if it is not for organizations like Sea Shepherd and others alike, in 20 years from now, you may be describing to your young readers whales as you would dinosaurs... You may be trying to describe what tuna and Haddock tasted like...
In essence, Sea Shepherd is trying to save humanity and you criticize them...
In reality, you are ignorant indeed...

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Rodney, you are a sad case, the Japanese murder whales, Sea Shepard tries to stop them because no one else will, I say good on them they are doing our dirty work and as for the Japanese well it wasn't too long ago that they were heading down this way to kill us, I haven't forgotten that and no one should.

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I note your anti-Japanese sentiment. I accept that sea Shepherd believe that killing a whale is murder. So too they think that killing a worm is murder. I admire their consistency but don't agree with their premise.

Also, to be truly consistent they should be stopping kiwis "murdering" sheep and cows or would that not be so good for fund-raising and the cameras?

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Ship and cows are not endangered. There are millions of them.

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Nor are the worms -- or the whales for that matter -- that so concern Captain Watson!

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Are you saying whales aren't endangered Rodney. As for the worms, well dig in mate.

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'Note your Japanese sentiment'... trying to cast me as a racist, you are not in Parliament now mate. Here's the reality, the Japanese need to take a good long hard look at themselves before they start giving the finger to us down here... they are a nation who live in denial, saddled with a crushing loss of face shame based complex which has them playing juvenile games of putting 'Research' on the sides of their death ships as if that would fool us, though it is undoubtedly for the audience back home who believe anything official looking or sounding they are fed like brainwashed sheep and then not giving a rats about how we might feel about their unwelcome intrusion in to our backyard and perhaps give a little consideration to the fact that a lot of us think whales are a little more than the worms and cows Rodney stupidly talks about, perhaps even our equals in the ocean - yes to Rodney everything is at the station of a worm boy what a way to see nature. The great bowing honourable Japanese do all this within our living memory of their previous two finger salute to us in the 40s which we paid for in blood and treasure big time and that is a fact. I don't dislike Japanese people as individuals but I'm not much a fan of their society and their whale murdering ways, they are in a hole and they should stop digging, in the meantime go the Sea Shepard, make them run to back home to mummy.

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So the 50 fin and 50 humpbacks the Japanese state in their quota are what, Rodney? Threatened/endangered?

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Rodney, now you are carrying the argument to delusional extremes. Maybe opposition to whaling stems from a variety of reasons not just the numbers of whales. An additional example of many: Maybe we shouldn't eat creatures with high self awareness such as Apes, Parrots, People, Cetaceans, even maybe octopi.....

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Subtly racist methinks. And how, pray, is this murder? Or is killing any animal ( say a lamb for the Sunday roast) also murder.

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Seems to be the catch cry of the morons that no longer have any sensible facts.... scream racist and everyone back tracks, no one wants to be the racist.... Well, Sea shepherd have other causes they persue and even go to places in the world and protest where people have white skin, fancy that!! New Zealand will always roll over to the Japanese whalers, purely because the right wing facist that run our country are too weak, have no spine and are scared to loose that pitiful amount of trade we do with Japan... Not to mention Glen Inwood, the Kiwi face to international Whaleing. As far as the Japanese go, hardly anyone in Japan eats Whale meat, very few Japanese people are even aware this goes on and most of the Whale meat will rot in a cool store because a small group of old boys hiding behind a big Oak door insist they send Ships to the southern Ocean to kill Whales for Tradition. The number one reason that Whales are hunted to this day, is that while SSCS and the likes of Greenpeace are following the whalers, the Japanese fishing fleet is plundering the ocean unhindered..

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Yes it is.

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What an appalling load of absolute rubbish. You obviously have no idea how Sea Shepherd work. They do not ask for help from anyone when down in the Southern Ocean, indeed all the volunteers sign a waiver against any liability, injury or death. They are all fully aware that nobody will come to rescue them and their focus is one of passion and upholding of animal rights in a dedicated Marine Sanctuary. It is actually the Japanese who are always whingeing and crying like babies accusing Sea Shepherd of spoiling their fun in slaughtering whales in a Marine sanctuary. This not for science as purported but for profit. They take government protection with them in the form of coast guard vessels and the ramming this season of Sea Shepherd boats by the Japanese shows how far they are prepared to go. Of course no country will investigate this total breach of IMO rules at sea even with full video footage, at risk of upsetting their trading partners over a few whales.
They bleat to any country that will listen and complain continuously.
Sea Shepherd does what the International community should be doing but our politicians are too intent on worrying about their own jobs and kowtowing to big business interests and the fishing lobby. Shame on NZ for starting the fishing in the Ross Sea and double shame on them for continuing to be part of this whole sorry mess. At least Sea Shepherd have the morals and guts to stand up and fight which you clearly do not.

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But Mike, I am not an animal rightist! I personally have no issue with the whalers sticking within the law and taking whales, any more than I have with kiwis taking hoki or eating beef.

The Whalers don't bleat to the world. They go to court. And they win.

It's Sea Shepherd that is creating the danger and doing so for media coverage and fund raising opportunities.

Fair enough.

But I also accept that the Whalers have every right to defend themselves and their property. Do you?

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You must not be watching what I'm watching. Every year the Japanese whalers whine and complain. More so than Sea Shepherd. And the Japanese haven't won anything in court. Sea Shepherd US isn't involved this year so any court ruling means nothing coming from a US court. NZ is run by spineless people. It's so embarassing.

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Go into parliament then, Mike. I'm glad I grew up in a family of middle-right rather than left-leaning. Complaining and name throwing seems to not only be limited to Labour politicians but anyone apart from it. Time to accept some responsibility rather than blaming everyone else. That is really where a so-called "spineless govt" has failed as it has allowed NZ to breed a bunch of moaners.

What is NZ govt really going to be able to do in the scheme of things? I see these protesters around uni and outside my work and just laugh now. I think whaling is bad but the way the greenies have gone about trying to stop it is laughable.

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What drivel. Argue the point, smug ad hominem attacks are a sign of intellectual laziness one comes to associate with government voters.

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Why would I want to go into politics. They sit around taking back handers, mouth off and doing the bare min. And you can laugh at who ever you want. At the end of the day these people are making a huge difference. Saving lives. A lot more than you do or will ever do. Spineless.

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(Whalers have every right to defend themselves and their property)? Why are you keep saying these Whales are Japanese property? Number 1. Whales are not property! They are warm blooded sentient beings! 2. I don't see Sea Shepherd on Japanese waters? It is Japan whalers that are whaling illegally! They lie to the world about the scientific research taking from the oceans that don't belong to them! Who should be taking who to the court? Sea Shepherd is unfairly judged and being called pirates by people like you and for what? throwing rotten butter? You! However need to educate your self before blasting good people who are trying to protect our oceans which will be in effect to the future of your grandchildren one day! Your facts are twisted with no moral! Long live the Sea Shepherd and be protected if not by the Government then by people of the world! They will be supported I can assure you that!

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The Japanese have a legal right to research whales. There is some very good research done in Japan and it is easy to see that it is bona fide research done for the ultimate benefit of society and mankind, and, increasingly, recognised internationally by awards such as Nobel laureates.

In genuine research there are strict ethics to minimise the suffering of animal subjects - harpooning would not be tolerated in genuine research and there is no evidence that the whalers could ever benefit humanity and human knowledge - it is simply a ploy to subvert the whaling ban.

The morality of slaughtering animals raised for meat is irrevant to the current debate as there is no suggestion that the Japanese activities have fostered these animals at any stage of their existence.

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Mike Dicks. You are wrong when you say that $$C$ had not asked for help. Is it not true that this club of miss wise people had demanded of the Australian government to send battleship to protect the ships of $$C$ down there?
Be clear on the facts before you start express yourself publicly

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Agreed. I can't understand why the Japanese don't use more inventive ways to defend the ships. Maybe bigger ships and more of them would allow them to get on with their work. And yes they are big cry babies, if you want to fight like a pirate you should also cop it back like a pirate.

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I love the work Paul Watson and sea shepherd does

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Oh really, (whoever you are pretending to be me)
I'm flattered you think my opinion would matter to anyone so much so you tried to impersonate me, what a sad pathetic life you must lead.
Have a nice day!

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AND, don’t try to impersonate me again. The new conservation group I am about to launch: “North American Oceans Of the Future Unite” have a team of lawyers. Again, Sea Shepherd are terrorists worse the Bin Laden and the oceans and all the fish that live within and the brave fisherman that sail upon are not safe while they flag their anti-Japanese cult flag of terror.

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@Paul^^^ "It's proven that the whale meat is being sold in Japan as a result of these research fishing expeditions..."

The terms of the treaty that authorizes research permit whaling also requires that the whale be processed to the extent possible and the proceeds dealt with as they see fit. This is found in Article VIII of the ICRW Treaty and allows whale meat to be sold to help offset the costs of the program.

@Paul N; Australia is attempting to stop this research whaling by taking Japan to the International Court of Justice. Their efforts do not require ramming ships or throwing bottles at them. If successful, it would offer a more lasting result than the temporary results achieved by Sea Shepherd confrontations. The whalers may go home early, but they always return next year.

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The whalers were deemed illegal in a 2008 by an Australian federal court, yet they have continued to whale since then. Why should they react any differently to this court order?

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