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Crybaby Sea Shepherd pirates need a good whaling

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


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.

More by Rodney Hide

Comments and questions

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.

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.

“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.

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.

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

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.

Troll much?

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

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!

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

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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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

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

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.

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

Maybe you want to look in a mirror

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?

Nope, I just listen...

Bridget. Do what any viruses do. Die

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...

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.

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?

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

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

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

'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.

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

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.....

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

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..

Yes it is.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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

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.

(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!

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.

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

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.

I love the work Paul Watson and sea shepherd does

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!

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.

@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.

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?

The area claimed as Australian waters that was involved in the 2008 AUcase is not recognized by very many countries. The nations of France, Norway, UK, and NZ recognize the claim; the rest of the world views both the application of AU law in that region to non Australians and the extension of their sea claim to include a 200 nm EEZ as violations of the Antarctic Treaty.

The issues involved in the US Federal courts are regarding safety at sea and involve treaties for which their is universal jurisdiction, particularly the UNCLOS provisions for piracy and the acts covered by the SUA Treaty (Convention for the Suppression of unlawful acts at Sea).

There is really a world of difference between the two cases. The AU Federal Judge in the 2008 case, Judge Alsop, wrote in his decision that this would be difficult to enforce and that many of the issues involved, such as the feasibility of applying AU law to the region, were not in his power to decide. Rather, Parliament had already decided that they shall apply and his hands were essentially tied in this regard.

That may have been the case if the Japanese Fisheries minister didn't just admit it wasn't about "Research" but about Food security. Huge mistake. But its not like we all didn't already know that. Did you?

Rodney who?

rpb who?

knuckledragger who?

Apeman who?

Come on, someone do it.

Doctor who? Or was that a trick question?

It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out what demographics Mr. Hide represents . So Mr. Hide ,how long have you been a spokesperson for the ICR ?

A pirate is a pirate, the only possible way to stop the japs is by hurting the hip pocket, stop buying Japanese goods and convince the rest of the world to do the same. What'S next? Stop duck hunting or dear hunting? Fight to save the prawns?
There is a legal way to do things, sea shepard way is not! Break the law, pay the price

The last time I looked, ducks, deer and prawns were not endangered because of being hunted to near extinction. If whales were plentiful then hunting them could be an option for those people who have a tradition of consuming whale meat. But they are not plentiful. So leave them alone. Japan, get out of the whale sanctuary. You are poachers!

Well there you have it, abundant animals can be used for food and since the Minke whale is THE most abundant whale species on earth no where near extinction now or in the past, using them for food is ok, right?

No Jamie its Not alright. There is a BAN on killing Whales. Remember? If the rest of us had given the "Ban" the finger like Japan has then we would be looking at Whale free oceans. Our kids cant thank people like yourself for Whales still swimming in our oceans. If people like yourself ran things the planet would be completely screwed. Have you got yourself a job yet Jamie?

Why doesn't somebody finally work out that the way to get Japan to pull her head in is to organise a boycott of all things Japan sells?

What ban, there is no ban on killing whales. Do you mean the moratorium on commercial whaling? The devil is in the details kid.

Yes, the ban on commercial whaling. That Japan now admits it's doing.

I would just take a leaf of of the french intelligence service and bomb the whaling boats while in port.... Rainbow Warrior style

If governments would do their jobs and enforce international law, there will be no need for Sea Shepherd. But governments DON'T enforce law on illegal whaling, illegal shark finning, illegal long lining, illegal drift netting, and over fishing...

What a load of rubbish! This guy clearly has not watched the videos CLEARLY showing the Japanese whalers DILIBERATELY ramming Sea Shepherd Vessels, throwing military grade stun grenades whilst in the vicinity of a fuel tanker (carrying heavy fuel oil below 60 degrees)! I suggest he goes away and does his research before slating the brave Sea Shepherd crews as 'cry babies!'

Maybe if you got of your backside and went with them, you would see what they do. They do more than any of the Governments are doing to stop this attrocity from happening.
How dare you say what you are against SSCS. They have the guts to go where no-one else does.
How about "greenpeace"? They do nothing of any worth than make paper whales and show off their ships for raising profits for............. Doing nothing.
Thank you SSCS for all you do, take no notice of this idiot.
He doesn't know anything about dedication, just sits at a desk spewing out this utter nonsense.

Hi Robin -- I wouldn't crew with pirates on a cause that i don't support!

Well don't judge them then.

@Robin; How dare we oppose SSCS?? My, don't we hold a high opinion of ourselves! It's about time that more speak out against these thugs that do little towards achieving positive lasting results. To all but the brainwashed, their claims of saving 800 whales again are transparently ridiculous.

As a politician I'm sure you've developed a thick hide, but you really are a blight on humanity. Attacking a group of people that are so dedicated to doing the right thing that they'll risk their own lives. There is so little left to you. An empty shell that just attacks the next hot topic because you have no real convictions.

Yes. According to Sea Shepherd's founder we are all a blight but not on humanity but rather the planet. And that includes the original inhabitants to Australia 50,000 years ago. I am afraid James that according to Sea Shepherd you are too.

Rodney, Google Endangered Species. Spend one hour reading about how many species are going extinct. And how almost all extinctions are caused by.... you guessed it ... humans.

For years the Government of Japan endorsed whaling fleet has been taking whales (including pregnant females & calves) in the International Whaling Commission's declared Southern Ocean whale sanctuary.
The fleet has also been known to enter another country's territorial waters without notification/permission and kill whales within its UN recognized economic zone.
Japan is currently before the International Court of Justice because of this commercial whaling.
It is also in breach of an Australian court order prohibiting it "from killing, injuring, taking or interfering with any Antarctic minke whale, fin whale or humpback whale in the Australian Whale Sanctuary, or treating or possessing any such whale killed or taken in the Australian Whale Sanctuary, unless permitted or authorised under sections 231, 232 or 238 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth)."
If you ask me, Japan is the primary pirate operating down in Antarctica.

I don't agree with whaling either but how true it is greens only want it all there own way. No one elses view matters to them they are arrogant and self serving hipocrites.

Right on Rodney-most protesters(I say most) are cowardly.They uphold the right to disrupt,but squeal like little piglets when the police touch them.These clowns need more tham water for whales,well,try getting a little more emotional about our own farming practises!

Well Rodney what do you expect the brainwashed Greens to say?

Predictable diatribe from an environmental fool. I suppose Mr Hide thinks a free market approach to whaling would solve all the problems? Short sighted small thinkers like this man are a danger to the planet.

According to Sea Shepherd all humans are a danger to planet!!

Not built by dolphins. Not built by kangaroos, Not built by your garden snail. Built by us... humans.

Well said, it's always the same with folks like Watson.

It always makes me laugh when I hear the he said she said wailing of the Sea Shepherd people.

If you are going to play rough, fine, but to then squeal that the Australian Navy should come save you is ludicrous.

oh and why don't Sea Shepherd go and protest the Norwegian whale hunt? If they care so much, why are they inconsistent?

SS has a faroe islands campaign

You are quite confused Mr Hide.

At their core Sea Shepherd is an organisation of unapologetic misanthropes and all-round despicable human beings. While I don't support whaling, I do recognise that these ideological misfits would be going after other targets if they didn't have foreign whalers to go after instead.

Two birds with one stone if you ask me, but the important thing to remember is if they're ever successful in stopping the annual whale hunts they'll be looking for other targets for their unique brand of eco-terrorism.

get the australian navy in to our waters and get the trespassing japs off. why dont a good person like yourself get on the boat with them , im sure theyll respect you as they do the whale .

The crew of Sea Shepherd are taking on the fight because the Australian Government is GUTLESS.When will our mindless moronic,snivelling,pathetic poor excuse for leaders do something about this barbaric practice from the dark ages. The Japanese must change with the times and stop this pathetic practice NOW!

Ah Mr Hide. Perhaps you would be better off researching what isn't Cetacean research and have a good look at who does the most crying.
The Japanese Whaling industry is being carried out via outright lying to the International Community and abuse of a loop hole in International Law. The arrogance displayed by them is astounding, and is now more about saving Japanese face than any real desire to maintain a govt subsidized industry for a declining meat market. Perhaps your views should only be shared with the other back slappers at your ever decreasing fan base parties.

Rodney what rot. Challenging the Law IS using the law, don't be such a tool.

You are an international maritime law expert now eh? No?

I expect the piracy ruling to be appealed and quashed. Piracy involves profiteering. If they are not stealing anything, they are not pirates, and the judge needs to find another word.

Anyway, what a surprise that someone who writes about the 'dismal science' would side with the moneybags on this issue - who would have though it ?

I've been a long time contributor to Sea Shepherd and will continue to support them as they are the only group doing anything about Whaling - Greenpeace seems more interested in harvesting subscriptions than getting out there are confronting whalers.

Rodney, does, however have a point.

I do roll my eyes when Sea Shepherd releases somewhat hysterical press releases about being rammed etc... what did they expect, the whalers were going to throw them packets of hand made sushi???

It is all a bit disingenuous and the more Sea Shepherd does it the more, ever so slightly, it erodes their credibility and it all looks a bit like some breathless reality TV show - which is sadly sort of what it has become.

Sea Shepherd runs the risk of getting caught up in it's own hubris - that's probably Rodney's point and one the supporters who have flamed Rodney have missed.

Sea Shepherd need to harden up, get stuck into them, ram the boats, fling rotten butter and meet fire with fire, and be hard enough not to scream like a child when the whalers fight back (isn't that just the excuse Sea Shepherd need for escalating things?) Where are the LRAD's on Sea Shepherds boats? Action is what their supporters expect.

If Sea Shepherd supporters wanted a group than sat around holding hands and singing 'kumbaya' led by a wet celebrity in some new age hippy protest, they'd be supporting Greenpeace.

Well said Rodney, the Japanese seamen have a perfect right to defend themselves and are entitled under international law to use force of arms against pirates. I am only surprised that they haven't done so. If Paul Watson makes it to Australia he should be arrested and handed over to interpol to face prosecution. Let the courts decide his guilt or innocence although I note that the greenies rarely accept court verdicts (unless they are in their favour).

Couldn't agree more. What is being lost in the moral argument here is that Watson is deliberately placing his vessel and crew in harm's way, which, by any definition, flouts every rule of maritime law. The Ady Gill disgrace is another example and he should also go and sit in a jail cell somewhere to consider his actions. The simple fact here is that whaling will not cease without the political will to do it. There is none!

Someone got paid to write a propaganda article on a SS hit peace. Pathetic.

You just don't get it Bozo. Killing the whales is destroying the eco balance of the ocean. Japan in their own stupidity are being the first to suffer their own fate. There are no more fish in their area. The seas surrounding their island are being overtaken by jelllyfish. The eggs of the jellyfish will reproduce by the billions. Whales consume these eggs and control the population of jellyfish...but wait a sec, there aren't any whales left. Major areas of the ocean will soon be over-saturated with jellyfish. They will kill off all the fish and we will all suffer. And you and toothless governments are picking on the only people who are trying to do something about it. Shame on you.

THANK YOU!!! It is about time someone wrote this article. I think what the whaling boats are doing is appalling. But I have been equally appalled by the actions and attitudes of The Sea Shepard crew. If I did the same things here to save the rain forest I would be labelled an extremist and be put behind bars. Stop protecting these guys from there own foolishness.

This Watson clown and his mob are criminals and should be treated so!. Lock them up I say!. Get between me and my food and you know who will be coming out second best!.....bloody tree hugging hippies!...using my tax dollars to pay for their bloody rescue!. Don't know if they've ever paid taxes in their lives the bloody bludgers!.

Rodney, you are entitled to your opinion, and we are entitled to think that you don't have a clue. Aren't you embarrassed to demonstrate your corporate sycophancy so definitively and so publicly? Defending those who are cruel to intelligent creatures is no badge of honour. Shame on you and all your ilk, Rodney.

I wish all New Zealanders so enamoured of America would go away and live there. Mr Hide would be fine in the USA, he is wealthy, he could slot right in with the other people who run that society entirely for the purposes of the rich, and have fooled their poor into base servitude.

Go away Rod, you are not wanted by your countrymen. You benefitted from the social-supporting policies of Socialist New Zealand in your youth, free Healthcare, University education, the works, and very much like a base thief, grew up into a selfish right winger. Look in the mirror, but by all means, go do it in the USA.

Sad little man. I actually agree with you. I think the only way to stop the Japanese is to bomb and sink their ships so its stops being economically viable for them to sell their whale meat in Japan. (ala Rainbow Warrior, if Governments can murder with impunity why shouldnt Sea Shepherd?)

However Sea Shepherd take the higher ground and count on changing public opinion rather than direct action and I suppose for the world thats the better way to go. My line of thought would stop them being effective on other issues after whaling.

I bet you'd be the first one calling for their guts from your safe little pulpet if they went hard but thats always been the way with people without convictions that pimp their opinions for money & attentions

Obviously, Mr. Hide hasn't done his research. The whalers are hunting in an internationally sanctioned whale sanctuary. Furthermore, the US courts have absolutely no jurisdiction ruling on actions by an Australian organization (Sea Shepherd Australia) in international waters. Please do your homework before picking a side and playing "journalist" for a day.


You are absolutely right on this. Several countries either have arrest warrants out for Mr Watson or he has broken the law in others. The Japanese target up to 935 Minke whales per year, out of a Southern hemisphere population between 500,000 to 275,000; so 0.13 to 0.2 percentage of the population for scientific sampling as agencies such as the IUCN admit that too little is known about whales to make management decisions with robust data. The data isn't there and the Japanese are collecting such data. The level of sampling does not impact on Minke whale population by any definition. The International Whale Commission allows restricted harvest of whales and Australia is a signatory and has signed the agreement. Its argument in the international legal system doesn't stand a chance and when Australia looses the case it is expected that the Japanese can sue the Australian government a very large sum as being a country supporting the Sea Shepherd organisation. Without question, Mr Watson will ignore this bit of law as well. It is only a matter of time before he is arrested and we can be done with this man. He may not like humans, seems to like being married - 3 times including a Playboy model - who believes no human community should exceed 20,000 people and the world population should be less than one billion. Good luck with the culling Captain Watson, I suppose the ones you choose for removal will be those that don't agree with you. You have tried to work with agencies before and even run for elected office and were rejected time and time again. I guess the likes of Mr Watson will always have some supports but not ones that are fit for a society that lives together with mutual respect for each others life styles or views. In short, bigots.

Plus he's not a real captain!

Yes he is. He has earned the title by his actions. Ask his crew. Captain Watson, As Austin Powers says "I salute you"

Yes he is

So when Obama invades the sovereign airspace of another country and conducts, murder assassinations and summary executions of largely unidentified foreign citizens by his military directed drones he is not a pirate and shouldn't be held responsible? I do not notice your sacred U.S. judges ruling on this blatant piracy and murder, but then again hypocrisy is not the sole domain of eco-warriors, is it.

The whales are being hunted in Australian Protected Waters, therefore an illegal undertaking by Japan in whatever guise claimed.
If it was being done in your personal pool I think you would have a different view mister.

How about another track. What is so wrong with killing for food whales of a species that is not threatened? We kill fish, squid, shell-fish, cows, sheep, horses, pigs et cetera, et cetera. People go big game fishing and 'play' "sport" fish, often for hours.
The problem is the legal nonsense of allowing whaling 'for research' - of course the Japanese whale for food - it's traditional for them. How would NZers feel if the Indian Government ordered us to stop killing cattle. Or the Muslims to order us to stop eating pig meat

Good old Tea Party Rodney. Architect of his own demise, and if he has his way, the planet's too.
Go back in your hole idiot.

Fantastic. Attack the man and don't refute his arguments. Is that because you can't?

Rodney, I understand what you're saying, but of course SSCS "cries" when they're attacked! What other weapons have they? They don't allow any weapons at all onboard their ships, they only have rancid butter in jars to throw and water cannons! The Japanese have grenades and in one case, firearms which they've used (documented). SSCS's war is a war of minds and propaganda. It has to be! So why are you surprised when they yell about the Japanese whalers ramming their ships (which by the way was a concious choice of the Japanese captain!) Yes, SSCS is outgunned. But they're there anyway and you must admit, their tactics have been effective! And if the history of conflicts are written by the winners, then SSCS will be writing this one.

If the Japanese want to humiliate us just do a documentary on our use of 1080 poison and the helicopter shooting of our wildlife.

The animals targeted by those methods are out of control pests with no natural predators in a benign environment. Any population will explode if the ecosystem gets out of balance...

The Japanese want to cull the whales because they are gobbling up a lot of the fish.

Rodney I would like to see you spend 6 months getting to know the whalers, then 6 months getting to know the sea shepherd people. Then tell us who you would like to share the planet with.

I'm sure you would love spending 6 months with a bunch of mongrels who have no regard for nature or intelligent conversation and would slit your throat, as quick as look at you, if there was profit in it.

Better yet, go read up a bit of history regarding WW2 Japanese concentration camps vs British POW camps, then try an imagine a world run by Japanese.

the ICR continually whine and snivel at IWC meetings and every chance they get to push their loathsome nonsense about saving the world by killing whales.
Sea Shepherd has steadfastly and consistently upheld international and Antarctica marine law in face of negligible and inconsistent conservation action by governments.
All power to Sea Shepherd and their actions which have not only blocked the whale killers but dragged this dirty bloody business of Japan (and Norway, Iceland and the Faroes) out into the public arena and kept whale freedom and a healthy marine environment on the frontline, effecting real change, unlike inevitable smug 'journalists' and grasping politicians
The great Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, 20 years on from its inception, finally looks set to become a reality thanks in no small part to the courageous and undaunted efforts of Sea Shepherd

Most of the comments disagreeing with Rodney simply don't get the point, and rant on about the whales. I believe the whales are not the point; it is the underlying premise: when you take the law into your own hands; when you place yourself above the law, there consequences.

"The principle" is one group taking unlawful action to correct what they believe us an unlawful, wrong, or disagreeable stance or action by another group. History is full of it, and wars are the best example. Vigilantes also spring to mind, as do scrapping children.

The key factor here is that unlike most of histories examples, Sea Shepard crys foul when the Japanese defend or retaliate.

A comparable example would be a young boy punching his brother then running to mummy when the brother retaliates. Sea Shepard: if you go above the law to attack the Japanese, don't hide behind the law when they retaliate.
Having dual standards immediately places you in the category of either being stupid or unknowingly serving a hidden master whose goal is served by irritating the Japanese. I bet your funding money trail leads all the way back to organizations closely linked to non Japanese business.

One vocabulary challenged US judge mistakenly labelling them pirates does not make binding international law. The legality of this is not a simple. Are you an expert on international maritime law?

Refer to my first sentence, Matt: Most of the comments disagreeing with Rodney simply don't get the point, and rant on about the whales. I believe the whales are not the point; it is the underlying premise: when you take the law into your own hands; when you place yourself above the law, there are consequences.

You miss the point because you are thinking about how you see the events and not distilling the events to what that means in principle.

Regarding Maritime Law:
I don't need a judge to tell me that someone who breaks into a house is a burglar; I don't need a judge to tell me that someone who goes around shooting innocent people is a murderer. I don't need a judge to tell me that someone who stalks acquitted felons and shoots them is a vigilante.

In this case I don't need a judge to tell me that someone who intentionally rams or damages someone else's boat is a pirate.
"Piracy is typically an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea."
No matter how wrong or right the Japanese, criminal violence at sea makes you a pirate in the same way that gunning down an acquitted felon makes you a murderer.

There are times in history when laws are unjust and governing bodies are the 'terrorists' or criminals. If you are prepared to take on these bodies, be prepared for the consequences. There are no rules in war or combat, only to fight or defend property values and honour.

You don't attack the enemy then cry foul or timeout or safe zones when they retaliate or defend yourself with a law system you have just thumbed your nose at.

And that appears to be the stance of the Sea Shepherd. Declare 'war' on whaling. Create damage, ram boats and then get upset or claim violence when they retaliate. This 'punch and run' is a childish trait - wanting everything on our own terms. It is not the act of a warrior or a defender of rights. It is the act of a coward and it has no honour.

If the crusade is worth it, then do it and don't whinge about the damage that happens to you. Otherwise, acknowledge is is not a crusade you should be involved in, pack up your toys and go home, and find peaceful ways to accomplish your objective.

Just remember the Japanese Whaling Industry is being taken to the World Court this year by AU with the backing of the NZ Government. They are breaking the 1986 Moratorium on Commercial whaling, simply they (including Glenn Inwood from ‘Spin It Wide’ in Wellington as their PR spokesman) are basically just wildlife poachers same as rhino/elephant poachers in Africa. No difference except Japan has huge wealth power and influence. The NZ and AU Governments don’t have the guts to face them head on like Norman Kirk did at Mururoa Atoll with nuclear testing in the 1970’s. Shame. Then Sea Shepherd wouldn’t have to be there every year as we have for the last 9 years with massive NZ, AU and world wide support.
Good to see you “sort of” oppose whaling like 99% of the AU and NZ population Rodney! Although you seem more concerned with the illegal poachers “property”!? I think with illegal poaching in African or the Southern Ocean or anywhere else worldwide that poachers would forfeit their right for protection of property? I don’t think the Japanese Coastguard being 10,000 km from their own coast have any rights at all?
Not sure were here you are going with all this cry baby stuff!! Boo hoo! Hell Sea Shepherd have been called worse that’s for sure. Sea Shepherd has legally got ourselves in between the poacher’s vessels this year to stop them illegally refuelling below 60 degrees south. Legally they have to steer well clear of the Sea Shepherd vessels. Simple.
So your last sentence: you would have more respect for Sea Shepherd if the poachers attacked us? Weird, I thought you were more principled than that. In general, a very confused article and as usual hard to know where your allegiances truly lie. Are you a friend of Glenn Inwood’s from ‘Spin It Wide’ by any chance?

The above comments are again complete lies by Sea Shepherd terrorists. ‘Spin It Wide’ would like to assure all our customers that the company has a completely neutral stance on whaling. Anyone is free to join up and use the NZ’s most cost effective media tool! Even Sea Shepherd! Check us out. With regards to my completely legal work with the Japanese Whaling Industry, this is done through my other company ‘Omeka Communications’. I would also like to assure people that no tsunami money which was generously donated to our damaged whaling fleet due to the awful tragedy was paid to me. My legal payment for services was from a completely separate part of the organisation and we have paper work to prove it. I agree with Rodney completely on this. Sea Shepherd is a bunch of rogue terrorists and Japan has every right to do what they want in the Southern Ocean. As stated by the Japanese Fishing Minister, Yoshimasa Hayashi, Japan will never stop hunting and eating whales. So get used to it New Zealand and support our call for the terrorists to be thrown out of NZ ports and our legal whaling fleet to berth here and be given the hero’s welcome they deserve!

The whalers operate in violation of an Australian high court order against them. According to Australian law, the whalers are operating illegally and are thus breaking Australian law. That's the whalers, not Sea Shepherd, which are free to come and go from Australian and New Zealand ports. Until you become the immigration minister instead of a paid for shrill mouthpiece of the lawbreakers of Japan, they will continue to come and go as they please whilst the Japanese whalers will be banned from Australian ports and entering Australian territorial waters. You call the whalers heros? Thats a joke right?

You're a disgrace, Glenn. People should call for you to be thrown out of NZ. I travel freely in and out of the US and was even pulled aside last year entering LAX Los Angeles and had to wait while two customs supervisors came down to shake my hand and expressed to me how much they all loved Sea Shepherd and what they did. They found it extremely funny when I mentioned the "terrorist" label some people use to describe Sea Shepherd. The word one of them used was "ignorance".

That's probably because US customs only believe that Muslims can be terrorists, so hardly helps your case.

Its so obvious that you just to paid to write a highly negative piece to bump up circulation. It appears as though this whole article is designed simply to ride on the coat-tails of SSCS and Paul Watson.

People are behind what SSCS do, and what they are, no matter how you try and spin things.

Great post Mr Hide, but wow - the nature of the individuals commenting here astound me! Some people must live in a fantasy land their whole lives, propped up by secular polarised misinformed views propagated by TV and popularist media, and the 'cult' organisations they subscribe to myopically. Quite scary actually. By law, it is clear the Sea Shepherd's actions are piracy, and who could argue with that, despite moral inclinations? One could even go as far as to say they are legally 'terrorists' in fact (I'm sure the Americans would side with that view). Having lived in Japan I can say that the real Japanese people aren't that interested in commercial 'whaling' as such, and know that it is driven by a minute few politically 'connected' and aged men who view this as one of the many diminishing global rights of their era. Culturally difficult to stop this overnight, but it will happen when age catches up with this generation finally. What does 'rile' the Japanese media though, i the perception of a national assault by global cultist & pseudo-terrorist organisations thinly disguised as 'green' movements. Make no mistake - Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd and similar organisations have long been corporate multi-nationals in their own right for many years now, and they follow a minimal legal doctrine and promote cultist skewed views on global issues that deliberately draw funding for their nontransparent goals. I would go as far as to say there is a very grey area between donating funds to these organisations, and to other pseudo-religious actively violent global organisations, some of which are classified as associated with forms of terrorism.

Inflammatory? Yes, by way of comparison of the facts frankly. A close personal friend of mine saw his teenage son drawn into the Greenpeace organisation more and more during late high school, forced to spend whole weekends canvasing for money, and week nights learning how to 'sell' to do this, to the point where after he failed to meet his 'targets', he committed suicide to the family's dismay. That is the real facts of how these organisations recruit and treat people for the execution of their non-transparent goals.

Corporatism is corporatism, whether thinly disguised or not, but at least public corporations comply largely with local and global laws, unlike the 'Sea Shepherds' of the world.

If all the money given freely to these organisations was spent on public education and awareness with legal representation and funding instead, these 'green' goals would have been accomplished years ago in my opinion.

Let the ensuing 'rant' replies begin! I welcome diversity ....

You are ignorant. They are not pirates, they are defending whale sanctuaries. Tell me, what loot have the pirates plundered for their own personal gain? Here is a hint, try looking up the definition of piracy in maritime law. Though I doubt you will, you are too comfortable with blinkers on. Flying a jolly roger does not make one a pirate. If it did we may as well lock up everyone on international talk like a pirate day.

It is just bcoz of people lyk u that the whalers are out there killing these innocent creatures.. Stop writing such bullshit articles.. The whalers are nothing but poachers who hunt in the antarctic, bcoz Australian government has no guts to stop them..

Well said Rodney!...we're just so fed up of these idiots running around crying wolf at every opportunity they get!. The Japanese are practicing conservative whaling and so are the Nordic nations by sticking to an agreed quota. Stop pulling the proverbial wool over our eyes.

They (SSCS) should "accept the consequences of their actions" huh!
What about accepting the consequences of "INACTION" ??? Make no mistake, IF the Human species survives, future generations will loathe and despise the current generations for their greed, arrogance and stupidity. Who carried on their wasteful selfish self indulgent lifestyles in the face of over whelming evidence of the CONSEQUENCES! YOU Hide, are the epitome of that very arrogance!

Mr Hide,
It seems that you do not know what you are talking about. If you were to write a scientific paper, referees would turn your manuscript down and tell you to resubmit when you got the facts straight. Not sure why NBR accepted publishing your piece.
Opinions are OK, but you are misreporting facts to get to your preconcrived conclusion. This is not how you do correct information.
Why you do not explain what the international agreements and laws are, what the whalers and sea shepherd actuslly did, based on what you say that someone broke the law and the other part did not, the fact that whales are not a property of Japan but a collective common that has already been reduced to less than 10% of the biomass at the beginning of the 1900, that whales populations are not recovering, that food from whales does not serve to relieve hungry people but to satisfy a few rich and spoiled, that whaling has already altered Southern Ocean marine ecosystems and continuing doing so we are screwing them up more.
After all the facts, you can clearly state your opinion, but keeping it separated from the facts. This would allow readers to make their own opinion and they will be able to decide if they agree with you or not. Your piece does not allow readers to make their own opinion.
If you are afraid of people thinking with their heads, rewrite your piece with correct information.

You sir/madam are an idiot.

Obviously whales and pirates stir emotions.
As soon as the messenger is attacked, personally, you can just about bet that the attacker has lost their arguement.
You don't have to agree with the author but you don't need to attack him either.
Most of the threads here are spouting the same highly charged emotional outbursts that are often muddled with facts and propagander. It is quite intereting to read the tone, yet also worring that so many people are willing to agree to being nasty viruses on the earth.
I can see a mass fall in population if voluntary euthinasia is legalised.
Back to the original point though, the anti whale people are basically happy to be called pirates, against the law, however as soon as they start to lose they cry out for support and would try to use the law. That just doesn't reconcile. If they were true pirates then any navy should be able to sink them. That is what ended piracy in the past.
Still, none of this stops the whalers and surely Sea Shepard would be better taking all the money that people give them and fighting the whalers in court?

The cause is a good one.

You're just muddying the waters Rodney.

Yet another reason the Act party is doomed to fail.....

Like reading the column, but can't help but note that the phrase should be "once in a while", not "and".

I am a donateur of SSCS and the lack of governments worldwide leaves me VERY concerned about the future. They only take action when money is involved.
To me, Sea Shepherd does ACT and protects.
Even my children know (age 6 and 10). I do hope that the govt catches on to that.

And to be honest, I had enough of Japan, who is the crybaby here, complaining and trying to take the flag registration of SSCS.
I do hope that they will return the money they took from their own citizens donated for the tsunami disaster by citizens worldwide.

Ah.... Donated money was not used for whaling. Only the tax money (Third supplementary budget).