News From Our Oceans
"Not only do we have to fight criminal operations and cruelty to animals on the high seas but also take responsibility and direct action to help those who are imprisoned in concrete pools, doomed to entertain us."
Palawas, Nando, Kite and Rocko. Those are the given names to four bottlenose dolphins who are currently performing at the dolphinarium in Münster, Germany. Built in 1974 as part of the local zoo, the dolphinarium remains one of the last three of its kind in Germany. From the original nine facilities keeping dolphins in captivity, only Nürnberg, Duisburg and Münster are still blocking and ignoring concerns of animal welfare groups, conservationists, politicians and the public.
As SchNews reports from the new Rossport frontline
There is still plenty of ire left in Ireland as campaigners ready themselves for another summer of action against Shell and their plans to despoil the coast of County Mayo with a new gas pipeline (see SchNEWS 719). The project is already a decade late and three times over budget; pretty impressive for a small community fighting one of the biggest multinationals in the world.
Sea Shepherd recently returned from a campaign in the Mediterranean in search of bluefin tuna poachers. During the month long campaign the conservation group patrolled south of Malta and in Libyan waters. On the 17th June they encountered two tuna vessels towing cages full of fish, destined for the tuna farms in Malta. Looking at the time of interception and the distance the vessels were from the fishing grounds, the catch was taken after the closure of the season and thus illegal. Sea Shepherd captain Paul Watson decided to intervene.
One of the vessels rammed the M/V Steve Irwin as activist divers prepared to enter the floating cage to inspect the fish. "With two fishing vessels containing angry Italian crews, there were risks involved with getting into the water to assess the bluefin catch. But if the catch was illegal, Sea Shepherd divers knew they must cut the nets and free the bluefin tuna. Sometimes it is necessary to do what needs to be done despite the risks. The risk of losing the bluefin tuna as a species is far more important than the risks to our own lives and freedom. And so we decided to free the tuna."
Articles: Eye witness: Sea Shepherd frees 800 endangered bluefin tuna | Failure to protect bluefin tuna has huge consequences | Direct action? On a boat? Sea Shepherd's got it... | Paul Watson announces aggressive campaign to clear Mediterranean of illegal fisheries
In response to America's largest ever environmental disaster, Tony Hayward, CEO of BP, said, “I'd like my life back.” He seemed to have forgotten about the 11 workers who died on BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig when it exploded 40 miles off the Louisiana coast, in the Gulf of Mexico, on 20th April 2010.
Banged up Sea Shepherd campaigner Pete Bethune is facing a long prison sentence after boarding a Japanese whaling ship during protests in the Southern Ocean in February. Operation Waltzing Matilda was the most successful Sea Shepherd campaign yet against illegal Japanese whaling (see SchNEWS 713), but it wasn't without a cost for Sea Shepherd after their £2 million boat the Ady Gil was rammed and sunk by a whaler on January 6th.www.seashepherd.org
The United Nations wildlife conference in Qatar this week, where delegates from 175 countries gathered to make decisions on the protection of recently endangered species has pulled grey clouds over the world of conservation. The CITES meeting failed to add the threatened Atlantic bluefin tuna to the Appendix I listing of the CITES legislation, which would have resulted in a ban on the international trade of the fish. In the last 50 years over 80% of the bluefin tuna population has disappeared as a result of industrial overfishing. If this incredible creature, which is also referred to as the tiger of the oceans, is not protected by some kind of international measure soon, it will soon be no more.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has announced it will take aggressive action against tuna poachers in Southern Europe this summer. Their ship, the Steve Irwin, which recently returned from the anti-whaling campaign in Antarctica, is currently under way to Europe, where actions will start in May. Last year Greenpeace took action against tuna fishermen in Malta. The fishermen responded aggressively when activists attempted to board their ships. Conservation group Oceana which has been monitoring illegal fishing practices in the Mediterranean for the last few years might also return this summer.
Since Japanese whalers sliced Sea Shepherd vessel the Ady Gil in two last week, the marine conservationists have faced a propaganda onslaught accusing them of lying, polluting and preparing to attack the whalers with bows and arrows.
The Ady Gil, with the Bob Barker, had been chasing the Japanese fleet’s mother ship, the Nisshin Maru, away from the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in the Antarctic and had succeeded in bringing whaling operations to a standstill.
The confrontation began when activists hurled stink bombs of rancid butter onto the deck of the Nisshin Maru. The whalers responded by trying to force the Ady Gil away with high powered water canons. According to Captain Chuck Swift on the Bob Barker, harpoon ship the Shonan Maru No. 2 then started up suddenly and rammed the stationary Ady Gil, shearing off a eight foot section of the hull.
The six crew members were rescued by the Bob Barker, but the boat could not be saved. Despite the crew of the Bob Barker’s round the clock efforts it had taken on too much water and three days later had to be left to sink. Before abandoning , the crew boarded the boat and pumped out the fuel before it leaked into the sea.Also in SchNews 705: Wild at Heart|Pyramid Schemers|Gaza Arrests Witness Callout|Funky Gibbons|Frisky Business|X-Mas Size Attack|Cat on a Squat tin Roof|And Finally...
"We came to Henningsvaer. We saw the Skarbakk. We sank the bastard" - Agenda 21
On the evening of April 23rd, the Norwegian whaling ship The Skarbakk was scuttled by environmentalists in the Lofoten islands, Norway, using the name of a 1992 United Nations Conference on the Environment. The conference detailed action proposed for a sustainable 21st century, with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society promising Norway that if they did not comply with international conservation law, then they would sink their whaling ships.
This was not an empty threat, with Captain Paul Watson supervising the sinking of two ships; the Nybraena in 1992 and the Senet in 1994. The anonymous and covert goup Agenda 21 then took over with the scuttling of the Elin-Toril in 1996. In a communique last week, the activists reported they flooded the engine room of The Skarbakk by using an adjustable spanner to open the salt-water intake valve; "to delay the killing season and to protest the continued illegal export of whale meat to Japan."
Related Features: The Whale Wars - Sea Shepherd Returns From Antarctica | Japan issues arrest warrant for Nottingham activist | Arrests As International Whaling Commission Fails To Protect Whales | Nottingham Activist Returns From Whale Saving Mission In Antartica | Sea Shepherd activists injured as Japanese military open fire | Activists Held Hostage By Japanese Whalers In Southern Ocean | Whalers use Public Relations to twist the truthLinks: United Nations Agenda 21 | Sea Shepherd Conservation Society | Ocean Defence topic page
The flagship of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the M/Y Steve Irwin, is heading back from the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary where it has been on patrol to enforce international conservation regulations in protection of the area's great whales. Since its departure from Brisbane, Australia on December 4th, the ship and its crew have been involved in various confrontations with a Japanese Whaling Fleet, which continues to operate a commercial whale hunt in the area illegally.
On December 26th, the Steve Irwin confronted the Japanese vessel Kaiko Maru. The ships collided and Sea Shepherd crew deployed butyric acid on its decks. From 1st February the whaling operation was shut down for 8 days straight with both sides of the conflict accusing each other of dangerous manoeuvres and tactics. On February 6th, the Steve Irwin collided with a harpoon ship twice, when it tried to block the ship from offloading a dead whale onto the factory ship Nisshin Maru. As part of an international crew of volunteers, 3 activists from the UK worked onboard the Sea Shepherd vessel during the campaign which was dubbed operation Musashi.
On The Newswire: Sea Shepherd Forced To Leave Killing Grounds In Antarctica | Ramming the Japanese whaling ship, onboard the Steve Irwin | Sea Shepherd blames acoustic weapon attack for Ramming Whaling ship | Japanese Whalers Playing Dangerous Games in the Ross Sea | Sound weapons used against protestors | Whalers harassed by Sea Shepherd in Australian Antarctic waters | Whalers flee Sea Shepherd in Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary
Previous Features: Japan issues arrest warrant for Nottingham activist | Arrests As International Whaling Commission Fails To Protect Whales | Nottingham Activist Returns From Whale Saving Mission In Antartica | Sea Shepherd activists injured as Japanese military open fire | Activists Held Hostage By Japanese Whalers In Southern Ocean | Whalers use Public Relations to twist the truth
It has come to light that Nottingham is host to one of the few companies in the UK that sell shark fin. Not only is the finning of sharks barbaric, but their indiscriminate slaughter at an unsustainable rate is pushing many species to the brink of extinction. Since the 1970s the populations of several species have been decimated by over 95%. Horn Of Africa Traders Ltd, based at Kelvedon Gardens, Carlton, Nottingham buy and supply sharkfin originated from North Eastern Somalia. The company is said to have a factory based in Somalia and able to supply up to 1000 ton of dried shark fin a month.
The marine conservation action group Bite Back and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society have been working closely in the UK to get companies to ditch shark fin from their menus and shelves. As well as various restaurants in London's Chinatown, the health chain Holland & Barrett recently stopped selling shark cartilage capsules under pressure from the campaign.