UK Ocean Defence Feature Archive
"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.
On Friday the 20th September, the pipe laying ship, the Solitaire, finally left Irish waters. During the ship's time in Ireland, Shell failed to lay any part of the offshore pipe line. The departure of the Solitaire is a massive victory for the Shell to Sea campaign. Resistance in the past six weeks has taken many different forms: fishermen preventing the ship's access to the bay by refusing to move from her path, site invasions by local people and the Rossport Solidarity Camp, numerous waterborne actions to prevent work by supporters from other parts of Ireland and further afield, national and international solidarity actions and finally, an 11 day hunger strike by local campaigner Maura Harrington, that continued until the ship left Irish waters. The events of the last 6 weeks have inspired not only those involved, but also many who witnessed them from afar, new links and friendships have been forged and many lessons learned. In the aftermath, the Shell to Sea campaign can clearly be seen to have been revitalized, both locally and nationally. It is unclear when the ship will attempt to return to Broadhaven Bay. It is possible it could still be this year if repairs are quick and a suitable weather window appears, or it may not be until next spring. However, while it may be uncertain exactly when the ship will return, what is certain, is that it will meet even greater opposition upon its next arrival. Come and be part of it! The Rossport community is calling on people everywhere to put pressure on Shell, Allseas (the company that owns the Solitaire) and Irish embassies to demand that the Solitaire leaves Irish waters immediately.
Newswire: rossport solidarity action at irish consulate | The Solitaire leaves the Bayr | Rooftop occupation of Shells offices in Belmullet | Update from 11th of September | Daughter of Shell to Sea hunger striker paddles out to Solitaire | Rossport Solidarity Action in London | Rossport Solidarity Demo in London on Monday!! | Son of Shell to Sea hunger striker assaulted and arrested |Support Maura Harrington on hunger strike | Irish Embassy targetted for Rossport in Berlin | Rossport: Solidarity Action in Brighton | Rossport: The Time is Now | Rossport update | Urgent Call Out: Mayo Needs You! Now Is The Time
Japan has issued an arrest warrant for a Nottingham-based activist, alleging that he damaged the country's whaling fleet. Warrants have been issued for Daniel Bebawi, a member of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and two American volunteers and the Japanese government has sought to have the three placed on the Interpol wanted list.
The three all participated in the Sea Shepherd Whale Defense Campaign: Operation Leviathan in December 2006 and January and February 2007. The charges apparently stem from an collision between Japanese whaling vessel Keiko Maru and the Sea Shepherd ship Robert Hunter. The incident was investigated by the Australian Federal police at the time, with forensic evidence demonstrating that the Kaiko Maru had rammed the Robert Hunter.
Previous feature: Nottingham Activist Returns From Whale Saving Mission In Antartica
There is good news for campaigners on the proposed EU ban on the import on seal products from Canada. The EU's Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas has just announced to EU ministers that legislation for a trade ban on all seal products from Canada will come into force in a matter of weeks.
The Canadian slaughter of over 350.000 baby harp seals takes place each year around March/April off the east coast of Canada in Newfoundland. The 'hunt' has been widely condemned around the world, but the Canadian government is ademend in its continued support. The new announcement is seen as a big victory for campaigners.
Previous feature: Armed Canadian Coast Guard Storms Conservation Vessel
On the newswire: Sea Shepherd Moves In On Canadian Seal Slaughter | Seal Slaughter: contacts to protest | Canadian Seal Hunt: New attack by Brigitte Bardot and Franz Weber | Stop Canada's Seal Hunt | Biggest Seal Hunt in 50 Years Draws Protest | Stop Seal Hunt - Hunters Allowed To Kill 350,000 Young Seals This Year
Fifteen people were arrested by police at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), held this year in Santiago, Chile. The protesters were supposedly trying to 'storm' the meeting but other reports state that the mere presence of people in front of the meeting's venue was seen as a 'security threat'.
The IWC meets annually to regulate the whaling industry and make decisions on conservation of whale populations. So far the meeting hasn't reached any agreements and the commission continues to be strongly devided between the pro- and anti-whaling nations. Skye Bortoli, an activist from Teens Against Whaling described the meeting this year as 'pathetic', saying "this body will be known in the future as a small group of ecologically arrogant people who are condemning the world’s whales to agony and oblivion for petty politics and a few lousy bucks."
Previous Features: Armed Canadian Coast Guard Storms Conservation Vessel | Nottingham Activist Returns From Whale Saving Mission In Antartica | Injured Among Sea Shepherd Crew As Japanese Military Open Fire | Activists Held Hostage By Japanese Whalers In Southern Ocean
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessel Farley Mowat was attacked by armed officers from the Canadian Coast Guard on 12th April. The 1st officer and the captain of the ship have been arrested and will be brought before a court in Canada charged with offences related to coming too close to the seal hunt. One woman allegedly sustained a head injury when was roughed up and received a blow to the head by an officer. The ship has been impounded and is currently being towed to a nearby port.
The Sea Shepherd has been documenting the Canadian seal hunt since the middle of March. On the 30th March, the Coast Guard rammed the Sea Shepherd ship twice, in an attempt to keep it away from the seal hunt. On 5th April, the ship was attacked by a mob of 30-40 angry seal hunters while anchored in the French island of St. Pierre. The crew of the Farley Mowat has been documenting violations of the humane regulations and gathering proof that seals are still being killed in an inhumane manner. The EU Parliament will be voting on an import ban on seal products later this year. The Canadian goverment has been actively lobbying to show that the hunt has become 'humane and sustainable'.
On the newswire: Sea Shepherd Sets Conditions for Canada to Release seized Ship | Armed Canadian Coast Guard Storms Sea Shepherd Ship and Arrests Crew | Canada To Charge Sea Shepherd Crew For Documenting Seal Hunt | Sea Shepherd Crew Attacked By Mob Of Seal Hunters | Interview With Captain Onboard Sea Shepherd Ship On Current Seal Hunt | Canadian Coast Guard Rams Sea Shepherd Ship (twice) | Sea Shepherd Moves In On Canadian Seal Slaughter
Previous features: Nottingham Activist Returns From Whale Saving Mission In Antartica | Injured Among Sea Shepherd Crew As Japanese Military Open Fire | Activists Held Hostage By Japanese Whalers In Southern Ocean
A Nottingham resident who joined the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as part of their crew on the vessel Steve Irwin has returned home. Dan, who has volunteered with Sea Shepherd previously, rejoined in the middle of this year's anti-whaling mission against the continued Japanese whale hunting activities in the Southern Ocean. Named Operation Migaloo, after the only known albino humpback in the world, this was Sea Shepherd's fourth expedition to the remote southern waters off the coast of Antarctica and has been typically eventful.
In January, two Sea Shepherd volunteers were taken hostage by Japanese whalers. Then in March, several of the crew were injured when the Japanese military threw grenades onto the ship and opened fire on them. The Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin covered a total of 20,090 nautical miles (37,205 kilometers) during Opertaion Migaloo and made 3 return trips from Melbourne, Australia to the coast of Antarctica in 3½ months. In total, the ship was at sea for 83 days between December 5, 2007 and March 15, 2008. It is estimated that due to continued harrasment by the Sea Shepherd, the Japanese have not managed to get even half their whale quota this hunting season.
Upcoming: Sea Shepherd Fundraiser, 21 May, at Junktion 7. See Veggies diary entry for more info.
A clash between the crew of the Sea Shepherd vessel Steve Irwin, who is in the Southern Ocean to fight the ongoing Japanese whaling slaughter near the Antarctic, turned violent when the Japanese Coast Guard began to throw flash grenades at its crew. Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd ship was struck by a bullet in the chest. Fortunately, the bullet was stopped by his Kevlar vest.
Other injuries were sustained by crewmembers Australian Ashley Dunn and Ralph Lowe. Dunn suffered a hip injury as he tried to get out of the way of the exploding grenades. Lowe received bruises to his back when one of the flash grenades exploded behind him. Japan is denying that any bullets have been fired, saying "warning devices" were thrown after their ship was attacked. According to the Japanese foreign ministry their coastguard on board on of the whaling ships had thrown a "baseball-sized device, which exploded near the activists' ship emitting a loud noise". However, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has posted a video on their website, clearly showing devices being thrown from the whaling ship exploding and a bullet being recovered from Paul Watson's jacket. One UK activist (from Nottingham) is also onboard the ship, but it has not been reported he suffered any injuries.
On the newswire: Japanese Officials Caught Lying on Firearm Use against Sea Shepherd | Sea Shepherd: Japanese Scramble to Spin Shooting Story | Japanese Open Fire on Sea Shepherd Crew: Three Injured | Japanese Whaling Fleet Confronted By Sea Shepherd | Sea Shepherd Aussie Crew Prepared to Be Taken as Prisoners to Japan | Interview With Nottingham Activist In Southern Ocean On Board Sea Shepherd Ship | Sea Shepherd Receives Message From the Australian Government | Sea Shepherd Finds Japanese Whaling Fleet: They Are On the Run Again
Previous feature articles: Activists Held Hostage By Japanese Whalers In Southern Ocean | Japanese Whaling Ship rams Greenpeace vessel
During the early hours of January 15th, two crew members of the Sea Shepherd vessel, 'Steve Irwin', were taken hostage by the Japanese harpoon vessel 'Yushin Maru No. 2', which is now nominally owned by the Japanese government through the "Institute for Cetecean Research" (ICR). The incident occurred in the area of 60 Degrees South and 78 Degrees East about 2500 miles southwest of Fremantle, Western Australia and 2800 miles southeast of Cape Town, South Africa. Benjamin Potts and Giles Lane boarded the vessel to deliver a letter to the Japanese captain stating that the whalers were in violation of international conservation law by targeting endangered species in an established whale sanctuary and in violation of a global moratorium on commercial whaling. They also notified the captain that Australia had just passed a court ruling barring Japanese whalers from the Australian Antarctic Economic Exclusion Zone.
The hostages were released from the Yushin Maru No. 2 and transfered to the Australian Customs vessel Oceanic Viking on January 17th. The two men were then transferred to the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin where they resumed chasing the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Oceans. Both men reported that although they were roughed up when they first boarded the whaling ship, that they were treated well during their time onboard. The only injury was a bruised wrist suffered by Giles Lane.
Previous feature: Japanese Whaling Ship rams Greenpeace vessel
On the newswire: Sea Shepherd: Greenpeace should Refuel and Continue harassment of Whaling Fleet | DC Protest For Sea Shepherd Hostages Video | Lack of Cooperation May Kill the Whales | Sea Shepherd Hostages Return Back to Steve Irwin | NYC Protest for Sea Shepherd Hostages | Whalers Hands Activists Over To Australia's Ship | Sea Shepherd demo, Barcelona | Australia to intercede in Safe Return of Sea Shepherd activists | Whalers threaten to take activists to Japan | Sea Shepherd Solidarity Protest at Japanese Embassy, Berlin | Sea Shepherd Crew Remain Hostages On The Japanese Whaling Ship | Whalers Make Demands Over Hostages | Video of Sea Shepherd Activists Taken Hostage | Sea Shepherd considering rescue mission | Embassy Demo for kidnapped Sea sheperd Crew | Sea Shepherd volunteers 'detained' by Japanese whalers | URGENT - protestors held hostage by Japanese wailing ship | British Sea Shepherd activist held hostage on Japanese whaler | Japanese whalers take Sea Shepherds hostage
Japanese whalers have hired a New Zealand Public Relations firm to smear anti-whaling protestors. Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd are both campaigning seperately against the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Images used in a media release by the Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) "is deliberate, manipulative, misinformation designed to feed the idea that the two groups work together" said Jon Sumby. [Full Story]
Off the Mawson coast in the Australian Antarctic Territory, 2000 nautical miles south-west of Perth, Canadian Greenpeace anti-whaling activist, Texas Joe Constantine, was dragged overboard into the freezing Antarctic waters after the whaling harpoon was fired over his inflatable and the harpoon rope became entangled in the craft.
Paul Watson for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has said the Japanese whaling fleet is a criminal operation and Intends to Ram and Disable Pirate Whalers but has offered to withdraw from the current campaign against the Japanese whaling fleet if either the Australian or New Zealand Government agrees to take Japan to court over the whaling issue. In New Zealand Maritime workers have blackbaned the whaling fleet.
After three days of obstructing the whale hunt by placing inflatable zodiacs between whales and the harpoon, the Nisshin Maru rammed the Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise. The whalers are counter claiming their ship was rammed by Greenpeace. The collision ocurred in the Australian Antarctic Territory in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. The Nisshin Maru has continued north at full speed, with three conservationists ships in pursuit, including the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessel, the Farley Mowat.
Article with more photos: Japanese Whaling Ship rams Greenpeace vessel in Southern Whale Sanctuary