Commentaar

Read opinion articles written by Captain Paul Watson or guest authors regarding issues of the day.



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vrijdag, 18 januari 2013

Be a Voice for the Dolphins

Stand against the Japanese government’s crimes and transgressions against our oceans

Commentary by Scott West, Director of Intelligence and Investigations

A pod of Pan-tropical spotted dolphins attempt to escape the killing CoveA pod of Pan-tropical spotted dolphins
attempt to escape the killing Cove
Photo: Sea Shepherd
It should come as no shock that the government of Japan is afraid of the truth.  Few, if any, of the world’s governments would be found to be completely open to the truth, or to sharing it, but Japan’s contempt for truth is in a league of its own.  Particularly unnerving is Japan’s claims to have an open and democratic government.

Japanese reporters would feign shock when I made such statements to them as we were standing behind police lines and tarps while the dolphin trainers and butchers of Taiji did their nasty business.  The Japanese media is frequently used as a tool of the government and most citizens in Japan accept the media’s portrayal of any topic as truth.  Luckily this is changing and some Japanese citizens are beginning to see through the media censorship and hype, particularly in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster.

The lies told by the Japanese government about the extent of radiation leaks are now evident to the people of Japan as well as the rest of the world.  US sailors have brought suit against the Japanese power company for radiation exposure caused by the false information promulgated by the government of Japan.  This government has misspent millions of dollars meant to help citizens who lost everything following the earthquake and tsunami.  Now, Japan is hiding behind their claim that human lives must never be endangered as they manipulate the Ninth Circuit court in the US.  Where was their concern for human safety following Fukushima?

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woensdag, 09 januari 2013

Vote Rigging In CITES?

Secret Ballots allow for corruption

Commentary by Gary Stokes, Sea Shepherd Hong Kong

CITES delegates vote on protecting living species that, in most cases, humans have driven to the verge of extinctionCITES delegates vote on protecting living species that, in most cases, humans have driven to the verge of extinction
Photo: CITES
Everyone is getting fired up for the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora better known as CITES CoP16 being held in Bangkok in March 2013. While we live in hope that the few people with integrity left in CITES (Sec. General Mr. John Scanlon, Chairman of the Animals Committee Snr. Solano, and a handful of others) can manage to turn the ship around, it's a big ship to turn around quickly. Sea Shepherd has offered our assistance and has applied pressure where needed, yet the fact remains there's still so much to fix.

Many NGO's, scientists, and governments have spent a lot of time preparing proposals that will hopefully convince a room full of trade-driven delegates to vote for protecting a living species that in most cases we have driven to the verge of extinction by our own greed. With the kind of trade money involved in the exploitation of many of these species, corruption will likely rear its head. In fact, it appears to have shown it's ugly face at the last CoP15 in Doha in  2010.

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donderdag, 03 januari 2013

Sharks on the Roof

Commentary by Gary Stokes – Sea Shepherd Hong Kong

Traders have taken to drying fins secretly on rooftops following public outcry over sidewalks covered in shark fins.Traders have taken to drying fins secretly on rooftops following public outcry over sidewalks covered in shark fins.
Photo: Gary Stokes / Sea Shepherd
The New Year rang in with a tip off here in Hong Kong. A concerned citizen of the world had discovered a roof covered with shark fins in the quiet neighborhood of Kennedy Town in Hong Kong. So with cameras in hand and only a few hours sleep from the revelry of the night before, we went in search of one of the most unpleasant commodities Hong Kong has to offer: shark fins!

Last year I had received a similar call to come and check out a street full of fins, and the footage captured went viral. Hence the traders have run to the rooftops to hide. Like the inhumane dolphin killers of Taiji, these shark-mongers of death are likewise camera shy and try hard to hide their dirty business from the world. Unfortunately for them, over the next 72+ hours they would have the eyes of the world watching their barbaric operation, and there would be very little they could do but hope we would just go away!

In no time at all, two other friends/photographers Paul Hilton and Alex Hofford were also on the scene and the three of us took great pleasure in exposing their evil doings. The pictures are now thankfully spread far and wide, but now what?

Raising awareness is very important to inform the un-informed. The problem here is that the shark fin industry barbarically slaughters millions of sharks a year unregulated and unchecked. Kill numbers are bounced about, but the truth is no one really knows precisely how many sharks are being wiped out, we just know it’s a huge number! What we do know is sharks are creatures that are slow to reproduce, and are apex predators who keep the oceans eco-systems in balance. Removing and wiping them out of existence just for the greed and bragging rights of a tasteless bowl of soup is absolute proof that we as a species have completely disconnected from our natural world — a world that we are a part of and a world that keeps us alive.

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woensdag, 02 januari 2013

Meeting the Descendants of Moby Dick

Commentary by Captain Paul Watson

Sperm Whale watches the helicopterSperm Whale watches the helicopter
Photo: Eliza Muirhead / Sea Shepherd
As we make our way south towards the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, we came across a magnificent pod of Sperm whales yesterday.

My heart literally soared with joy when I saw those majestic gentle giants swimming free and unmolested in the sea.

Years ago when I looked into the eye of a dying Sperm,
I felt that the great whale had ordained for me a lifelong path,
Some forty years later my passion for the whales remains firm,
Patience and persistence have allowed me to stifle my wrath.

It was the eye of a dying Sperm whale that put me on the path of defending whales. That was in 1975.  I declared then that I would dedicate my life to protecting whales and marine species. I continue to do so and will continue to do so for the remaining years of my life.

As our crew flew over the whales, the lead bull turned on his side and looked straight up at the Sea Shepherd helicopter. Once again the eye of a whale spoke to us, inspired us, and gave us strength. The sight of these wondrous whales swimming freely in the sea gives meaning to all of our actions over the last four decades.

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