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Whaling in the Antarctic
December 7, 2005 2:24 PM   Subscribe

Got access to a daily satellite feed? Win $10 000. Not quite Sink the Bismarck, but the Sea Shepherds have offered a $10 000 reward for anyone who can tell them where the Japanese whaling fleet is this summer, as it prepares to scientifically study 950 minke and fin whales.
posted by wilful (19 comments total)

 
The MV Farley Mowat was docked in Melbourne recently, and unlike in this picture she was painted matt black. Looked great, quite ominous and piratical.
posted by wilful at 2:25 PM on December 7, 2005


a friend of mine (a MeFi troll too :-) quit his mid-level management job and set sail on the RV Farley Mowat with them this summer. Good peoples.

I had a showdown with my principal shortly after starting my high school teaching job over wearing one of their T-shirts with the Grateful Deadish skull with swirling dolphins & shepard staff and trident acting as cross-bones. She thought it was satanical. I thought that was silly.
posted by trinarian at 2:58 PM on December 7, 2005


What's the policy on sinking the fleet?
posted by iamck at 3:01 PM on December 7, 2005


as I understand it, so long as they don't try to port up in Nagoya anytime soon they're fine legally. they've sunk boats in Japan and Portugal (so i've heard second-hand and can infer from my shirt), but they rammed them (it's an ice breaker) in-port when few would drown. they are a vegan crew, after all.
posted by trinarian at 3:07 PM on December 7, 2005


... not to throw out so much noise, but how are gonna link to a wiki article and not their own website on the FPP? I hate how the internets has fed our addiction to secondary sources.
posted by trinarian at 3:09 PM on December 7, 2005


as I understand it, so long as they don't try to port up in Nagoya anytime soon they're fine legally.

They're bound by the laws of the nation who's flag they fly.
posted by delmoi at 3:20 PM on December 7, 2005


delmoi: IANAL... but my conversations with said crewmate was such that because of anti-whaling treaties, every other nation but Japan looks at the whaling fleet as pirate vessels. It would be the legal equivalent of sinking a cocaine runner in the open Caribbean.

I swear this is my last post on this thread.
posted by trinarian at 3:30 PM on December 7, 2005


"WhalingFilter: Where is the Japanese whaling fleet? [more inside]"
posted by odinsdream at 3:31 PM on December 7, 2005


delmoi: IANAL... but my conversations with said crewmate was such that because of anti-whaling treaties, every other nation but Japan looks at the whaling fleet as pirate vessels. It would be the legal equivalent of sinking a cocaine runner in the open Caribbean.

Yeah, I totally doubt that. Two L's totally.
posted by delmoi at 4:04 PM on December 7, 2005


Oh man, but whale is so oishii. One of my best memories of Japan is eating yakitori-style fried whale in a 600 year old bar outside Koyto, right before Daimonji.
posted by SweetJesus at 4:11 PM on December 7, 2005


Geez, nine comments and two are bitching about the post. Sure it's not the best evar, but is it really that bad? Hope you're only creating totally flawless posts yourselves.
posted by wilful at 4:18 PM on December 7, 2005


Sea Shepherd claims to have been instrumental in the sinking of 10 whaling ships, but says its actions have never caused injury or death.
What happens when they do kill someone? It seems like they've just been lucky so far.

P.S. Getting defensive about your post is not a wise strategy.
posted by smackfu at 4:49 PM on December 7, 2005


Meet Jack Metcalf, Paul Watson's good friend and political ally:

In their efforts to stop the Makah whale hunt Watson and company enlisted the aid of Congressman Jack Metcalf, a well known anti-Indian Republican politician. I have a bit of personal knowledge here. Jack Metcalf is the son of John Metcalf, leading member of The Silver Shirts. They were a nazi-support group during the forties. I used to work on a tree farm on Whidbey Island run by an old ex-Silver Shirt who couldn't stop talking about World War II and the great things that Germany had tried to do before the Allies cut them short. He told me about John Metcalf, how they used to have meetings at his house where he would lead séances and they would discuss the advances of the Reich. Jack, who was raised by this man, has never addressed this so far as I know.

These days, as a member of United Property Owners Of Washington, Jack Metcalf has called on Congress to "abrogate all existing treaties..." He has introduced bills to make it more difficult for Indian People to petition for federal recognition. In 1985 he was Co-Chair of "Redeem Our Country," a right wing anti-Federal group. Other co-chairs included anti-Semite Eustace Mullins and arch-segregationist John Rarick. The group's advisory board included white-supremacist Christian Identity advocates, a columnist from The Spotlight (an anti-Semitic right wing conspiracy newspaper which was the personal favorite of my ex-Silver Shirt employer) and extremist tax protesters. As an influential anti-immigration spokesman he co-sponsored an attempt to overturn the 14th Amendment, with a further amendment barring children born in the US from receiving automatic citizenship. He has received 100% rating from both the anti-immigrant lobby US Border Control and the Christian Coalition.


link
posted by docgonzo at 4:51 PM on December 7, 2005


I worked on the Farley Mowat when she was at port here in Jacksonville, FL, this past summer, and have several good friends onboard (including "trinarian's" friend). I had known about Watson and his ship ever since I read this great interview with him in Bite Back (an ALF publication) so I was delighted to get the crew to come speak at the University where I teach. In any case, after meeting Watson and spending quite a bit of time with him--eating dinner at PF Changs, chauffering him around Jax, teaching him how to sight-in a .50 caliber sniper's rifle, clean shotguns, etc.--I have to say he certainly isn't the demagogue/animal rights rock-star that I thought he was (though the crew rocks!); he's very much just a nice guy with a mission...who's a bit off his rocker. I am worried about how everything is going to "go down" once they find the illegal Japanese whaling fleet--everyone onboard (including Captain Watson) just seemed to say the same thing: "We're going to f_ them up!"
I worry that people will be hurt during the ramming--of course, I'm more worried about my friends than the whalers (having seen the brutality of how they kill the whales--it often takes hours for them to die as they are shocked with low voltage and/or are dragged until they drown), but it would be bad either way. Anyway, they call themselves "Greenpeace with horns" and do a lot of great stuff. They really need donations--and they do more with the money than run around taking pictures for their pamphlets (like Greenpeace, who wouldn't even come out against the annual Candadian Seal Hunt).
*Note: The last time I saw the Sea Shepherd on MeFi was when people were questioning whether the blood-red color of the water in a picture taken by the Sea Shepherd and given to the AP was photoshopped. It wasn't.
posted by whatgorilla at 5:35 PM on December 7, 2005


The lead letter in today's edition of The Age newspaper (Melbourne, Aust.) was from Paul Watson: Australia must not surrender to Japanese piracy.
posted by Onanist at 7:27 PM on December 7, 2005


So they're offering $10,000 for anyone who'll reveal the location of a fleet they intend on attacking? Whaling or not, that's pretty extreme. Just imagine what would happen if this fleet were prepared to fight back.

Sooner or later, these rammings will get someone killed, one way or another. Somehow, I suspect a lot of other nations would be a bit more aggressive in fighting back against this sort of action.

In a way, I'm kinda disappointed they don't have some non-polluting ship, like with solar panels or somesuch.
posted by Saydur at 7:35 PM on December 7, 2005


A friend of a friend of mine made a life-size whale for a Dutch-Canadian movie about Watson. The movie was never made because the production company went bankrupt halfway after its investors didn't come up with the money they had promised (or something like that) and AFAIK the whale model was never paid in full as well. It was used later for a play on the beach of the island of Terschelling [Dutch with picture].

Rumour has it that the movie will be made after all.
posted by kika at 10:29 PM on December 7, 2005


In a way, I'm kinda disappointed they don't have some non-polluting ship, like with solar panels or somesuch.

-- Actually, Paul and first mate, Alex, are working on buying a giant sail-powered ship, which they want to retro-fit with solar panels and stuff. Alex was saying that sails cost a lot, but Paul said they could get them for cheap in Thailand (or somewhere). Also, Steve (who's currently onboard) has a few good posts about his experiences with Sea Shepherd so far.
posted by whatgorilla at 8:38 AM on December 8, 2005


So they're offering $10,000 for anyone who'll reveal the location of a fleet they intend on attacking? Whaling or not, that's pretty extreme. Just imagine what would happen if this fleet were prepared to fight back.

Sooner or later, these rammings will get someone killed, one way or another. Somehow, I suspect a lot of other nations would be a bit more aggressive in fighting back against this sort of action.


the argument if this is right or wrong sounds close to the current war over freedom oil. Though this one is ok because whales' freedoms are at stake.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:22 PM on December 8, 2005


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