Animal Planet Celebrates Piracy

Much like a train wreck, Bitter and I couldn’t help but watch the Animal Planet series Whale Wars, which looks to me like a celebration of eco-piracy.  Bitter and I were rooting for the Japanese, and the ice.  What these people are doing is appalling, and Discovery Communications should be ashamed for painting criminals in a positive light.  The Japanese government has put out Interpol alerts, and the leaders of this gang of pirates is wanted in Japan, at least.  Yes, those brutish Japanese, eh, who want to continue barbarous whaling?   Tell me if this video of a Japanese vessel defending itself against a deliberate collision by the Sea Shepherd looks anything but measured:


If I’m Captain of a ship being attacked and rammed on the Antarctic Ocean, in an attempt to sink my ship with my crew on it, I’m ordering my harpooner to fire one of the explosive harpoons at the bridge, not spray the hippies with water cannons, even though they could probably use the shower.

That might sound extreme, but sinking in water that cold is likely to kill some of my crew.  It’s time to stop being nice to these people.  If the countries harboring these terrorists don’t take action, someone needs to send the Sea Shepherd to the bottom of the ocean.  I don’t care what you think about whaling, or whether you think the Japanese are abusing the research exemption.  You don’t get to attack shipping, put people’s lives at risk, and get away with it.  If someone attacks and tries to kill me on land, I’m justified legally shooting them dead where they stand.   The high seas should be no different.  Just for fun, here’s a video of The Sea Shepherd being rammed by the Canadian Coast Guard.


Go Canada!  And shame on the Dutch for allowing these pirates to continue flying their flag.  The Japanese and the Canadians ought to file a formal complaint with the IMO against the Dutch for failing to prosecute piracy by ships flying their flag.  Why do we tolerate this?

UPDATE: Please file a complaint with Discovery Communications here.  I did.

I am absolutely appalled that Discovery Communications is legitimizing piracy by airing a program that promotes violence against other human beings. Regardless of what one thinks of whaling, the actions of these eco-terrorists is in violation of the international law of the seas, and is criminal. What’s next for Discovery Networks? Following around people who try to murder abortion doctors? I have been thinking about canceling my cable subscription as of late. This has convinced me it is time, and I will make sure Comcast knows why.

I’m not kidding about the cable either.  There’s literally nothing on worth watching except for Mythbusters, which still isn’t worth 80 bucks a month.

78 thoughts on “Animal Planet Celebrates Piracy”

  1. Didn’t the French government send some of their people down to New Zealand on a successful mission to sink the Greenpeace ship back in the 1980’s?

    One limpet mine attached to the hull of this “Sea Shepherd” would solve this problem for good.

  2. Yeah… we pretty much refuse to watch it here. I am appalled that this is considered “Good TV” or something.

  3. Yeah, I have to agree with the “explosive harpoon to the bridge” idea. Any crewman who goes into the water in those temperatures is dead.

    When that possibility comes from a deliberate attack, it justifies a response with deadly force.

  4. what is most appalling to me is the how they bitch and complain that their “right of way” is being violated. they set up ramming scenarios where they believe that they have right of way and then force other ships to manuver around them or blame them for the ensuing collision. God help them if they did that to me.

  5. I watch DVR copies of Whale Wars because it’s a small window into the actions and thoughts of those I generally oppose ideologically.

    They promote not based on ability, but on support for the cause, which has amazingly hilarious and dangerous results.

    They refuse to practice even core tasks like small boat launching, navigation training (you know, reading a compass or GPS screen), or communications. They misuse what resources they do have and make stupid decisions that lead to even more danger for themselves.

    Their response to danger is hilarious, they spectate when their own friends are in danger instead of helping. They spectate when their own lives are in danger. It’s great!

  6. Melancton Smith: If whales carried, they would be undebateably sentient beings, and killing them would be murder.

    Prove that baleen whales are intelligent, and then get back to us.

  7. Kristopher, I have to admit to being baffled by your logic. How does carrying equate to sentience?

    Animals defend themselves, and I bet some use tools to do so.

  8. Seconded on the harpoon-to-the-bridge tactic.

    Someone attempting to sink my ship is a threat to my ship, my company, and my crew, and according to just about any international law concerning the seas, any force is usable when defending one’s ship. Mother Nature does not screw around, and I am not about to let some slack-jawed half-wits put my crew at her mercy just so they can feel good about themselves.

    As for things on TV, I enjoy Burn Notice, Eureka, and a few other things, but I have low standards.

  9. Neal Stephenson call your office.

    That having been said, these nuts are going to get their asses into a LOT of trouble. If there’s a Japanese arrest warrant out on them, can the Japanese Navy seize them if they happen across the ship?

  10. I think I saw on one of the episodes that the Sea Shepherd crew was throwing acid bottles at one of the Japanese ships.

    Ive been a PADI diver since the age of 14, and am not pro whale hunting.

    But the Sea Shepherd and her crew are participating in criminal behavior and the Discovery Communications is also by funding and aiding eco terrorist.

    The FCC should yank there license and the attorney general should investigate Discovery Communications for providing material support terrorist organization.

  11. The Japanese need to mount a .50 cal. machine gun turret fore & aft, port & starboard. My heart wouldn’t even bleed purple piss if one of these eco-pirates got killed while terrorizing others.

  12. If I remember the lecture correctly from the many years ago when I was in arctic waters, without special gear your dead in less than two minutes.

  13. I’d like to see the Japanese government pursue these guys, Discovery and their celebrity guests under the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation. If the US won’t prosecute people like Darryl Hannah under the US statute then the Japanese should seek her delivery under the Convention when she travels outside the US.

    In any case, it is likely that at some point the Sea Shepherd idiots will be taken by the sea. Their lack of professional skills is horrifying and I’m surprised someone hasn’t been killed already. The boats are listed as a yachts so that they don’t have to have a professional crew who would have their licenses in jeopardy. Not to mention, any professional sailor who intentionally seeks to damage the safe navigation of another vessel should be keel hauled.

    No need to blow them up to stop them. Most GPS and comms equipment comes from Japan. The Japanese should just set it up that the boat gets way down south then have the positioning and comms go south. Then the sea would take care of the rest.

  14. Discovery channel is also known for the environmentalist wet dream show “Life without People”.

  15. Not exactly on topic (OK, not at all) but by all means cancel the TV subscription, but keep the Internet connection or find another ISP (there are companies that provide internet connection without any TV connection, check the Yellow Pages). I halved my costs by dropping cable TV, but keeping ‘net.

  16. I am completely against whaling… That said, I am more so against piracy! When I started seeing the adds for this show, I recognized it for exactly what it was. A show glamorizing piracy for a “cause.” Yeah, exactly what I want my child to learn… NOT!

    The only discovery network I watch nowadays is the Military Channel, as I fully support our boys in uniform. Before somebody says that the military kills people for a “cause”, let me point out that the “cause” is the liberty and freedom from tyranny and oppression of OTHER PEOPLE. Love thy brother…

  17. What the hell is wrong with you people?

    Japan is whaling in a sanctuary where whaling is against the law.

    Japan is whaling in violation of a global moratorium they agreed to in the first place.

    They are whaling in violation of the United Nations Charter for Nature.

    There is NO reason to kill any of the great whales.

    The Japanese are criminals run by the Yakusa.

    Like I said, you need education. You are utterly ignorant of what has been going on. WHALES ARE NOT RAISED. THEY ARE NOT FARM ANIMALS. And if you think it’s ok to kill intelligent animals I propose we kill you.
    If you had done your research you would know that the whaling is not for food, it is subsidized by the government and is nothing more than a money making operation. Very few in Japan, only the old old people, will eat whale flesh. It is abhorrent to civilized humans. It is laden with mercury. There is no reason to kill a whale. If you had done your research before you opened your mouth with ignorant opinions based on fabrication only, you would know that Japan has tons of frozen whale flesh that would be enough for the next 20 years.
    Sea Shepherd is enforcing laws, attempting to stop ILLEGAL, UNLAWFUL butchering of intelligent species. And no, it is not ok to kill cows and pigs and other animals to eat their corpses. It is a barbaric, ancient behavior that is no longer necessary for humanity. Humans would be far healthier, the earth would be far healthier and free of most global warming if animals were not raised and killed and people used plant based protein as a living food source. But I guess you don’t know about that either.
    Captain Paul Watson: The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society calls on the world’s governments to enforce the Antarctic Treaty, the regulations of the International Whaling Commission, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the Canberra Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. (CCCAMLR) The Japanese whaling fleet is targeting endangered and protected whales in an established international whale sanctuary in violation of a global moratorium on commercial whaling. Sea Shepherd is not protesting a legal whaling operation; we are intervening against a whale poaching operation. The poaching of whales in this sanctuary is no different than the poaching of elephants in an African national park except that in Africa the poachers are black, poor and action is taken to stop them.

    The whales have no chance to not get caught. They are friendly beings and easy targets for the killer harpoons. Do you know that it can take up to 5 hours for a whale to die in agony, choking on it’s own blood because it’s internal organs have been blown up by an exploding harpoon? IN AGONY. Do you even know what that means?
    Japan used a lethal weapon against unarmed men and women who did nothing more than throw rotten butter… less acidic than orange juice. But Japan used that lethal weapon and Japan used metal balls that were thrown at the people in the Sea Shepherd boat… they have the pieces. Japan threw bloody whale flesh, that’s on tape. EVERY SINGLE THING THAT JAPAN CLAIMS IS A LIE. ALL OF THE PROOF IS ON TAPE AND WILL BE VIEWED BY THE WORLD WHEN THE WHALE WARS BEGINS AGAIN ON THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL.
    Japan is a smart country, there are other jobs for unskilled labor for 3 moths a year. They could make a fortune taking people to the Antarctic on whale watching trips. Much more money than brutally slaughtering whales.
    I am sorry for you that you are still unawakened as a soul. You are in the very low levels of consciousness and I doubt if you can even understand that we are all connected, and this unconscionable travesty MUST BE STOPPED. Including indigenous whaling. The consciousness of this world cannot improve with souls like you to promulgate lies and untruths as though you knew whereof you were speaking. You do not know. Best you say nothing. Better, go to and read about what has happened this season and just how reprehensible Japan’s whaling coalition is. Look at the videos there. Learn the TRUTH as it is, not as you believe it to be.

    Do your research before you open your mouths and insert your feet. You are disgusting excuses for humans.

    Sea Shepherd is trying to SAVE the LIVES OF WHALES.


    1. We’re all intelligent enough to realize that whales aren’t raised, that they are wild animals. So are deer, and we support hunting them. Many other very yummy animals fall into the wild & hunted category: bears, elk, turkeys, ducks, grouse, squirrels, moose, and rabbits. I could go on, but you get the point. Hunting whales whose populations have more than rebounded is not wrong, and I would actually venture to argue to that the an outright ban regardless of species health is irresponsible. A well-managed hunt can be healthy and useful animal control.

      That said, I am amused by other contradictions in your comment. It’s all about profit, yet it must be subsidized by the government? How does that work? If something is profitable, it doesn’t need a subsidy. And you don’t explain why it’s such a terrible sin for the people who do enjoy the meat to enjoy it. Unless you’re a vegan who believes no animal should ever be used for anything, then it’s terribly judgmental for you to unilaterally declare something you haven’t tried to be a “wrong” against nature.

      I would so have more, but we have to deliver a grill to a friend so he can grill up some meat!

  18. That is the perfect job for Blackwater/Xe or some other PMC. That ship needs to sink. Its unfortunate that the Japanese whaler was not armed and capable to defending itself.

    Pirates need to be stopped no matter how “Good” they think they are, a pirate is a still a pirate whether they are holding someone hostage with an AK or attacking a whaling vessel while trying to “protect” the whales. They need to get over it.

  19. I agree about the show, but not this: ” There’s literally nothing on worth watching except for Mythbusters”

    Uh no. Mythbusters went past annoying some time ago. Best show on cable? Deadliest Catch, for the most amazing footage on TV. It’s also Discovery. Lots of good shows, actually, far better than network TV, which has all of five shows worth watching.

  20. bj:

    Sea Shepherd is no different than Scott Roeder, the man who murdered Dr. George Tiller. Just because they haven’t killed anyone yet isn’t material. You ram a ship into another vessel oh the high seas you are trying to kill people. End of discussion.

    I don’t care if the Japanese are breaking the law. If your neighbor leans out of his window, and shoots your dog, that’s a pretty despicable act too, but do you think you are legally justified in exacting your own justice?

  21. Also, butyric acid is not “rotten butter.” Just because rotten butter has butyric acid in it, doesn’t mean if you concentrate it, that it’s no more dangerous than rotten butter.

    In my job I have to work around chemicals. This one is hazardous. The fact that Animal Planet didn’t point out that, despite what the criminals on Sea Shepherd said, that butyric acid isn’t something you should be throwing at other human beings, makes them complicit in the crime.

    If it’s just “rotten butter” why don’t you throw some into the window of your house? Why don’t you splash some on you? You’re a fool if you try. It’s hazardous.

  22. I agree with Tomcatshanger that the show is entertaining because of the general incompetence of the crew. They often cannot perform the simplest tasks, like launching a boat, and cannot follow their own basic rules. It is also interesting to get a peek at people operating under bizarre ideologies that I generally oppose.

  23. Several years ago a Soviet Spy Trawler was harassing a British Carrier during landing operations; when it crossed close in front to force a change in course, the Admiral growled “Run him do!”.

    If you don’t approve of a law work, legally to get it changed!

  24. Sea Shepherd is enforcing laws, attempting to stop ILLEGAL, UNLAWFUL butchering of intelligent species.

    You will have to excuse my blunt language, but bullshit.

    What the Sea Shepherds are doing is a grievous crime under just about all international agreements concerning the seas. Intentionally obstructing another vessel is a crime. Intentionally ramming another vessel is a crime. Intentionally endangering another crew is a crime.

    In the latter two cases, the Japanese ships in question would be completely within their rights to use deadly force to defend their vessels, considering that ramming another vessel is also deadly force.

    If what the Japanese are doing is illegal, then take them to court, and settle it. But attacking other ships on the open ocean? The Sea Shepherds should consider themselves very lucky to make it home alive, their nautical ignorance aside. If “saving the whales” is your particular feel-good schtick, then more power to you, and I wish you the best of luck with it. But the very second you start endangering sailors in very treacherous seas… then I would just as soon see you at the bottom of them, thank you very kindly.

    Oh, yeah, and on the other note, I forgot to mention Chuck, Dollhouse, and Castle as other things I continue to watch.

  25. I watched whale wars one time and the sea shepherd ran a zodiac up next to the whaler and two sea shepherd crew climbed on board the whaler.

    Had I been tthe captain of the whaler, I would have heave hoed both the nuts into the water. The nutjobs on the sea shepherd were screaming and gnashing their teeth worried about them ending up in the water and prop wash. Laughed my a$$ off.

    Yes, I was rooting for the whalers.

    Gotta go grill some red meat. Have a good day blow job (bj)!!

  26. It always amazes me that the Japanese don’t dispatch a warship on patrol with their whalers. Arming the whaling ships is illegal but a Japanese Navy ship on the scene could board and arrest these folks– which they sorely need.

  27. The Japanese are criminals run by the Yakusa.

    And if you think it’s ok to kill intelligent animals I propose we kill you.


    Whooo-eeee. When you get home, say “hello” from Planet Earth, OK?

    You do not know. Best you say nothing.

    Right. Now I can’t shake the mental image of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman screaming “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!”

  28. “And if you think it’s ok to kill intelligent animals I propose we kill you.”

    bj, you can take my life, BULLETS FIRST! YARRRRR!!!!!

  29. Seems Sebastian has been cribbing my posts again :)

    I agree that the various Discovery Channels have gone way down hill. There are still a few noteworthy shows, but they are mostly eye candy… there’s Time Warp, which is worth watching because shooting anything in super slow-motion is cool… then there is the hardcore porn for industrial engineers (How Its Made)… etc. Myth Busters is good on occasion. Very little substance left.

    Oh, and where can you get whale bacon? I really wanna try some. Do you figure it is legal to import from Japan?

  30. I worry about the animal nut folks, then they open their mouths and disspell my concerns.

    As for good TV – I liked that Alaska adventure show. And dirty job s and how things are made. Life without people is pretty lame and myth busters is defintly going downhill, but all in all Discovery is lightyears better than anything else.

  31. Who cares about the stupid illegal whalers, they are well paid selling their whale flesh “for scientific study” in the japanese black market. Those whalers are determined to kill their whales and get their money for every pound of flesh.

    You all act like a bunch of pansies, the people on the anti whaling boat are quite happy to risk their lives and so is the crew of the whaling ship, since they are being well paid for their services.

    And this obviously not piracy, as that involves hi-jacking a ship. What they are doing is making it very difficult or impossible to hunt whales. Its not brain surgery.

    You’d think the whalers had jesus on board, bloody hell.

  32. Whether it’s illegal depends on whether you think it falls under the exemption or not. The Japanese government thinks it does fall under the research exemption. Now, thinking that is ridiculous is certainly a reasonable opinion, and it’s why the Japanese government is under pressure to cease the whaling activities. But the solution is to convince the Japanese government, and the Japanese people, to end the practice. Committing piracy, and yes, it is piracy, which is what you call the crime of attacking another ship on the high seas if you’re not a Navy, or you’re not carrying a Letter of Marque.

    Somehow I doubt the Dutch have issues a Letter of Marque to the Sea Shepherd to attack Japanese shipping.

  33. Thanks to your post, I tuned in last night to see what the show was all about. Wow! Talk about a bunch of dumbasses waiting for an accident to happen. It is a really bad idea to steer a ship that is not rated for ice through ice drifts. You almost want to see something bad happen to them just so you can call them out for being a dumbass.

    I can appreciate their cause. The Japanese are definitely playing fast and loose with the whole “researching whales” bit. But I cannot condone the method that they are using. It is criminal behavior that is going to end up getting someone killed.

  34. Melancton Smith: Let me spell it out for you …

    Animals are not sentient. They have no rights as a result. Humans might pass laws to prohibit extreme cruelty … but these laws are for the benefit of other humans, not the animals involved.

    Animals might want to defend themselves … but we are intelligent and at the top of the food chain. If we want to kill an animal, it dies.

  35. Ruffridr: I agree. The Japanese should man up and admit that they are whaling commercially, like the Canadians admit that they are sealing commercially.

    Then they should take a page from the Canadians again, and call in their armed forces to protect the harvesters from eco-terrorists.

    By not sinking these loons, they are putting their whale-harvesters at risk.

  36. First a question, does Japan have a navy capable of Antarctic operations? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Second BJ, Just try and kill me or most anyone on this blog, me thinks you will have a bit of a challenge with that.

    I will second the call for whale bacon, even though I don’t see the point in whaling. I definitely don’t want any whale species hunted to extinction, but that doesn’t seem to be happening.

    Also, I watched an episode the other night just to see if they finally got crushed in the ice. Based on the hull strength of the Steve Irwin I think a few exploding harpoons at the water line would be a dandy response to getting rammed. Further more, if the Japanese vessels are rated for ice, I have a hunch that they would Not suffer enough damage to sink them (other than possibly rudder and screw damage) were they to run those pirates over.

  37. Yup, that would put paid to them for sure. Though with the treaty after WWII I am not sure of the legalities of Japan deploying outside of their territorial water.

  38. Kristopher: Thanks for spelling that out for me. I do not mean to say that any animals are sentient. I mean to say that I think someday we might find out that they are. If we do, then it would be murder. With our current understanding, it does not qualify.

    It brings to mind an interesting thought experiment. Let’s say you come to find irrefutable proof that whales are sentient and you feel that it is a crime to kill them. However, you cannot prove it or your proof is ignored. What would you be justified in doing to prevent their ‘murder’?

    Let’s say it isn’t whales, but instead African Americans in 1840’s South Carolina?

  39. Melancton Smith Said,
    June 15th, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Kristopher: Thanks for spelling that out for me. I do not mean to say that any animals are sentient. I mean to say that I think someday we might find out that they are. If we do, then it would be murder. With our current understanding, it does not qualify.

    It brings to mind an interesting thought experiment. Let’s say you come to find irrefutable proof that whales are sentient and you feel that it is a crime to kill them. However, you cannot prove it or your proof is ignored. What would you be justified in doing to prevent their ‘murder’?

    Let’s say it isn’t whales, but instead African Americans in 1840’s South Carolina?


    All right guys, threads over. Mr. Smith has whipped out…..the Oddly Specific Hypothetical and combined it with an Ominous Historical Reference.

    So what shall we call our anti-whaling ship?

  40. Britt: That’s the problem with thought experiements…you kinda have to think.

    As for your anti-whaling ship’s name, how about either ‘Moby Dick’ or ‘Nautilus’?

    Here’s another thought experiment, since the last one went over so well: Imagine you discover the exact moment that life begins (I’m betting on some time after conception but before birth…). You now know (I mean real knowledge not faith…though I do not intend to denigrate faith) when it is murder to abort a fetus/embryo. Are you morally obligated to go to any lengths to prevent such murder?

  41. Technical they don’t have a navy they have Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force

    Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (short list)

    Guided Missile Destroyers
    Atago class guided missile destroyers – variant of the United States Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer 2 in service

    Kongō class guided missile destroyers – modification of the United States Navy’s Arleigh Burke class (Flight I) 4 in service (aka Aegis destroyer)

    3 others

    31 total

    Helicopter Destroyers

    HyÅ«ga class destroyers aka “helicopter carrier”
    limited in their capacity to carry helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft capable of vertical liftoff, including Harriers and F-35 Lightning IIs
    these sound similar in nature to the United States Marine Corps Wasp class amphibious assault ships.

  42. Ps note when I say “similar in nature to the United States Marine Corps Wasp class amphibious assault ships.” I primary mean in the aircraft that they can deploy. Not in any amphibians troop capacity.

  43. Mr. Smith, your thought experiment is fundamentally flawed. Let’s go look at again.


    Let’s say you come to find irrefutable proof that whales are sentient and you feel that it is a crime to kill them. However, you cannot prove it or your proof is ignored.


    “irrefutable proof”

    You use this word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    If you had irrefutable proof, then you would be able to prove your claim. There would be, ahem, no refuting it. If you possessed evidence that proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that whales were sentient beings, then no one would hunt them. You can’t have it both ways. You cannot in a hypothetical grant yourself indisputable proof and then have that proof be useless. Either the hypothetical evidence leaves room for doubt, or the evidence is flawless and thus whaling would cease.

    Oh, and your attempt to drag antebellum racial politics in is also very weak. No large group denied that blacks were sentient, it was simply thought that they, and non-landowning white men, and white women, and landowners under the age of 21, and American Indians, and white landowning men who were not citizens, etc. were unqualified to exercise the franchise. I also doubt you’ll find many cases of blacks being eaten or rendered down for oil. The whole leftist “all of our causes and issues are analogous to the civil rights movement” shtick is tiresome. Hell, it was tiresome before I was born, and it’s not getting better with age.

  44. Sorry, Britt, but you are quibbling. The point is that in the thought experiment, you “know” the fact as opposed to “believe” the fact, for whatever reason. Suppose it was written on a tablet in a language only you could read or you read it and it self-destructed. It doesn’t matter. I think you know that there are all sorts of facts out there that some folks just refuse to accept.

    With respect to your second quibble. Let me get this straight. When you say: “…it was simply thought that they, and non-landowning white men, and white women, and landowners under the age of 21, and American Indians, and white landowning men who were not citizens, etc. were unqualified to exercise the franchise…” Do you intend to stick with this? Just asking.

    Are you suggesting that white women and the other ‘disenfranchised’ parties you mention were thought of in the same way as African Slaves? They weren’t sometimes beaten to death, forced into labor, breed like cattle, sold on the auction block but just didn’t get to vote?

    Oh wait, I get it, you were being sarcastic. Good one.

  45. Monkey-wrench a bulldozer and they call you a vandal, spike a tree and they call you a terrorist. But if you destroy and entire forest, a mountain, a river, then they call you a logger, a miner, an engineer.

    I hope the entire Jap poaching fleet sinks. They’re lucky they aren’t in Africa, or they’d be shot on site for illegally killing protected animals in a wildlife preserve.

  46. I think it is probably clear that I’m anti-whaling.

    However, unlike a game preserve in Africa, whaling occurs in International waters. I don’t believe there are any laws that allow for curtailment of whaling in International waters. Soveriegn nations can surely sink whalers breaking that nation’s laws within that nation’s territorial waters. I’m down with that.

    On the other hand, the piratical behavior of the Sea Shepherd and any other vessel doing likewise does allow for violent response even in International waters. Sink ’em.

  47. The Japanese poaching fleet is not in international waters. They do their poaching in an Australian marine wildlife preserve in violation of international and Australian law.

  48. Well then what is preventing the Aussies from enforcing their laws? Why don’t they seize whaler’s and auction them off? Or sink ’em.

  49. Publicly, Australia condemns the violation of their marine sanctuary, but but privately they allow it because they don’t want to disrupt existing trade agreements with Japan.

    This is the problem: the Laws that ban whaling are well established, but nations do not want to risk profits with the kind of international incident that arresting government sanctioned poachers would cause.

    So the failure of nations to enforce the treaties has thereby granted sole Authority to Sea Shepherd. If these nations do not want public direct action, then they need to step up and take action of their own. But that isn’t likely to happen. The Japs know it, the UN, knows it, and Sea Shepherd sure as hell knows it.

  50. Actually, whether it’s in international waters or a marine wildlife preserve is irrelevant. Poaching does not, by itself, justify the use of deadly force – which is what ramming another ship in antarctic waters really is.

    Deadly force, used in self-defense in response to deadly force, is, however, justified.

  51. What do you mean by ‘justified’? In IL you are legally justified in using deadly force to stop someone from committing a forcible felony. Not much whaling goin’ on here though…

  52. The whaling is happening in international waters. Just because Australia recognizes it as a whale sanctuary doesn’t mean they get to impose that internationally. Internationally, six nautical miles from your cost is territorial waters. If the Japanese were whaling there, the Australian Coast Guard could board and arrest them. I would have no problem with that.

    But the Japanese are whaling in international waters, which is why anti-whaling nations are applying pressure through traditional channels, rather than engaging in Acts of War by sinking Japanese whaling ships in Antarctic waters.

  53. Jake is correct. The proper response to poachers in your territorial waters is to board the ship, arrest the crew, and seize the vessel. There’s no Coast Guard in the world that deals with poachers by sinking their ships with crew on board.

  54. In IL you are legally justified in using deadly force to stop someone from committing a forcible felony.

    The key is forcible felony – which is defined as murder, aggravated assault, rape, or robbery. The whales are wild, they belong to no one, so there is no robbery. They are neither human nor sentient, so there is no murder or assault. There is, obviously, no rape (dear lord, I hope not!). What forcible felony are they acting to stop?

    A similar situation would be someone poaching deer in a National Park – would you be justified in shooting them if they only moved away from you to avoid your attempts to stop them?

  55. A forcible felony is defined in the Criminal Code of 1961:

    “treason, first degree murder, second degree murder, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault, robbery, burglary, residential burglary, aggravated arson, arson, aggravated kidnaping, kidnaping, aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement[,] and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.” (Emphasis added.) 720 ILCS 5/2-8 (West 2000).

    So in IL you are not legally justified in using deadly force to prevent a deer being poached.

    However, my point was that what constitutes “justified in using deadly force” is dependent upon the local laws. Were Australia to write a law allowing deadly force to be used to prevent certain types of crime and were whaling to be included in those types of crimes than that would be that.

    Of course Australia seems determined to limit its residents’ choice of deadly force to harsh language…so the example is perhaps inapt.

  56. “Deadly force”? How can you call it “deadly force” if Watson’s been ramming ships for 30 years without a single death or injury? Keep day-dreaming. A ship is not a living thing, so ramming it is not in anyway an act of violence. The term you’re looking for is ‘monkey-wrenching’.

  57. Hart, that is asinine. Every time he rams another ship, he risks sinking them. If those ships sink in Antarctic waters the crews are almost certainly dead. Ergo, what you have is attempted murder. Just because he has not managed to kill anyone yet doesn’t mean he isn’t trying. Further more, by driving a spike in to a tree in hopes that the chain on a chainsaw will catastrophically fail is at least assault with a deadly weapon as as snapping chains have been known to severely injure loggers. Depending on the level of injury it certainly could be attempted murder as well.

  58. From “Sea Shepherd News“:

    Since 1979, Sea Shepherd crew and agents have sent ten illegal whaling ships to the bottom:

    1979 – The pirate whaler “Sierra” rammed and sunk in Portugal. 1980 – The outlaw whalers “Isba I” and “Isba II” sunk in Vigo, Spain.

    1980 – The pirate whalers “Susan” and “Theresa” sunk in South Africa. 1981 – The illegal whaling ships “Hvalur 6” and “Hvalur 7” sunk in Iceland.

    1992 – The outlaw whaler “Nybraena” sunk in Norway. 1994 – The pirate whaler “Senet” sunk in Norway.

    1998 – The pirate whaler “Morild” sunk in Norway.

    Any sailor who goes in the water in the antarctic is dead, unless he get’s picked up and warmed up immediately, and is very, very lucky. If it’s because his ship is sinking, his chances of getting warmed up in time are next to nothing. If it’s because he got knocked overboard when the ship was rammed, his chances of getting picked up while his ship is also trying to avoid further ramming attempts are also low.

    Force used with a significant probability of killing someone = Deadly force.

  59. LOL, attempted murder, yeah right. I guess you’d have to charge the Canadian Coast Guard with that too, since there’s plenty of videos on yootoob of them ramming Captain Watson’s ship.

    And the whole idea behind tree-spiking is that you TELL the loggers you did it in order to prevent them from cutting in the first place. This is a tradition that goes back to 18th century Europe. The best part is that you don’t even have to actually spike the trees :)

  60. The Sierra was not sunk from ramming. She was sunk at port by flooding the engine room in ten meters of water with no hands on board along with several other vessels that were being used for illegal poaching.

    Two vessels of equal mass side-swiping each other will not produce the kind of below-the-water line hull damage needed to sink a ship.

    You really need to do some research into what you’re talking about, you’re beginning to look like a fool.

  61. The Sierra was not sunk from ramming. […] You really need to do some research into what you’re talking about, you’re beginning to look like a fool.

    Did you bother to pay attention to the source? I even linked to it. Here it is again: Sea Shepherd News

  62. Yeah, I saw your little link. But obviously you failed to investigate any further, because the ramming and the sinking were two separate incidents that happens weeks apart. Maybe next time you’ll dig a little deeper than a mere time-line as your source of historical data.

  63. From “Sea Shepherd History“:
    On July 16th, 1979, the Sea Shepherd found the Sierra and chased it into the port of Leixoes. Captain Watson rammed the Sierra twice in harbor, tearing the hull open to the waterline and forcing the ship into port for repairs.” [emphasis mine]

    Gee, that sounds like hull damage that can sink a ship. It doesn’t need to be below the waterline, just near it. A few waves to fill the compartment and create enough of a list to bring the damage below the waterline, and you have a sinking ship. All it would take would be a little bad weather, or even slightly rough seas.

    If it happens in a harbor, the ship might be repairable, and salvage and rescue resources are close by. Out on the ocean, the ship might not make it back to port.

    1. He is trying to destroy ships out in the cold waters and sink them. Consider this report from a National Geographic report:

      Four days out of Melbourne, the Farley‘s two welders got busy and began to build something that looked to me like a giant blade. It was. It was called the “can opener,” and it was constructed with steel I beams and welded to the starboard bow; a seven-foot (2-meter), razor-sharp cutter designed to gut the hull of an enemy ship.

      The Farley was their former flagship boat that ended up seized and is currently awaiting sale at auction according to Wikipedia. If I won the lottery, I would totally buy it and come up with some fun to have with it.

  64. The “Can-opener” was a defensive weapon, but whatever. The Japs ram Sea Shepherds and the Sea Shepherds ram the Japs. That’s probably the least dangerous thing they do to one another.

    1. Funny that the very crew disagree that ramming ships is the least dangerous thing to do. They told a reporter just the opposite.

      “If we had collided,” I asked, “Would we have been badly damaged?”

      Cornelissen is always in motion, but when he stops, he gives you all his attention. “A ship that’s ten times as heavy as your own ship,” he said, “that hits you midships with its bow—it’s gonna basically slice your ship in half. It will completely destroy your ship in a matter of seconds. Everybody inside would have had a very hard time getting out.”

  65. Right, like I said, that’s why you usually see them sideswiping ships of similar size. Nobody wants to sink a ship in the middle of the ocean, not the Japs, not the Sea Shepherd, nobody. The whole point is to shut down the poaching operation, not kill people.

  66. The so-called “can opener” was not a defensive weapon as can clearly be seen in the videos where Paul Watson deliberately tries to slice open the side of a vessel carrying millions of gallons of fuel in a remote ocean where there is no pollution response capability. Fortunately for the ecology of the area Watson’s blade was simply blunted. Now that Japan has enacted a new anti-piracy law, hopefully their Coast Guard will put an end to this dangerous game once and for all.

  67. LOL, you think they keep the ships fuel at the bowline? You don’t know a thing about ships, flunky.

  68. Except that the Oriental Bluebird had a long scratch along her hull from where it collided with the Farley Mowat. Oriental Bluebird is a single hulled tanker, and if the “can opener” had worked, it would have lead to a fuel spill. Fortunately, even single hulled tankers tend to have pretty thick hulls, and I believe the Oriental Bluebird is ice rated.

    Tanker ships do store oil pretty far up in the ship’s bow. You can see on the diagram here. Face it Hart, your hero Paul Watson is an egomaniacal criminal. Nothing more, nothing less.

  69. Actually Hart444, I’ll match my 31 years in the Coast Guard against your maritime knowledge any day. One thing I learned many years ago, we spent a lot of time looking for the victims of senseless and foolish acts. I applaud that fact that Japan has passed a new law that will allow their Coast Guard to actually defend their ships against acts of piracy in international waters, and yes, the activities that the SSCS does fall within the legal definition of piracy in their law. Oh, and before you start talking about the weapons free zone, Coast Guard vessels are allowed to bring in law enforcement weaponry…I know, I did it three times on a U.S. Coast Guard breaker. Season three should be interesting…if not short.

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