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Sea Shepherd Boat Sinking Neither the kevlar reinforcing, nor a radar deflecting paint job, was enough to protect the Ady Gil trimaran from what Sea Shepherd are calling "an unprovoked attack," when the Japanese security ship Shonan Maru No. 2 apparently "deliberately rammed and caused catastrophic damage."

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According to the captain of another Sea Shepherd boat in the area at the time, the Japanese boat ripped about 2.5 metres (8 ft) of the Ady Gil's bow "completely off." Sea Shepherd are saying the trimaran is "sinking and chances of salvage are very grim." Although they did manage rescue the six crew.

I know many will have different feelings about the actions of Japan's whaling ships, which act under the guise of "scientific" research to go around the International Whaling Commissions ban on whaling.  But regardless I do think that they went to far in out powering this boat and their crew.  

The Sea Shepherd has brought a great deal of attention to an issue that is important, and that is the continued attack on our oceans, which is something I outlined in a diary I wrote yesterday.

The Japanese continue not only to whale against the wishes of many IWC countries but they also continue to slaughter dolphins in Taiji, which was the center of yesterday's diary.

The Cove, a highly disturbing yet immensely important documentary about the inhumane and brutal slaughter of dolphins, that takes place in Taija, Japan, brought much needed attention to a tragedy happening annually from September to March, annually.

Sure the Movie put pressure on the Japanese to stop the slaughter but it hasn't ended.  According to Ric O'Barry, Director of Save Japan Dolphins they've only refrained from killing bottle-nose Dolphins and have continued to kill other species of dolphins.

They can say they are not killing Flipper, but they are butchering many of his dolphin cousins as many as they can get.

And they continue to fish Blue fin tuna into extinction as reported by this amazing headline, Endangered Bluefin Tuna Fetches Record Price at Tokyo Auction.

One more quick one on the tragedy of bluefin tuna's trajectory towards extinction: BBC News reports that a single bluefin tuna has been sold for the highest price in the past nine years at a Tokyo fish auction. The 232 kilogram (511 pound) fish fetched 16.28 million yen, or a bit over $175,000:

Japan drives the global market for bluefin tuna, eating more of it than any other nation, and while this particular fish was caught in waters off Japan where stocks are not as depleted as they are in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, the price itself and the increase over prices for similar fish last year is significant.

Last year similarly-sized bluefin went for less than 10 million yen.

So yes, you may call the Sea Shepherds methods extreme and yet they are getting the attention that is needed to stop Japan from ignoring international law and the incredible damage that their fishing practices are doing to our oceans.  And sure, Japan is a small country, but their hubris is dangerous.  If they can do it, why can't we?  Iceland and Norway have also resumed whaling in the name of scientific research and who is to say that other nations won't ask for the same privileges?

Here's more about the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society that has become more of a household name since Discovery Channel's Animal Planet has begun airing its popular show, Whale Wars.  It makes for good TV because it's a drama that's happening right now, the fight for the lives of these endangered creatures.  Sure their numbers have rebound but who is to say that's to last.  There are still so many threats, from ocean acificiation to the disappearance of their main food supply.

Sea Shepherd's Mission Statement

Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization. Our mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world's oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.

Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately-balanced ocean ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations.

It is because there is no international organization that is capable of putting a stop to the continued practice of whaling that such an organization has come to exist.  And I support their efforts because it has brought much needed attention to an issue that is so very important.  

Hubris, that we can continue to fish the oceans into emptiness without regard for future generations is absurd.  And that any Country can do what it pleases with the protests of many other nations is beyond me.  I know, I know, I sound like an asshole but sometimes, it takes an asshole to stop a tragedy such as this.  And it's time we had more assholes standing up to stop things like the senseless slaughter of self aware creatures and animals where their very killing could mean the end of their existence.  

This has become one of my favorite quotes...

"Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground." - Anon.  

I've become determined to be that nut on many fronts.  

Here's the video of the encounter between the Sea Shepherd and the Japanese whaling ship.  We should be grateful for people like these who are willing to risk life and limb to bring attention to issues like this.  

The ABC have video footage showing the Japanese continued to fire water cannons at the Ady Gil crew, even after they had rammed and smashed the ships bow. A YouTube clip of the incident is below:

H/T to Its any one guess for another video...

UPDATE:

Australia is on the right track, we should be supporting them as a Nation and back their legal action against Japan....

Australia threatens Japan over whaling program

SYDNEY — Australia's prime minister threatened legal action against Japan on Friday if it does not stop its research whaling program that kills up to 1,000 whales a year.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's comments came as the Australian Broadcasting Corp. quoted Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada as saying in an interview that Japan has no plans to halt its killing of whales in the Antarctic.

"We don't accept Japan's premise for those terms of so-called scientific whaling," Rudd told Australia's Fairfax Radio Network. "If we cannot resolve this matter diplomatically, we will take international legal action. I've said that before — I'm serious about it."

Japan's whale hunts are allowed under international rules as a research program, despite a 1986 ban on commercial whaling. Whale meat not used for study is sold for consumption in Japan, which critics say is the real reason for the hunts.

Kingdom of the Blue Whale is a great documentary about Blue Whales, where the migrate and birth their calves.  It includes investigations of whaling and the sale of Whale Meat internationally.  Eye opening.

Originally posted to Ellinorianne on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:02 PM PST.

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