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Montevideo, November 20th 2017 - 04:03 UTC

Anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd admits defeat: “we can't match Japan's military surveillance technology”

Wednesday, August 30th 2017 - 08:07 UTC
Full article 16 comments
Sea Shepherd founder Captain Paul Watson accused nations including Australia, New Zealand and the US of being “in league” with Japan. Sea Shepherd founder Captain Paul Watson accused nations including Australia, New Zealand and the US of being “in league” with Japan.
Mr. Watson said the Sea Shepherd was largely responsible for reducing Japan's annual whaling quota from 1,035 in 2005 to 333 at present. Mr. Watson said the Sea Shepherd was largely responsible for reducing Japan's annual whaling quota from 1,035 in 2005 to 333 at present.

The anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd has announced it will not intercept Japanese vessels in the Southern Ocean this season. The group's ships have confronted Japanese vessels off Antarctica each year since 2005.

 Sea Shepherd founder Captain Paul Watson said the group could no longer match Japan's surveillance technology, and accused nations including Australia, New Zealand and the US of being “in league” with Japan.

“Japan is now employing military surveillance to watch Sea Shepherd ship movements in real time by satellite and if they know where our ships are at any given moment, they can easily avoid us,” Mr. Watson said in a statement.

He told the Australian Broadcasting Corp: “We do not have their money; we do not have their technology. We are going to have to find an alternative way to deal with them and we will.”

Despite an international moratorium on whaling since 1985, Japan's fleet sail to the Antarctic in the autumn or winter each year, returning the following spring.

Mr. Watson said the Sea Shepherd was largely responsible for reducing Japan's annual whaling quota from 1,035 in 2005 to 333 at present.

In 2014, Australia successfully won a temporary ban on Japanese whaling in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). However, Japan resumed whaling a year later, claiming that its fleet had satisfied ICJ requirements about conducting scientific research.

Australia, New Zealand, the US and other nations have maintained public opposition. In January, Australian Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said he was “deeply disappointed” that Japan had resumed another whaling season.

However, the three nations were accused by Mr. Watson of having “hostile governments” who did not challenge the program in any genuine way. “We are trying to do the job that Australia, New Zealand, the United States and other nations should be doing, but they are too busy appeasing Japan,” he said.

Frydenberg said: ”No country has done more than Australia to try to end Japan's so-called 'scientific' whaling, particularly in the Southern Ocean. The Government has made representations at the highest level in Japan and we are working hard through the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to end any commercial or so-called 'scientific' whaling and promote whale conservation.”

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  • RedBaron

    Have Japan ever shared the results of their scientific research? What exactly are they learning by slaughtering 333 of the world's greatest creatures? Surely they can only research and research until there are no more whales to learn whatever it is the Japs are so intent on learning?
    Maybe they are just researching how quickly a population or species can be wiped out by a resolute and stubborn nation.

    Aug 30th, 2017 - 11:09 am +1
  • RedBaron

    Mario Lanza - AIS transponders can hardly be described as military surveillance technology - every ship in the world- not just military but civilian also- has an AIS transponder on board (not always switched on, of course).
    It is more likely that the Japs are operating more with the assistance of satellite tracking from other sources to find the Sea Shepherd vessels (you seem to be confusing two totally separate organisations - generally the Greenpeace ships do not follow the Jap whaling fleet in the Antarctic).

    Sep 01st, 2017 - 07:43 am +1
  • Livingthedream

    Whale meat has a hight mercury content so let the Japs choke on it!!

    Sep 03rd, 2017 - 01:15 pm +1
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