Montag, 19. November 2007

Taking on the Goliath of Doom from the Land of the Rising Sun

The Japanese whaling fleet is so threatened by Sea Shepherd's history of successful interventions that they have officially appealed to the governments ofAustralia and New Zealand to detain our vessels and to not allow them to depart for the Southern Oceans.

At the same time the Japanese are boasting that they will kill 50 endangered humpbacks and they will kill Migaloo the famous white whale if they come across him. In addition they will kill 50 endangered Fin and nearly a thousand defenseless piked whales.

The Japanese whalers are so arrogant that they believe they can smack Aussies and Kiwis across the face with the insult of targeting Australia's beloved humpbacks and at the same time they expect Australia and New Zealand to "protect" them from interventions by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

The Japanese arrogance on this issue has evolved to a point where they are intentionally targeting highly endangered whales like humpbacks and fins in a Whale Sanctuary in violation of the global moratorium on commercial whaling and yet despite this blatantly illegality they are accusing the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and even pacifist Greenpeace of being "eco-terrorists and pirates."

Now I don't have any problem with the pirate bit. It's a little romantic and after all it was the pirate Henry Morgan who ended piracy in the Caribbean and not the British Royal Navy or the British politicians who were on the take and more concerned with illicit profits then upholding the law - sort of like politicians today actually.

But this "eco-terrorist" label is just plain and simply nonsense. If I was a "terrorist" then I would not be allowed to reside where I live in the United States. I would not be able to hold a passport and to travel freely and I would be on the no fly lists. As it is I have no criminal record, and Sea Shepherd has never caused a single injury to a single person in our 30 year history.

But what is an eco-terrorist really? By definition it is a person or group that terrorizes the environment or by destroying the environment thereby terrorizes humanity. By this definition the Japanese whaling fleet is a terrorist organization.

In the last two years the Japanese whaling fleet through negligence and incompetence has caused the death of two Japanese seaman. One died in a fire onboard the Nisshin Maru last February and one man was crushed in a conveyor belt on the Nisshin Maru this past summer. And there have been other casualties and numerous injuries in the past. This ship has a reputation as a death ship.

And this death ship has illegally slaughtered tens of thousands of gentle intelligent whales in ways that are barbarically gruesome, cruel and repugnant. These ruthless whalers have literally spilled thousands of gallons of hot blood into the cold seas and they have the gall to refer to those who block their harpoons as "violent."

This is like the Nazi who routinely described the Jews as violent terrorists as they rounded them up and exterminated them. You see the Japanese whalers can afford expensive public relation firms whose business is really to spin lies into "truths" and to convince the public through gross deception and arrogant posturing that black is white and two plus two equals five.

The Japanese constantly state that they are involved in "research whaling" yet there has not been a single peer reviewed scientific paper ever published from this so called research. They have also admitted that they would not be doing this "research" if they could not sell the whale meat at a profit. If they are doing any research at all it is in product development and marketing - trying to sell mercury poisoned whale and dolphin meat to a gullible public who destroy their own health in the name of patriotism.

The Japanese say that whaling is a tradition although commercial whaling was really introduced to them in the last century by the Norwegians and encouraged by the Americans. The Japanese say that whaling is a matter of national pride. What kind of sick perverse culture can take pride in the cruel and bloody slaughter of whales and dolphins? oh yes, I almost forgot, the same culture responsible for the Rape of Nanking and the beheading of Australian, American, Canadian and Dutch soldiers and civilians.

The Japanese whalers believe that Japan's reputation as an international economic bully allows them to dictate this sick morality to the rest of the world where they call non-violent whale defenders terrorists as they spill lakes of steaming blood into the sea.

What Japan is allowing to be done to the whales and dolphins is a crime against the Earth and a crime against humanity. Slaughtering entire families of dolphins on their beaches by the thousands, driving cruel harpoons into defenseless endangered whales in the Southern Oceans and the North Pacific, this is an evil and disgusting morality and one which every civilized person on this planet should rise up and denounce.

The red ball on the Japanese flag symbolizes blood and it is that blot of cruel blood on a white background that symbolized Japanese arrogance in staining the decency that humanity could be capable of.

In the distant future, if we have a future, people are going to look back in astonishment at the brutality of our generations - the insane wars, the starvation, the racism and the horrendous slaughter of sentient life forms and they will be ashamed that they descended from such indecency, such arrogance and such amazing ignorance.

And there are those blinkered individuals who will say that this essay is racist because we are targeting the Japanese. My answer to this is that we are not targeting the nation of Japan because of the colour of their skin or their culture. I happen to be a great admirer of many thing Japanese and I am well versed in Japanese history but this on-going atrocity against the whales and dolphins is not part of Japanese culture. It is a modern perversion driven by greed and arrogant pride on the part of a few Japanese people who are painting their entire nation with the shame of their behaviour. This whaling industry is controlled by the Yakusa and is not an activity the average Japanese person supports. In fact the average Japanese person does not even eat whale or dolphin meat.

These animals are dying in agony so that an elite few can eat whale meat and boast that they can do whatever they wish with nature because it is their will to do so. And these greed driven criminals, and criminals are what they are, have used their illicit profits, their blood money to hire public relations whores to defend their atrocities and to accuse those of us who attempt to end the slaughter of being violent and dangerous people.

I have never hurt a single whaler in my life nor do I ever intend to but they have shot at my crew and I, assaulted my crew and I, and threatened our lives, yet their public relations mouthpieces defend this as defending their culture.

Strip away the illusions peppered by the P.R. firms throughout the media and it is plain to see who the real criminals and terrorists are.

Killing highly endangered species in a whale Sanctuary in violation of a global moratorium on commercial whaling are crimes. Trying to stop this insanity through non-violent tactics is simply attempting to uphold the rule of law against criminal actions.

Fortunately the governments of Australia and New Zealand are not so beholden to Japanese economic leverage that they will jump without hesitation to do the bidding of these ruthless killers or at least their people will not tolerate them doing so.

What Australia and New Zealand should do is to send their navies down to the Southern Oceans to uphold the laws were are trying to enforce.

And if they do that, we need not do so. We would happily surrender our efforts to a serious effort on the part of New Zealand and Australia to do more than just posture and talk about saving the whales.

Freitag, 2. November 2007

Surfers Return To Taiji And Expose Pilot Whale Slaughter

Less than 24 hours after professional surfer and Sea Shepherd supporter Dave Rastovich led an international group of over 30 surfers, celebrities, and musicians on a peaceful paddle-out ceremony to honor the more than 25,000 dolphins killed each year in Japan, fishermen in the tiny village of Taiji resumed the slaughter that had been delayed by the increased worldwide media attention.

In response, the surfers decided in solidarity to make a pre-dawn return to the killing cove to recreate the ceremony, albeit with fewer people to evade detection. Rastovich and the others paddled within a stone's throw of a pod of captive pilot whales and their calves who had been herded into the cove for early morning slaughter.

"The reason we surfers were there was to share the blood-stained waters at eye-level with our ocean kin awaiting their execution," said a dripping, visibly shaken Rastovich, just after paddling in. "Despite the fishermen taking great pains to hide their acts of cruelty, we seized an opportunity to bring this travesty to the world's attention."

Taiji-area fishermen, who kill dolphins and whales for their meat, netted off the bay and constructed green tarps to shield the slaughter from prying eyes and front-line cetacean activists bent on shutting down the dolphin trade forever. When the surfers learned of the imminent slaughter, they did not hesitate to return, despite the distinct possibility of violent resistance and police arrest.

Rastovich and his core team of surfers, trailed by camera crews, arrived at the infamous Taiji cove to paddle out to the captured pilot whales. After entering the water, they quickly arrived alongside the whales, who swam back and forth along the edge of the seaward net.

The six paddlers, including Rastovich, his wife and mermaid model Hannah Fraser, Heroes TV star Hayden Panettiere, Australian actress Isabel Lucas, author Peter Heller, and professional surfer Karina Petroni, formed a traditional surfers' memorial circle situated between the whales and the blood-ridden shallows.

Local fishermen converged almost immediately, harassing the paddlers with threats and advancing on them with whirling propeller blades. The irate fishermen yelled "Why are you here? Go Home!" and then used a long wooden pole to attack and intimidate the surfers.

"Even though the fishermen used force to try and break us up, we held our peaceful stance. The feeling in the circle was of incredible strength," said Fraser.

With tensions escalating and the police sirens growing, the surfers quickly paddled back to shore where a distraught Panettiere fell to her knees sobbing, overwhelmed by the carnage she and the group had just witnessed.

"I couldn't believe how red the water was," said Panettiere. "The whales were so scared. Hopefully their deaths won't be in vain."

After hightailing it out of Taiji, the three-van convoy was stopped at the border of Wakayama prefecture by 30 policemen readied with a paddy wagon. After checking passports and questioning the group intently, the police waved the crew on their way.

Rastovich expressed extreme sorrow, saying, "With many nets and kill boats waiting beyond the cove, the fishermen's intense desire to kill left no room for escape."

Reflecting on the day's experience, a somber Lucas expressed that the worst part was that the whales are probably all dead by now. "We couldn't save these whales, but hopefully shining the light on their deaths will save others."

Mittwoch, 31. Oktober 2007

Donnerstag, 25. Oktober 2007

Robert Hunter Damage Repaired

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."

-- Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda, 1933-1945

The bow of the Sea Shepherd ship Robert Hunter has been repaired. The damage was caused when our ship was deliberately rammed by the Japanese whaling ship Kaiko Maru in February of this year. The Japanese blamed us and accused the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society of deliberately ramming the Kaiko Maru. But it is not a question of we said and they said.

First of all if we had rammed the Kaiko Maru we would have proudly said so. We have always taken credit for our deliberate rammings. Secondly, the Australian Federal police did a forensic investigation of the damage. They have not released their results and we don't expect them to. We would have expected them to if they found us at fault but we are confident that their evidence supported our claim and for that reason we don't expect them to release any reports that might embarrass a major trading partner like Japan.

The best piece of evidence is that the support beams inside the bow of the Robert Hunter were bent forward. This meant that the hull was struck at an angle from behind. If the Robert Hunter had rammed the Kaiko Maru then the support beams would have been bent backwards towards the stern of the Robert Hunter.

The Japanese whaling fleet has an expensive public relations company working for them with branches in New Zealand and Australia. They have two messages to constantly trumpet to obscure the illegal activities they are undertaking in Antarctic waters. First they constantly claim they are doing scientific lethal research whaling and pretend that this "research" is supported under law. It is not. Secondly they continue to call Sea Shepherd an "eco-terrorist" group using the old Joseph Goebbels strategy that if you tell a lie often enough and with conviction, people will begin to believe it.

Public relations firms for every major environmentally destructive corporation in the world constantly accuse their critics of being eco-terrorists. The reality is that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has never had a crewmember, officer or volunteer convicted of a felony crime and there has never been a Sea Shepherd action that has resulted in a death or injury - neither caused nor sustained. In 30 years Sea Shepherd has had an unblemished record of non-violence. Sea Shepherd crewmembers travel freely internationally and there is, according to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, no open investigative file on the activities of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

So where does this eco-terrorism label come from? The answer is that it originates in the offices of public relations firms that are paid to create and disseminate lies.

The Japanese whaling fleet is targeting endangered fin and humpback whales and protected piked whales in the Southern Oceans Whale Sanctuary in violation of the global moratorium on commercial whaling and they are taking whales in the Australian Antarctic territorial waters in violation of Australian law. They are refueling their ships in Antarctic Treaty Zone areas in violation of the Antarctic Treaty and they are deliberately ramming Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace ships in remote Antarctic waters. These international environmental criminals have the audacity to call us "eco-terrorists" while they are illegally slaughtering whales. They even killed two of their own crewmembers this year through gross negligence.

The absurdity of their claims is even more clear when they condemn Greenpeace for being an eco-terrorist organization and all Greenpeace is doing down there is taking pictures of the whales that the Japanese are killing. Using a harpoon to savagely massacre whales is apparently non-violent in the eyes of Japan but taking a picture of a whale being harpooned is an act of terrorism. The inmates are clearly running this insane monkey house when violence is viewed as non-violent and non-violence is terrorism.

The Japanese research amounts to ridiculous positions like killing the whales to save them. They are doing research of course. A great deal of money and effort is going into marketing research to find ways new markets for whale meat and of course this also means product development research to find new ways to turn gentle intelligent creatures into marketable commodities. Yes, they say they use the entire whale and it is true because they waste nothing except for the whale itself.

This year Sea Shepherd is launching Operation Migaloo and it will be our most ambitious and expensive intervention to date against illegal Japanese whaling operations in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. We need every dollar, pound, euro, and Kruger rand we can get for fuel, equipment, reconnaissance, communications etc. We must stop the Japanese from murdering the rare humpbacks, the diminished populations of fins and the little piked whales.

In this campaign the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is upholding international conservation law in accordance with the principles of the United Nations World Charter for Nature. Outlined in bold are the measures that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society specifically refers to in connection with our activities in the Southern Oceans against illegal whaling.

Dienstag, 21. August 2007

Sea Shepherd Ship Farley Mowat Arrives in Bermuda

The Farley Mowat arrived in Bermuda on August 18, 2007 to undergo preparations for campaigns in 2008 in the North Atlantic.

The Farley Mowat dropped anchor in Hamilton Harbour after an 11,500 mile voyage from Melbourne, Australia. The ship and crew stopped briefly at Pitcairn Island and for a month in the Galapagos before proceeding via the Panama Canal to the Caribbean and north to Bermuda.

Along the way, the crew of the Farley Mowat were able to intercept and confiscate illegal longlines that were targeting sharks, manta rays, and large fish. Numerous marine animals were freed from the deadly hooks and released.

Captain Alex Cornelissen took the ship from Melbourne to the Galapagos, and Captain Paul Watson, Founder and President of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, took the vessel from the Galapagos on to Bermuda.

"Bermuda has always been a friendly port of call for Sea Shepherd ships," said Captain Watson. Sea Shepherd has stopped in Bermuda many times over the years. The original Sea Shepherd was a guest of the British Royal Navy from March to June 1979, and the Sea Shepherd ship Whales Forever stopped in Hamilton, Bermuda in 1994. The Farley Mowat stopped over in Bermuda from December 2004 to March 2005 and returned in April and May 2005.

"This is a small group of islands with an affinity for the sea and an appreciation for marine conservation. It's always a pleasure to stop over in Bermuda," said Captain Watson.

Samstag, 23. Juni 2007


Freitag, 22. Juni 2007


only space for HEROS !


Dienstag, 12. Juni 2007

Der beste Mensch auf diesem Planeten !!

07 Jun 2007, 09:00

A letter from Captain Paul Watson. A MUST READ!!!
Kategorie: Pets and Animals

From: Captain Paul Watson
Date: Jun 6, 2007 8:02 PM

Shepherd and Sailors, Pirates and Prophets
by Captain Paul Watson

In the Spring of 1990, during a lecture at the University of California at Los Angeles I predicted that by the turn of the century, we would be in danger of losing 75% of the world's fisheries. The oceans were under siege by industrialized fishing operations both legal and illegal and unless the world's governments took international action, I predicted that fish populations worldwide would crash.

I was of course labeled a pessimist and a doom and gloom Cassandra.

But unfortunately like Cassandra, I was right. In fact it turns out I was optimistic. According to the Pew Foundation report on the State of the World's fisheries, over 90% of the world's large fish have been removed from the oceans and commercial fisheries have crashed worldwide.

The reason for the collapse has been a combination of mismanagement and corruption within international governmental fishery departments, industrial over-fishing, increasing demand from steadily rising human populations and just plain greed by fishing corporations.

Fishing operations are now moving into ever-remote areas. The Patagonia toothfish is being eradicated in the Southern Oceans. Newfoundland fishing vessels are heading into Arctic waters in pursuit of the once worthless turbot. Poachers are assaulting "protected" marine reserves around the globe in the hunt for shark fins, sea-cucumbers, and large fishes.

And with the decline of the fish, marine mammals and sea birds are being scapegoated for the losses, motivating angry fishermen to scream for blood and government subsidies to wipe out the non-human "competition" for fish.

As a result, the Canadians are engaged in a massive slaughter of seals on the Atlantic coast of their nation and clamoring for a seal lion kill on their Pacific Coast. The Namibians are killing some 60,000 seals each year. The Japanese are rounding up and slaughtering dolphins; fishermen in California are killing and maiming pelicans and cormorants; and the Norwegians, Icelanders, and the Japanese are steadily increasing their illegal whale kills.

In fact, in every coastal community the story is the same. Kill the seals, kill the birds, and kill the dolphins - kill anything that isn't human that eats fish to save the fish for us to exterminate.

Once again, humans are lashing out without understanding the problem and we are, like we have done so many times before, creating further problems because of our unique ability to combine astonishing ignorance with incredible arrogance.

Ironically, the diminishment of seals and other natural predators is directly contributing to a further decline in fish.

The reason for this is that marine mammals and birds eat fish and remove sick and weak species from the populations they prey upon. In the case of the harp seal, the seals remove species that prey upon cod and thus reduce predatory species impacting the cod. The fact is that the largest predators of fish are other fish. Seals, dolphins, pelicans and cormorants keep these populations in check and in balance.

Prior to modern global fishing, marine mammal and sea bird populations were much more populous than today by a very large margin. The seal population on the East coast of Canada alone was close to forty million only five hundred years ago. And there was no shortage of fish. The cod have been reduced to 1% of their original numbers in the last five hundred years by the human species.

Now the animals of the oceans must die for the sins of humanity. It is a disgrace and a shameful indictment of humanity.

Lets put this in perspective. The worldwide population of all species of seals is about 28 million. Yet the worldwide population of domestic housecats is estimated to be around 100 million.

The housecat population of the United States alone consumes 2.9 million pounds of fish each year.

More than 6 million "surplus" cats are systematically destroyed every year at a cost in excess of $45 million dollars. As seal conservationist Francois Hugo of South Africa puts it, "we are destroying our indigenous natural wildlife to feed an unchecked exotic domestic pet market."

It is also a tragedy that over 50% of all the fish taken from the sea are not even eaten by people. Most of it is rendered into animal feed for cattle, chickens, pigs, and most ironically for farm-raised salmon. It takes 30 to 50 fish caught from the ocean to raise and market a single farm raised salmon.

We must be insane to continue to pull the last of the fishes from the sea to feed domestic pets and livestock.

Most of these fish are the small fishes like the herring, and sand-eels. The very fish that provide the foundation of the food chain for the larger fish.

The North Sea sand-eel fishery alone has destroyed tens of thousands of puffins and this fishery is exclusively for the livestock feed trade.

If nations simply prohibited the taking of fish to feed livestock and pets, we would effectively cut the annual reduction of fish from our oceans by more than 50%.

But it won't happen because there is to much money to be made from selling these products and government bureaucrats and politicians do what they are told by the corporations that have the money and provide the jobs.

In our quest for territorial conquest we have anthropocentrized the planet and brought it into accordance with the unilateral laws of humankind. We have stolen the homes of a hundred million species and we have taken it all for ourselves. There is no spot too deep, too dry, too low, too wet, too high, too forsaken, for us not to invade, and no place we have not sought to develop for our profit and our pleasure.

We have long forgotten that humans without the animals and humans without the plants are humans without anything at all. It is the interdependence of all species - plant and animal - that allows us to participate in the mystery of life. Every extinction, every extirpation, every loss of habitat loosens our hold on the eco-reality of survival and brings us closer to the day of our own demise.

The state of our oceans is one of escalating diminishment.

My late friend Captain Jacques Cousteau sadly lamented just before he died that our oceans are dying in our lifetime.

All of you who have been or continue to be scuba divers, sailors, seaman, surfers, sports fishermen, commercial fishermen, and biologists know what I mean. You have seen the steady diminishment and only those who are willfully blind like a Rush Limbaugh or a George W. Bush can or will deny the reality of this diminishment.

I am also very tired of conservationists being labeled as city dwelling elitists who do not understand the need to exploit nature for jobs and survival. This is a whopping red herring

I'm not some citified environmentalist. I have witnessed this diminishment for over fifty years. I am a herring choker Martimer from New Brunswick, Canada raised in what was once a major lobster fishing village called St. Andrew's-By-The-Sea.

In the Fifties, I sat on the pier and watched whales, seals, gulls, and dolphins. They fascinated me and when old-timers told me there used to be so many more sightings, I could hardly believe them because my childhood was rich with the diversity of marine life. I was one of the poor boys in the town and the proof of it was that I went to school with lobster sandwiches packed for lunch, sandwiches we desperately tried to exchange for baloney on wonder bread, because that was what the richer kids brought to the lunchroom.

I was raised on wild seafood, and as a kid I caught my own flounders, my own lobsters, dug my own clams and caught salmon, cod, haddock, smelts and herring.

Today I am a vegetarian and although I sometime miss the taste of fish, I cannot in conscience eat any animal from the sea. There are too many of us and so few of them and furthermore, I have come to immensely respect and admire the diversity of creatures that inhabit our seas.

In the late Sixties I worked the decks of large Norwegian and Swedish freighters as we voyaged to Africa and Asia, where I weathered my first typhoon in the South China Sea and experienced my first encounter with a shark in the Persian Gulf, an encounter that fascinated rather than frightened me. They were splendid graceful creatures from a world we had no right to invade and ruthlessly plunder.

In the early Seventies, I served in the Canadian Coast Guard, on weather ships, buoy tenders, and search and rescue hovercraft. At the same time I worked my way through University majoring in linguistics and communications. And it was in 1971, as a co-founder of Greenpeace that I stepped on board the Greenpeace Too for a voyage into a nuclear test site. From 1974 through 1977 I served as First Officer on the Greenpeace campaigns to protect the whales and led two Greenpeace expeditions to protect seals in 1976 and 1977.

In 1978, I took command of my first ship, the Sea Shepherd, and I have been master of nine Sea Shepherd ships and a leader of expeditions and campaigns to protect marine wildlife for over a quarter of a century.

I have seen the diminishment. I have experienced the loss. I have felt the hot blood of a dying baby Sperm whale ooze through my fingers as I tried to remove a shattered harpoon shaft. I have seen Newfoundland and Norwegian sealers kick seal pups in the face and skin them alive. I have seen dolphins speared and screaming for mercy, pilot whales struggling for life as ruthless Faeroese whalers repeatedly stabbed, slashed and jabbed knives into their defenseless body. I have seen the gracefulness of sharks transformed into lifeless piles of mutilated bleeding corpses by poachers.

I remain a very angry man, as angry today as I was in 1975, when I looked into the eye of a dying Sperm whale as it slipped beneath the surface. I still see myself reflected in that eye and I remember the horror, the overwhelming sadness and frustration because I was unable to prevent his slaughter.

I remember the icy glint in the cruel blue eyes of the Russian whalers who slew him. I remember seeing his immense body dragged up a stern slipway, a torrent of thick scarlet blood cascading into the sea. I remember looking up and seeing the slipway, Russian women in bikini's playing volleyball because this great intelligence, this majestic creature was nothing more to them than a product. Their laughter, their complete alienation and detachment from the violence they were inflicting was deeply troubling to me.

And the most valuable product from that whale was it's high-grade oil, prized by the Russians back then as a heat resistant industrial lubricating oil for high tech equipment like intercontinental ballistic missiles.

When I contemplated the horror of the slaughter of leviathan for the purpose of manufacturing a weapon designed for the mass immolation of humanity, I was appalled. I was sickened and I dropped any pretension of loyalty to humankind and transferred it to the whales, to the dolphins, the seabirds, the turtles, and the fish.

Nearly three decades later, my loyalty to these wondrous beings remains despite the diminishment, despite the trials, the beatings, the internments, the death threats, and the risks.

Often I remember the words of the fictitious Captain Nemo, "I am not what you call a civilized man! I have done with society entirely, for reasons which I alone have the right of appreciating. I do not therefore obey its laws, and I desire you never to allude to them before me again!"

Verne saw then what many of us see much more clearly today. He created Nemo to speak for the voiceless and the defenseless. He understood that when the law sanctioned lawlessness that there is no law, and sometimes it is best to break the law before the law breaks you.

I created Sea Shepherd to defend the voiceless and the defenseless.

There are those who condemn Sea Shepherd as a pirate organization and to them, I say that we are indeed pirates because we have the arrogance to challenge the arrogance of the exploiters and destroyers. We have the swash buckling reckless courage to take a stand against these destroyers because on the high seas, it is these poachers, these longliners, these whalers, these sealers, these draggers, drift-netters, seiners, and polluters who are the pirates of greed and we - the pirates of kindness and salvation.

The proof of this is in this fact. Our opposition are ruthless killers motivated by a lust for money. They have shot at us and I have been severely beaten many times. Our lives have been regularly threatened. Some of us have been murdered. Fernando Pereira on the Rainbow Warrior, killed by a French government mine. Jane Tipson, assassinated in St. Lucia in 2003 for defending whales and turtles, Dian Fossey, murdered in the mountains of Rwanda for defending mountain gorillas and so many more.

Yet in all our years of championing the citizens of the seas, we have destroyed illegal whaling ships, drift net ships, long liners, sealing clubs, guns, and harpoons, yet we have never caused a single injury or death to our opposition. And we do what we do because of love for these beings in the sea. There is no money to be made saving lives. Profits come from slaughter.

As I get older, I become more concerned. Will we be able to stop the cruelty, the killing, the extinctions, and the extirpations - the diminishment of diversity?

I don't know. Most times I think not but there are times when I feel the welling up of a strong current of hope from deep inside me and this provides the motivation to begin the endless quest for support to enable my ships and crews to return to sea again - in a quest to save lives, to protect habitats, and perhaps to save ourselves.

The alternative to hope is the realization that unless we try to do something, the path that we are on has only one destination - the silent seas, fished out, with whales, seals, birds, and turtles removed - a stagnant stinking cesspool of lifeless brine - our legacy to the future.

I can't live with that vision while doing nothing to prevent it.

And thus I am condemned to be a Shepherd of the Sea.

For when I am on the dark blue billowy swells of the bosom of mother ocean, my memory often recalls that reflection that I once saw in the sad eye of a dying whale. What I saw there was the enemy - myself.

As Pogo once remarked, "we have met the enemy and they is us."

It's time to make peace with ourselves and we can only do that by making peace with the natural world because we are inseparable from it's laws, it's diversity and it's magic.

Montag, 11. Juni 2007