Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Greenpeace finally finds .........the Japanese Whaling Fleet

 Commentary by Captain Paul Watson


The Japanese whaling fleet has returned to Japan where Greenpeace yesterday decided to intercept them at dockside with a demand to stop whaling. Not exactly good timing, considering that whaling is now over for the season, and Sea Shepherd stopped them from whaling weeks previously.


Of course the official Greenpeace position is that Sea Shepherd could not have stopped whaling because the official Sea Shepherd position is that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society does not exist.


Greenpeace made no mention of Sea Shepherd’s successful interventions nor did they explain why the whaling ships at dockside were splattered with red paint.


We did not see any Greenpeace ships in the Southern Ocean this year, or last year, or the year before last year or even the year before that. The last time a Greenpeace ship went to the Southern Ocean to protest whaling was during the 2006/2007 season when they refused to accept Sea Shepherd’s directions on where to find the whaling fleet citing that they would not take positions from us because well, we don’t exist.


During the time since then Greenpeace have raised tens of millions of dollars on their non-activist campaign to “defend” the whales and they built a new ship at a cost exceeding $30 million dollars. That ship was launched last year and has yet to do any serious campaigning. In fact its mission is to do fund raising junkets from port to port. I suspect they will be in Brazil in June of this year to exhibit their magnificent new “eco-friendly” luxury yacht to the conference on the Environment called Rio plus Twenty. That’s in reference to the 1992 Conference on the Environment that produced absolutely nothing, so it is I suppose appropriate that a ship that has done nothing be the main attraction at the U.N. Conference on doing nothing.


We have been trying to encourage Greenpeace to join us to take an activist stand on Japanese whaling for the last few years without much luck. Last year their strategy was to send origami whales to President Barack Obama. I’m not really sure why, because the United States is not whaling in the Southern Ocean. I have been told that the reasoning behind it was that if Obama got enough origami whales he would call up the Prime Minister of Japan to request that they stop whaling.


It seems that he did not get enough origami whales and the call was never made.


This season Greenpeace was very silent, except for the canvassers on the streets asking for money to support “their” ships in the Southern Ocean. We caught quite a few claiming that the Sea Shepherd ships were Greenpeace ships. The look on their faces when Sea Shepherd volunteers told them who they were was priceless.


Last October Greenpeace Japan Executive Director Junichi Sato accused me of lying (he conveniently forgot I do not officially exist) when I broke the story that the Japanese Fisheries Agency had allocated some $30 million U.S. to support the return of the Japanese whaling fleet to the Southern Ocean. He said it was a “disgrace” that I made such an irresponsible statement.


And yet in this article Sato is quoted as saying:


"The fleet killed 267 whales for a market that does not exist, and it only managed to escape its mounting debts this season by appallingly siphoning off US$30 million in taxpayer money away from the victims of the tragic March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster." .


I don’t hold it against Junichi Sato. After all he has to parrot the Greenpeace party line from the head corporate office of Greenpeace while pretending that Greenpeace is actually doing something to end whaling in the Southern Ocean. I’m certainly glad I don’t have his job.


I am in a funny position when it comes to Greenpeace. As an original co-founder of Greenpeace I feel responsible for what Greenpeace has become and I feel badly that I am forced to be critical of something I helped to create.


Of course the official revisionist history of Greenpeace holds that I was not a co-founder but merely an “early member.” I was a co-founder even on the Greenpeace website until just a couple of years ago when my status changed at the same time Greenpeace decided that Sea Shepherd does not officially exist. I suspect they will be air-brushing me out of the archival photos soon although they are probably waiting for me to die first to make that decision much easier.


Anyhow thank-you Junichi Sato for telling us that the Japanese whalers need to stop whaling. With that announcement, I’m sure they will take notice and next season if the whaling fleet decides they don’t wish to tackle Sea Shepherd ships again for a third humiliating financial disaster, Sato can announce – “see the whalers are not going back, because on March 31st, 2012, I Junichi Sato told them to stop.”


If the whalers do return, I will of course once again extend my invitation to Greenpeace to join us where we have been so effective – on the high seas at the bottom of the world amongst the icebergs. I suspect however that come December, Sea Shepherd will still be officially non-existent so once again we will have to return alone and Greenpeace will be left with the mundane unappreciated task of sending out mailings to millions of people around the world to request funds to do……….whatever it is they do with the money they collect.


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