What would we think of the police if they were to ask bank robbers to cut down on the number of robberies in the city and rob more banks in the country instead? This is exactly what the United States is proposing with criminal whaling operations by Japan.

In an effort to reduce the illegal slaughter of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, William Hogarth, appointed to the International Whaling Commission by George W. Bush and now the Chairman of the IWC, is recommending that in return for a "reduced" quota by Japan in the Southern Ocean, that Japan be given a legal commercial quota off the coast of Japan.

Commercial whaling is illegal. Killing endangered and threatened whales is illegal. Killing whales in an established international whale sanctuary is illegal. Killing whales in Antarctic waters is illegal. Killing whales in the Australian Antarctic Territory is illegal. Refueling whaling ships in the Antarctic Treaty Zone is illegal. Dumping blood and offal from whaling ships is illegal in the Antarctic Treaty Zone. Failing to file an environmental assessment to operate a commercial enterprise in the Antarctic Treaty Zone is illegal.

Japan is in violation of the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the Antarctic Treaty, and the Regulations of the International Whaling Commission. Japan is in violation of the regulations of the United States Department of Commerce and is in contempt of an Australian Court Order prohibiting whaling in the Australian Antarctic Territory.

Yet there seems to be a complete denial of Japan's illegal activities. Greenpeace is more concerned about crewmembers stealing whale meat from the whaling industry than they are about all of the international violations. The members of the IWC seem more concerned about Sea Shepherd throwing rotten butter onto the whaling ships than they are about all of the international violations. Australia seems more concerned about Sea Shepherd's activities to disrupt whaling than they are about Japan's illegal whaling activities.

Japanese whaling in the Southern Oceans is in violation of the of the U.S. Department of Commerce regulations yet every year the President merely sends a "strongly worded letter of protest" to Japan instead of sanctioning Japan under the law. And every year for the last twenty years, Japan has chosen to ignore the letters.

Australia promises legal action and then reneges, choosing to do nothing under the guise of opting for diplomacy, and as we all know diplomacy with Japan over this issue has failed utterly for twenty-two years. How the so called diplomacy of the Rudd government differs from the diplomacy of the Howard government that Peter Garrett admonished when he was in opposition is unclear.

If Japan were a poor third world nation, they would not be getting away with this illegal slaughter. They would be taken by the scruff of the neck and kicked out of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

What is it about the word "sanctuary" that no one seems to understand?

There is no difference between Japanese whaling and the slaughter of mountain gorillas or giraffes in the Congo. Both are forms of bush meat. There is no difference between the slaughter of whales and the poaching of elephants. Both are illegal activities.

In Africa, the rangers shoot to kill elephant poachers and the world applauds. In the Southern Ocean we disrupt the poaching of whales with rotten butter and governments condemn us as extremists and the Japanese call us terrorists. Bullets are justified for black African poachers but rotten butter is "too extreme" for Japanese whale poachers.

We don't see the media reporting on Somali poachers accusing Kenyan rangers of terrorism. We don't see rhino poachers being given credibility in the media for complaining about international efforts to stop their illegal activities.

Why the special dispensation for Japan?

The answer is simple of course. International law is to be used to keep poor nations in line and not to be used against rich economic super powers. International law is designed to keep poor nations poor, and rich nations rich. European nations can illegally dump toxic and radioactive materials into the waters off Somalia and European fisheries can loot the fish from inside the territorial waters of all the African nations and the world turns its eyes away. Yet when some impoverished Somali fishermen, victims of European over-fishing, hi-jack an oil tanker, the world's super powers cry terrorism and rush to discipline the "pirates."

In the name of profits, our oceans are being looted and entire species of fish, sea-birds, and marine mammals are threatened with extinction. Yet the demand for shark-fins, whale meat, bluefin tuna, Chilean Sea Bass and so many more species is of more consideration than the very survival of these species.

Short term profit is tolerated at the expense of long-term consequences.

What is the good of international conservation law if these laws are ignored? What is the point of governments sending representatives at tax-payers expense to extravagant international conferences to draft legislation that everyone ignores?

During the International Whaling Commission meeting in Santiago in June 2008, all the delegates, much to Japan's pleasure, agreed to disagree. Nothing was said or done about illegal whaling. The only thing the delegates could agree on was to condemn the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society for tossing rotten butter onto the decks of outlaw Japanese whaling ships. In fact the only non-governmental organization that has ever done anything to enforce the regulations of the International Whaling Commission is the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and we are the only non-governmental organization banned from attending the annual meetings.

Governments don't seem to want to solve problems. They want to present the illusion of solving problems. The Australian government wants to have the Australian people believe that Australia is doing something to address the problem but they don't want to have to actually do something about the problem.

Contrary to what our critics say, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has operated within the boundaries of the law since we were established in 1977. Proof of this is that in over three decades of operations we have never been convicted of a felony crime. We have never been sued. We have successfully sued companies for violating the law. We have never caused an injury to any person. Yet the public relations firms of the criminals looting our oceans pump out propaganda constantly accusing us of being criminals and terrorists while they violently lay waste to the entire planet.

It is absolute madness, and it has taken all of my patience for decades to deploy strategies that stay within the bounds of the law when a part of me simply wants to avenge the deaths of millions of lives in our oceans and the destruction of oceanic habitats. We have acted responsibly, cautiously and with great practicality over the years, pushing the envelope as far as the law and morality will allow us to do so. And we will continue to do so. But I fear that we will be hindered even further and that the laws will be tightened by special interests to protect profits and not resources, to protect profits over human rights and the rights of nature.

As resources diminish I see opposition to exploitation being stamped out as "subversive" activities and all attempts to save our oceans, our forests and our environment spun by the professional spin doctors into "crimes against humanity."

The only thing more destructive to eco-systems than the impoverishment of poor nations is the diminishment in materialism of developed nations. Underdeveloped nations cause damage in their quest to utilize all available resources for survival. Developed nations cause even more damage in their quest to utilize all available resources to prevent a decline in their relatively wealthy lifestyles. But be they motivated by survival or by greed, the result is the same and the victims are the non-human species of the planet.

The problem is simple. There are too many people and too few resources. It's the third law of ecology - the law of finite resources. There is a limit to growth. But how can this be addressed within the context of economic systems that depend upon unlimited growth to survive?

Our oceans have reached their limit to give up their resources. The fish cannot breed fast enough to keep up with our demands as we wipe out one species we turn our attention to another, adapting to diminishment with each commercial extinction. Over-fishing, global warming, acidification of the seas, ocean dumping, toxic chemicals, radioactive materials, and so many other human spawned problems all amount to out of control human population growth.

We are locked into a pattern of self destruction. We know what the problems are but we are too selfish as a species to address the problems. We as a species want to eat good food, exotic foods, drive around in cars, fly in airplanes, take trips on yachts, fish, hunt, trap, cut down forests, own a computer, wear the latest fashions etc, forgetting the ecological price we have to pay for these luxuries.

And we do it innocently. The desire to have a child is natural and harmless except when seven billion people want to do the same thing. The need to cut down a tree to build a house is natural except when seven billion people need to cut down a tree for everything from building a house to toilet paper. The desire to catch a fish is natural except when seven billion people want to do so.

Where do even begin?

How do we get off the treadmill that society placed us on the day we were born?

If we drop out and become hermits, the excesses continue on without us. The truth is we cannot get off the bus.

And just as the bus in the movie "Speed" could not stop, we cannot stop the juggernaut of human civilization from going where it will inevitably go. It will run out of fuel or it will crash.

But what we can do is refuse to sit as complacent passengers waiting for the crash. We can dedicate ourselves to trying to slow down the bus and trying to come up with an alternative approach. But the reality is that most people will just sit on the bus, watching movies and listening to their I-pods until the bus hits the wall.

Still we don't need everyone. We just need a strong enough minority because if human history has taught us anything at all, it has taught us that all social revolutions are initiated and led by a very small minority. The majority always go along for the ride.

I marvel at times that with seven billion people on this planet, there are only thirty-three of us down here trying to save these whales from illegal whaling operations. Thirty-three of us with only a few thousand supporters to assist us.

The odds are against us. There are a few hundred whalers down here with the support of Japan, a nation of one hundred million people. They have the money, the machinery, the power, in short they have a stacked deck.

We are limited in our tactics, limited in our finances and we do not enjoy the support of any government.

Why should we even bother? What can we possibly hope to accomplish?

I will tell you what and why?

We are down here in the remote and hostile waters of Antarctica not only to defend the lives of whales but to demonstrate that a few people can make a difference, that we can take on this economic ecologically destructive Goliath and we can beat him with nothing more than a slingshot.

For the last four years we have been kicking this giant in the shins, irritating him, and most importantly costing him profits. We have saved over a thousand whales and we have focused the attention of the world on their obscene slaughter.

And most importantly we are showing for the first time in the history of humanity that people are ready and willing to risk their lives and freedoms as volunteers to defend a non-human species from the greed and criminality of our own kind.

What we do is unprecedented since humankind first appeared on this planet. For the first time ever there are people speaking for the rights of non-human species and not just speaking but actually fighting in defence of the rights of these species.

And it is not just here in at the bottom of the planet, but in Africa where humans are fighting for elephants, in the Galapagos where we are fighting for sharks, in Montana where people are fighting for wolves, or for Redwoods in California, or old growth forests in Tasmania or for coral reefs and fish, and birds, and turtles and invertebrates and flowering plants worldwide.

We are in fact part of a global revolutionary movement that is seeking to reunite ourselves as a species within the harmonious web of diversity of life.

In other words we are fighting to return to the Garden of the Natural World and because of that I do what I do, because this movement gives me great hope.

For in truth if it were not for all of you out there pursuing these compassionate paths, I would not have the strength to even live, for a world divided from nature is a world that has lost its soul and is of little value.

For the majority of people that watch complacently as the world dies around them, I would like to be able to heed the words of Jesus Christ who said, "Forgive them Lord, for they know not what they do."

But unfortunately all of us in the world today know exactly what we are doing and if there is ignorance, it is a willful, deliberate ignorance and because of the horrific destruction of the natural world, it is an evil ignorance.

There will be no forgiveness if the ecological insanity of humanity is allowed to prevail. There will be no forgiveness because there will be no one left to forgive us.

For in the end there are only three basic ecological laws that we have no choice but to obey. No species in the history of the planet has survived without living in accordance with these three basic laws.

  1. The law of diversity
  2. The law of Interdependence
  3. The Law of Finite Resources.

We may be able to ignore international conservation laws but these three laws we cannot ignore for long.

Contradictions have consequences.

Will the Earth plundering Goliath triumph or will we Davids bring the Giant down before it's too late for us all.

All I know is that I've picked up my slingshot and I've got a few stones left to use in this battle.

Sea Shepherd
Why Just One NYC screening Q&A
Why Just One NYC screening Q&A
On December 16, 2016, the New York City chapter hosted the premiere of Why Just One? Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s first full length, in-house documentary. The sold-out event was Captain Paul Watson's his first New York appearance at a Sea Shepherd event since returning to the United States...
Sea Shepherd vs Poachers in the Gulf of California
Sea Shepherd vs Poachers in the Gulf of California
Six fishing boats engaged in illegal activities were spotted by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, ending in their arrest by the Mexican Navy.
Ghost Nets Go; Vaquitas Stay
Ghost Nets Go; Vaquitas Stay
Sea Shepherd and the M/V Farley Mowat break down how illegal underwater nets in the Sea of Cortez are snagged, pulled, cut and bundled. Footage also includes freeing and releasing live animals from the nets and cataloging those who unfortunately did not make it.
Sam Simon arrives in Mexico for Operation Milagro III
Sam Simon arrives in Mexico for Operation Milagro III
The Sam Simon has arrived in Mexico to join the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society-led campaign, Operation Milagro III. A partnership between Sea Shepherd and the Mexican authorities, Operation Milagro III intercepts, intervenes and interrupts any illegal activities found in the Vaquita refuge in the...
Divina Guadalupe Beaked Whale Research Project
Divina Guadalupe Beaked Whale Research Project
**If you cannot see the captions on this video, just click on CC on the lower right corner of video settings on the video ** #Breaking #SeaShepherd helps scientists learn more about #rare Beaked whales! Did you know that Cuvier's Beaked whales hold the record for the deepest mammalian dive? Watch t...
Operation Milagro III Campaign Launch Video
Operation Milagro III Campaign Launch Video
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is returning to Mexico’s Gulf of California for Operation Milagro III to save the near extinct vaquita marina porpoise and the endangered totoaba bass. The M/V Farley Mowat is back on active duty with the M/V Sam Simon joining the Milagro campaign for the first ti...
Sea Shepherd Investigates Whale Corpse in Sea of Cortez
Sea Shepherd Investigates Whale Corpse in Sea of Cortez
The Farley Mowat Sea Shepherd crew is called out to investigate a dead Brydes whale in the Gulf of California on November 5th, 2016 while patrolling the vaquita refuge. To help the Sea Shepherd crew to continue its work in the Sea of Cortez, including protecting the near-extinct vaquita marina porpo...
Entanglement in the South
Entanglement in the South
Operation Guardian Angel - In and around Bahia de Los Angeles, in the Gulf of California, countless marine species are entrapped in nets with little or no hope of rescue. Rosalia Tellez works for CONANP, a department of the Mexican government that acts as park rangers to enforce laws and assist in ...
Good and Bad Days
Good and Bad Days
This video follows Sea Shepherd volunteers over the course of two days. The first day Sea Shepherd locates and removes a long line from the sea; fortunately no animals were caught in the net. However, the next day volunteers find a sea lion that has been caught and died in a fisherman's net.
Operation Virus Hunter Campaign Summary
Operation Virus Hunter Campaign Summary
Sea Shepherd campaign Operation Virus Hunter saw the vessel RV Martin Sheen under the leadership of Alexandra Morton, head up the coast of British Columbia Canada to expose open pen Atlantic salmon farms and the impact they are having on wild Pacific salmon and the the surrounding eco-systems.
Illegal Totoaba Nets
Illegal Totoaba Nets
This video follows Sea Shepherd volunteers through the process of locating, retrieving and disposing of illegal nets in the Gulf of California.
Discovering Alleged Wild Salmon Dead in Fish Farms
Discovering Alleged Wild Salmon Dead in Fish Farms
August 12th 2016: Early Thursday morning the R/V Martin Sheen assisted Melissa Willie, a band councilor of the Musgamagw Dza’wada’enuxw nation, in hand delivering a letter to three farms expressing the nations disapproval of the industry. Sea Shepherd crew alongside independent biologist Alexand...
The Grind of the Faroe Islands
The Grind of the Faroe Islands
Ross McCall travels to the Faroe Islands to explore the truths behind the centuries old tradition of the brutal Pilot Whale drives.
Operation Virus Hunter: A Salmon PSA with Pamela Anderson
Operation Virus Hunter: A Salmon PSA with Pamela Anderson
Sea Shepherd Chairman of the Board, actor/activist Pamela Anderson, cautions viewers about the dangers of eating farmed salmon.
Why Just One?  Indiegogo Video
Why Just One? Indiegogo Video
Support Sea Shepherd's documentary by sharing and backing our Indiegogo campaign here: http://bit.ly/1OfvER6
Milagro Summary - English
Milagro Summary - English
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's Operation Milagro II has come to an end. Milagro is its campaign to fight the looming extinction of the vaquita porpoise, the most endangered marine mammal in the world. With an estimate of less than 100 surviving vaquita, Sea Shepherd ships the R/V Martin Sheen...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 15 - Good Bye
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 15 - Good Bye
Watch the crew of the Farley Mowat capture footage of illegal fishing activity with a night vision drone and pull up a totoaba net in the dead of night. This is the final vlog of Operation Milagro II!
Sea Shepherd's Ethical Research Whale Project
Sea Shepherd's Ethical Research Whale Project
Sea Shepherd's Ethical Research Whale Project is dedicated to collect samples from whales in the Gulf of California to measure levels of toxins in whales in order to determine the levels of toxins in the Gulf of California itself. Learn more at: www.seashepherd.org
Totoaba Poachers Caught on Camera
Totoaba Poachers Caught on Camera
Never before seen footage. Sea Shepherd catches critically endangered totoaba poacher in the act. The Sea Shepherd crew filmed these totoaba poachers as they were checking one of their illegal nets in the protected vaquita habitat. The vaquita porpoise is the most endangered marine mammal in the wor...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 14 - Saving Lives
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 14 - Saving Lives
Watch‬ the routine of our crew doing valuable work in the ‪Sea of Cortez‬. We have been very effective at removing illegal fishing gear from the ‪‎vaquita‬ porpoise's habitat. So much so, that now, most of the time we remove nets and lines that are mostly empty, our favorite thing to do....
Sea Shepherd finds 3 dead vaquitas in 3 weeks
Sea Shepherd finds 3 dead vaquitas in 3 weeks
The Sea Shepherd crew has found 3 dead vaquitas in 3 weeks in the month of march of 2016. The vaquita porpoise is the most endangered marine mammal in the world. Learn more at: www.seashepherd.org/milagro2
Sea Shepherds finds a dead sample of the most endangered marine mammal in the world
Sea Shepherds finds a dead sample of the most endangered marine mammal in the world
While patrolling the waters of the upper Gulf of California the Sea Shepherd crew found a dead vaquita porpoise. The vaquita is the most endangered marine mammal in the whole world. The crew also found a Great White Shark caught in an illegal gillnet.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 12 - This is Direct Action
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 12 - This is Direct Action
This week, the crew of ‪Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's ships The M/V Farley Mowat and The RV Martin Sheen find and retrieve an illegal totoaba bass long line from the critically endangered ‪vaquita porpoise habitat. The totoaba fish is also critically endangered. Watch all episodes at: http...
Sea Shepherd Crew Save Humpback Whale Entangled in Illegal Gillnet
Sea Shepherd Crew Save Humpback Whale Entangled in Illegal Gillnet
Sea Shepherd crew rescued a whale entangled in an illegal totoaba gillnet in the Gulf of California. Sea Shepherd currently has two vessels in Mexico's Gulf of California on OPERATION MILAGRO. Our goal is to save the vaquita porpoises, the most endangered marine mammal. The vaquita are caught as a r...
Gregg Lowe on Sea Shepherd's Operation Milagro
Gregg Lowe on Sea Shepherd's Operation Milagro
You might know Gregg Lowe from X-Men: Days of Future Past, but now watch him explain Sea Shepherd's Operation Milagro and understand why we must save the #VaquitaMarina - The most endangered cetacean in the world. Help us save the vaquita at: http://seashepherd.org/milagro2/donate-now/vaquita-appeal...