Commentary by Captain Paul Watson
Founder and President of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

The day before arriving in Melbourne onboard my ship Steve Irwin, a reporter from Japan asked me how we could be so concerned about saving whales if we can eat kangaroos every day.

Apparently the Japanese media is reporting that all the people trying to protect the whales eat kangaroo.

Of course this is ridiculous and especially so for the Sea Shepherd crew. After all there is no meat or fish or animal products served on Sea Shepherd ships. As a matter of policy Sea Shepherd ships are vegan vessels.

But I can understand the spin that the Japanese are weaving in their effort to defend their illegal whale killing activities.

Australia is presently slaughtering kangaroos at the same time the Minister of the Environment Peter Garrett is condemning Japan for killing whales.

Despite the fact that kangaroos are a protected species under the 1975 Wildlife Act, the Minister is supporting the slaughter, saying, that the kill is "humane" and "properly administered."

"There's an immense difference between commercial, so-called 'scientific' whaling and Australia's scientific, sustainable and humane management of a non-threatened kangaroo, which has overpopulated an area, to save rare and threatened plants and animals on the site,'' the Minister said.

It almost sounds like the Japanese whalers and Mr. Garrett have the same public relations company working for them. The Japanese say the exact same thing about their whale slaughter - that it is humane and properly managed.

Peter Garrett is not acting like a responsible Minister of the Environment when he makes a statement that an indigenous species like the kangaroo poses a threat to native plants and animals. Native plants and animals are impacted by exotic species and the removal of or diminishment of an indigenous species like the kangaroo can have far ranging ecological consequences.

The real reason for the kangaroo slaughter according to many critics is that the 'roos are standing in the way of development plans.

Predictably the kangaroo slaughter is big in the Japanese media and the Japanese public is outraged by the killing.

Of course the Japanese are being hypocritical in condemning the Australian slaughter of kangaroos while supporting the illegal and inhumane slaughter of whales.

The hypocrisy of the situation is further compounded by the support of Greenpeace Australia for killing kangaroos. Last year Greenpeace Australia actually recommended the slaughter of three million kangaroos each year as a replacement for beef production arguing that kangaroos are more "sustainable" than beef. Apparently the thought never struck Greenpeace that perhaps people should not eat beef OR kangaroo. The Greenpeace Foundation remains opposed to vegetarianism as a solution to environmental problems despite the fact that the meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than the automobile industry.

Proponents of re-locating kangaroos had their advice rejected by the government on the grounds that it is "inhumane" to relocate the animals arguing that a lethal solution is more acceptable. In other words a lethal solution is less expensive.

What has this got to do with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an organization dedicated to stopping the illegal slaughter of marine wildlife?

The answer is that Australia is undermining all of our efforts on the high seas to protect whales by giving the appearance that all whale defenders are hypocrites.

For the record, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is and will remain actively opposed to the Japanese slaughter of whales in the Southern Ocean. The whale slaughter is illegal under international law. The kangaroo slaughter is more comparable to the dolphin slaughter in Japan where over 20,000 dolphins are rounded up and slaughtered each year.

Sea Shepherd opposes the whaling ships on the highs seas and we have opposed the killing of dolphins on Japanese beaches because we protect and defend marine wildlife.

We are not involved with campaigns to protect animals on land, but we support the efforts of those who are doing so be they in the field in Montana protecting bison, in the bush in Africa defending elephants or in Australia protecting kangaroos.

Back in 1993, I stood with Mr. Garrett on the road blockades on Vancouver Island to protect the forests. He was there with his band Midnight Oil to give a free concert to the activists. Well not exactly free, he was paid by a wealthy local Tofino conservationist to perform but he was there, and he was outspoken about saving the forests.

Who would have thought that 15 years later he would be condemning me for saving whales and I would be criticizing him for defending pulp mills, kangaroo killing and bay dredging. I had high hopes for Mr. Garrett, I really did. He was the man who was going to save Australia's environment. He was one of us.

By contrast the previous Minister of the Environment Ian Campbell was always available to communicate with. He returned phone calls and now he is on the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Advisory Board because of his proven defense of the whales. Even George Bush has responded to our concerns and not only did he answer our letters he created the largest marine reserve in the world around the Hawaiian Islands (I still would not vote for him even if he could run again), but I say this to illustrate that Mr. Garrett has never returned a phone call or answered a single e-mail or letter from us. Apparently he views the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as a nuisance and an irritation.

And of course he is right. To politicians and bureaucrats we are exactly that, and we intend to continue being exactly that.

I sincerely wish that Mr. Garrett would see just how hypocritical he is and how the Japanese media are exploiting his support of the kangaroo kill to justify their whaling. And as Minister of the Environment he needs to remember that it is his duty to protect the environment for all Australians and there is nothing more authentically Australian than a kangaroo.

Leave the 'roos alone Mate and since it's St. Patrick's day this month, How about doing something green for the nation. Put out the fire in your own bed, and give the hoppers a pardon. St. Paddy will love you for it.

Sea Shepherd
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...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 11 - Big Fish
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 11 - Big Fish
This week the crew of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's ships The Farley Mowat and The Martin Sheen find and retrieve an illegal totoaba bass net from the critically endangered vaquita marina's habitat Watch all episodes at: http://www.seashepherd.org/milagro2/multimedia/videos.html ‪#‎OpMilag...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 10 - Light up the Dark
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 10 - Light up the Dark
Actor Gregg Lowe crews with Sea Shepherd to help us protect the vaquita. The M/V Farley Mowat lights up the vaquita refuge and deters poacher from laying deadly nets in the vaquita marina's habitat. Watch all episodes at: http://seashepherd.org/milagro2/multimedia
Sea Shepherd Wildlife - False Killer Whales
Sea Shepherd Wildlife - False Killer Whales
The first video of our new series "Sea Shepherd Wildlife". This episode is about one of the lesser know large dolphins - The False Killer Whales. Learn more about these beautiful creatures with the Sea Shepherd crew. Share it with your friends. Video by Carolina A. Castro Narration by Nicole D'Entr...
Sea Shepherd Removes gillnet from Endangered Vaquita Habitat
Sea Shepherd Removes gillnet from Endangered Vaquita Habitat
Sea Shepherd Removes gillnet from Endangered Vaquita Habitat.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 05 - Gillnet Damage
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 05 - Gillnet Damage
Join the crew of the R/V Martin Sheen as they witness the damage a gillnet can cause to marine wildlife while patrolling the endangered vaquita's refuge in Mexico.