The former Federal Environment Minister of Australia, the Honourable Ian Campbell has joined the International Advisory Board for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. The former Senator has been the most outspoken official government critic of illegal Japanese whaling and is largely responsible for Australia's strong opposition to the slaughter of whales in Antarctic waters.
"Last year Senator Campbell was very helpful in assisting our efforts to expose and oppose illegal Japanese whaling activities," said Captain Paul Watson, founder and president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. "I believe he did as much as he was able to do to convince the Howard government to oppose Japanese whaling and he did more than the current government of Kevin Rudd is doing."
The newly elected Labor government promised to intervene against illegal Japanese whaling but to date has done little but issue protest letters and make promises to take pictures of whales being killed. They are in effect doing nothing but posturing, hoping to convince the Australian public that they are doing something while at the same time doing very little so as to not offend the Japanese government.
"Whereas Mr. Campbell extended the courtesy of communicating with us on this issue, Mr. Garrett and Mr. Rudd have absolutely refused to acknowledge our e-mails and requests for information," said Captain Watson from on board the Steve Irwin currently in Antarctic waters. "We are proud to have him on our Advisory Board because of his sincere concern and compassion for the whales."
Two years ago, the former Vice Chairman of the International Whaling Commission Mr. Horst Kleinschmidt joined the Sea Shepherd Advisory Board and is also now on the board of directors of Sea Shepherd South Africa. The former South African Commissioner to the IWC said that the only way that illegal Japanese whaling will be stopped is through direct confrontation and the enforcement of international law.
Mr. Campbell joins an Advisory Board that in addition to Mr. Kleinschmidt also includes esteemed whale scientist Dr. Roger Payne, Oceanographer Dr. Joe McInnis, Anthropologist Dr. Louise Leakey, Naturalist Terri Irwin, Marine wildlife photographer Robert Talbot and actors Piece Brosnan, Richard Dean Anderson and Sean Penn.
The Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin with a crew of 34 volunteers including 16 Australian citizens is presently in Antarctic waters searching for the elusive Japanese whaling fleet.