Armed Security ships, mercenary thugs, Coast Guard officers, heavy weight public relations firms, and lawyers!
Thirty million dollars buys a great deal of influence and can exert immense pressure when defending an illegal activity.
In an act of desperation, the Japanese whalers armed with a war chest of some $US30 million allocated by the Japanese government from the tsunami earthquake relief fund are throwing a great deal of muscle into their efforts to stop the Sea Shepherd ships from saving whales this season.
The latest move has the Japanese whalers filing a lawsuit in a U.S. Court to prohibit Sea Shepherd from intervening against illegal Japanese whaling operations. Sea Shepherd dismisses this suit as frivolous and nothing more than the whalers attempting to use litigation as a weapon against Sea Shepherd.
"We have won this round already," said Captain Paul Watson. "Last season we defeated the whalers and sent them home in humiliation after they were only able to kill 17% of their quota. This year will be more challenging. Thirty million dollars buys a great deal of influence and we are expecting a full onslaught of harassment and bureaucratic obstacles from Japan and from the governments, courts and media they are able to influence.
"It will be a challenging season and the most dangerous campaign to date as we head down for our eighth year of interventions against the whale poachers of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary."
Sea Shepherd is undeterred by this latest attempt to stop us in the U.S. Courts.
"This seems like a frivolous lawsuit to me," said Captain Watson. "We have the images of the Japanese whalers destroying one of our ships, ramming our ships, running over our crew, firing upon us, throwing concussion grenades, deploying acoustical weapons, hitting us with water cannons and bamboo spears and they are suing us because they are accusing us of violence towards them. We have not rammed them and we have not caused a single injury nor have we been charged with a crime or even reprimanded by anyone for our actions. We have cooperated with every inquiry. They have not. This is simply a case of using the courts to harass us. I don't believe they have a case and I doubt a U.S. court would take this seriously. Unlike Japan, the courts in the United States don't automatically do what the government demands that they do."
Sea Shepherd has more important issues to address than being distracted by lawsuits. "Our entire focus for the next three months will be on preventing the ruthless and illegal slaughter of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary," said Captain Watson. "We will not be deterred by force, by lawsuits, by bureaucrats, by critics or by any government. We act non-violently within the boundaries of the law and we save whales from a criminal operation in a whale sanctuary."
All this muscle is simply the last gasp of a dying, ecologically destructive and ruthless industry. Sea Shepherd will never abandon the whales of the Southern Ocean no matter how heavy handed the Japanese whalers become. The only way they will stop us is to kill us and they may be just desperate enough to do just that."