Fires Across The HarborFires Across The Harbor
File Photo
It appears that the Sea Shepherd campaign to stop illegal Japanese whaling operations in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is having a serious political impact in addition to the massive profit losses by the whaling industry.  Last week, the Japanese media reported that the whalers lost $20.5 million dollars USD last season because of Sea Shepherd interventions. This story was also reported in The New York Times and in the current edition of Newsweek.

This week, The Yomiuri Shimbun is reporting that the allocation of monies from the Great East Japan Earthquake Relief Fund towards non-disaster-related expenses is finally causing a political scandal in Japan.

A year ago when Captain Paul Watson publicly exposed the fact that some $30 million dollars had been allocated from the Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund specifically to oppose the operations of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, he was accused of lying by the Japanese government, despite a release from the Japanese Fishery Agency that the allocation had indeed been made. Other defenders of the whalers stated that the funds were allocated from taxes and not from the relief monies.  At the time, the Japanese media did not express much interest in the allocation. A year later, the Japanese media now seems to view this as a scandal, and indeed it is. The Japanese government has seriously abused the goodwill of people around the world by spending funds meant for victims of the Earthquake and the Tsunami on projects completely unrelated to the disaster.

As The Yomiuri Shimbun reports:

"Fiscal allocations for the reconstruction of areas devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake have been used for projects not directly related to disaster-stricken areas. This diversion of funds cannot be ignored."

"Under pressure from the Liberal Democratic Party at the House of Representatives Committee on Audit and Oversight of Administration, the Finance Ministry and other ministries listed projects under way. Many of the projects are suspected of not being essential to reconstruction. The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry earmarked the cost for dealing with Sea Shepherd, an anti-whaling organization, as part of its reconstruction budget. Its reasoning is that unless anti-whaling protests can be halted, it will affect the reconstruction of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, which has whale processing facilities."  The Yomiuri Shimbun described this as Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada's "lame excuse."

Otsuchi, JapanOtsuchi, Japan
File Photo

It appears that the allocation to oppose Sea Shepherd was one of the most blatantly disconnected misuses of the funds. The $30 million has been earmarked towards a public relations campaign against Sea Shepherd, to a lawsuit filed in the United States seeking an injunction against Sea Shepherd, to pressuring Costa Rica to resurrect a decade-old, previously dismissed charge against Captain Paul Watson and also pressuring Interpol to issue a ‘Red List’ notice for Captain Watson. Funds were also allocated to provide for a security ship to accompany the whaling fleet.

The Japanese government was embarrassed when Australian anti-whalers successfully boarded this security ship off the coast of Australia in addition to Sea Shepherd cutting the whale kill quota by 74%. Fueling anger over this scandal is the report that the Japanese government is gouging the Japanese taxpayers under the pretext of using tax hikes as a major resource to carry out reconstruction. Towards the end, the residential tax and income tax will be increased over 10 and 25-year periods, respectively, according to the newspaper.  Despite the scandal, the Japanese government will once again be allocating funds to subsidize the whaling fleet and to oppose Sea Shepherd ships and crew. They are also spending large sums in their attempts to track down Captain Paul Watson. It appears that the Japanese government is under the impression that if they can eliminate Captain Watson, they will be able to remove Sea Shepherd's opposition to their unlawful whaling activities.

Critics both within and outside of Japan, angered by the misuse of funds, are wondering just how much more of this Disaster Relief Fund money will be wasted in the defense of a bankrupt whaling industry posing as a research project that has not produced a single peer-reviewed international scientific paper in the quarter of a century that it has been in operation. The whaler's factory ship, Nisshin Maru, is now in drydock in Hiroshima being upgraded at enormous public expense. Meanwhile, four Sea Shepherd ships are waiting in the South Pacific to once again intervene against this scandal-ridden industry that only continues to exist as a glorified welfare project funded by individuals who thought their donations were going to help people, not to slaughter whales.

Otsuchi, JapanOtsuchi, Japan
File Photo

Cove Guardians path out of Otsuchi, JapanCove Guardians path out of Otsuchi, Japan
File Photo

Pin 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.