The Japanese government has deployed two government security ships to protect their illegal whaling interests in the Southern Ocean.
Captain Paul Watson is not surprised at the news. Japan sent a security ship last season and the fact that they have sent two ships this year is a very positive development for the Sea Shepherd campaign. Says Captain Watson, "It means they are taking us seriously and that they see us as a serious threat to their illegal profiteering from the slaughter of whales in the Southern Whale Sanctuary. It also means that the cost of supporting this illegal activity has greatly increased and thus it means that whaling is now even more of a serious economic liability than ever before."
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society understands that the only way to shut down illegal whaling is by speaking the language that governments and corporations understand - economics.
"It's all about profit and loss and we need to keep the losses exceeding the profits and we have done just that for the last three years and this will be our fourth year. We intend to bankrupt the bastards," said Captain Watson.
"The fact is that this is a violation of the Antarctic Treaty to send armed military personnel into the Antarctic Treaty Zone and it is a violation of Australian law to send armed police or military to attack Australian citizens in the Australian Antarctic Territory," Captain Watson continued. "My question to Foreign Minister Stephen Smith is this: what do you intend to do to defend the legal and civil rights of fifteen Australian citizens in the Australian Antarctic Territory?"
The Sea Shepherd vessel Ady Gil should be able to outrun any Japanese security vessel.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is amazed that whereas the Japanese government is prepared to use violence to defend their illegal whaling operations, the governments of nations supposedly committed to protecting endangered whales do absolutely nothing.
"Diplomacy has failed for a quarter of a century. Japan does whatever Japan wants to do. You don't save whales by hanging banners and appointing a so-called whaling envoy. You don't save whales by posturing once a year at the IWC meetings and you don't save whales by issuing media releases about how committed the government is to defending whales," said Captain Watson. "It is now what it was in September 2007 when Peter Garrett accused the Howard government of doing nothing. He said at the time it was all smoke and mirrors, all pretty pictures and all talk and no action. Two years later with Garrett in charge it still is what Garrett said it was under the Howard government. Do we really need to see fifteen Australian citizens assaulted and hauled off to Japan in chains before any action is taken? I believe if that does happen, nothing will still happen. The so called 'conservation' nations have become little Japanese lap dogs that do what they're told despite their pathetic barking."