It is ironic that Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the only organization officially banned from attending the International Whaling Commission (IWC), fielded the most representatives to the island of Jersey, more than all of the other attending non-governmental organizations combined.
Sea Shepherd supporters came at their own expense from France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, the Netherlands, Belgium, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, and even Japan. More than sixty supporters were present in all, including the 10-person crew onboard Sea Shepherd's ship the Brigitte Bardot, which arrived in the port of Saint Helier on July 9, 2011.
Sea Shepherd crew and supporters were joined by members of Surfers for Cetaceans and Women against Whaling in front of the Hotel de France where the IWC is meeting. The IWC delegates were well insulated from the whale defenders on the street until 100 or so people brushed by security guards and took their voices to the doorstep of the Hotel de France's convention room.
The head of security for the IWC requested the anti-whaling crowd leave the hotel grounds. Captain Paul Watson responded that they would leave, but only if requested to do so by the Jersey police.
"Jersey does not have any trespass laws so the security guards had no legal authority to order us to leave the area," said Captain Watson. "However, we are not here to cause trouble and we certainly have no argument with the Jersey police. We were able to bring our concerns to the doorstep of the IWC for at least an hour, so we're quite satisfied that we have made the delegates aware of our presence."
Bundles of outdated currency from Russia, former Soviet bloc nations, Iraq, and Zimbabwe were tossed into the air to symbolize the bribery that Japan has been practicing for years to buy votes for their pro-whaling policy. This was also done to support the United Kingdom's proposal to investigate corruption within the IWC.
Sea Shepherd is primarily interested in the ambitions of the Japanese whalers. "If Japan returns to the Southern Ocean, Sea Shepherd will return to the Southern Ocean," said Captain Watson. "As soon as we get word that they are going to return, we will point our bows southward once again to intercept them."
The IWC's 89 member nations will be meeting in Jersey through July 14, 2011.