One of the foundations of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is that one person can make a difference.
Because of Dian Fossey the Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda were saved. Because of Birute Galdikas, the Orangutans of Indonesian have been protected. Because of David Wingate the Bermuda storm petrel is not extinct.
We encourage our volunteers to embrace individual empowerment. One person can change the world and that is a fact.
One of our early crewmembers, Alex Pacheco left us to become the founder of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Another crewmember Peter Woof led campaigns to oppose the damning of the Franklin River in Tasmania and yet another, Astronomer Dr. Ben Zuckerman who is also a Sea Shepherd Board member photographed the first planet outside of our solar system.
Sea Shepherd is an organization of visionary, resourceful, and aggressive individuals. One of our long time members Bruce Foerster demonstrated this principle this week.
Everyone had assumed that Belize was a bought and paid for nation recruited by Japan. But Belize was the first nation to realize that doing the bidding of Japan could have grave economic consequences for the tourism industry.
Bruce who owns a hotel in Belize, certainly made Belize aware of the consequences. In an e-mail dated May 21st, 2006, Bruce gave Belize an ultimatum.
It looks like Bruce's protest along with other concerns expressed from the tourism sector in Belize reached the government's ears.
Belize did no favors for Japan and the Belize vote was 5 for 5 for the whales.
We think that Bruce contributed towards this decision and we urge all people who care about whales in the Caribbean and Pacific island nations that supported Japan to request that their governments reconsider when the IWC meets again next year in Anchorage, Alaska.
It is time for honour to be restored and for the people to speak out in defense of the whales that their politicians sold out. In every Caribbean island nation polled, the majority of people are against whaling.
We know that St. Lucian and Antiguan politicians are being wined and dined and given expensive trips to Japan. We know that Japan is dumping cheap cars on the islands and we know that the police of St. Kitts have become an extension of the Ministry of Japanese Security.
But the people have the final say and if the whale loving and environmentally concerned people of the islands speak out, these whorish politicians can be tossed out and the reputation of the nations can be restored.
The people do not want their nations to be beholden to Japan.
Bruce Forester has set a good example. He used his position of a person who provides jobs in the tourism industry to make it clear to the government of Belize that supporting Japan's pro-whale killing stance is unacceptable.
Apparently they listened.
I understand that Belize will be attending the International Whaling Commission meeting next month and intends to vote on the side of Japan to scrap the moratorium on whaling? Please let me know if this is indeed true as I vehemently object to such a decision.
Commercial whaling has reduced the worlds whale population to only about 1% of it's pre-whaling numbers and I and millions of people like me do not agree that whaling of any kind ( outside of aboriginal whaling on a tiny scale ) should be permitted or ever tolerated.
As a business owner here in Belize I am ashamed that you would betray the world's few remaining whales by helping authorize their slaughter and should you indeed pursue this I will immediately sell my large resort and take all of my capital out of the country, compromising the 100 full time positions which this resort provides and the millions of dollars we invest annually into the local economy. I simply cannot tolerate such a destructive move on your part and will not live nor invest in a country which pretends to care for the environment but in reality cares only for the dirty money that they can earn by voting to destroy the relatively few whales that these butchers have not already painfully and mercilessly slaughtered.
You are risking a huge economic backlash and a tourism boycott should you make the mistake of voting for the destruction of these rare and intelligent mammals!
I await your response with great anticipation,
Jaguar Reef Lodge
Jungle-Sea Ventures Ltd.