Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Joins Sea Shepherd at National Press Club to Announce Legal Action Against Japan’s “Pirate” Whaling Fleet

Lead Counsel Charles Moure, joined by Sea Shepherd Administrative Director Susan Hartland and Director of Intelligence and Investigations Scott West (not shown), explains details of the application filed with the U.S. Supreme CourtLead Counsel Charles Moure, joined by Sea Shepherd Administrative Director Susan Hartland and Director of Intelligence and Investigations Scott West (not shown), explains details of the application filed with the U.S. Supreme Court
Photo: Sam Hurd, National Press Club
In a press conference Monday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Sea Shepherd Conservation Society announced it has filed an application with the U.S. Supreme Court against Japan’s Institute for Cetacean Research (ICR) — a government-subsidized front for commercial whaling. The action comes in response to a highly irregular injunction handed down in December by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in favor of the ICR, which preliminarily enjoins Sea Shepherd U.S. from navigating “dangerously” and “physically attacking” or coming within 500 yards of ICR’s whaling vessels.

“It is our belief that The Ninth Circuit Court incorrectly issued the injunction without any party filing a motion asking for such an order and without issuing a written opinion explaining why it issued the injunction,” said lead counsel for Sea Shepherd U.S., Charles Moure. “This irregular action provided absolutely no opportunity to brief the legal issues and put forth arguments against the injunction,” he stated. “It also ignored a well-reasoned ruling in Sea Shepherd’s favor by a District court in February of last year and did not require the ICR to post bond to secure its preliminary injunction, which is standard and generally required under the law when any party obtains an injunction. Sea Shepherd is seeking relief with regard to the injunction while awaiting the Ninth Circuit’s opinion,” he concluded.

Moure was joined by staff from Sea Shepherd U.S. headquarters and a very special guest, iconic Environmental Attorney and President of Waterkeeper Alliance, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., son of the late political icon Robert F. Kennedy. Kennedy, Jr. phoned into the briefing in a show of solidarity with Sea Shepherd and its esteemed founder Captain Paul Watson, to urge the U.S. to support the group’s work. He had been scheduled to attend the press conference but his plane was fogged in at the last minute, so he addressed press conference attendees via telephone.

"It’s a mission that only they are capable of accomplishing and that is absolutely vital to the enforcement of international agreements on the high seas which otherwise go unenforced," Kennedy, Jr. told reporters. In referring to the legal troubles that have kept Captain Watson at sea to avoid being extradited to Japan on politically motivated charges, Kennedy Jr. called Japan’s ICR “a pirate organization masquerading as a scientific research group.” He stated, “We ought to be not trying to impede Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd, but we should be issuing him letters of marques in order to support and recognize the important value of his activities to our country and to the world community in battling a pirate organization that is in violation of international law. He is performing a profound public service for all of us…” Both Kennedy, Jr. and Captain Watson have been named Time Magazine’s Heroes of the Planet.

Susan Hartland, Administrative Director for Sea Shepherd, said Sea Shepherd is guided by the United Nations World Charter for Nature, and is the only organization whose mission is to enforce international conservation regulations on the high seas. “The ICR not only has the unmitigated gall to flout international law in order to poach whales in a designated sanctuary, but it is also coming into the U.S. with its highly paid lobbyists and lawyers and dares to sue a highly rated, bonafide 501(C)3 charity supported by citizens of the U.S. and the world over,” she said. “If the U.S. was doing its job of enforcing existing maritime agreements, we would not be in this position,” she added.

Despite the Ninth Circuit Court’s preliminary ruling enjoining Sea Shepherd U.S. from its whale defense campaign in the Southern Ocean, Scott West, Sea Shepherd’s Director of Intelligence & Investigations, said Japan’s whalers are the “criminals and aggressors” in this scenario. “The fact is, the Ninth Circuit injunction is a most irregular and possibly illegal order. This is why we have applied to the U.S. Supreme Court. We are asking the Supreme Court to bring reason back to the Ninth Circuit, prevent the Ninth Circuit from coddling these criminals, and to vacate the injunction against Sea Shepherd,” he concluded.

Sea Shepherd U.S. has enforced the integrity of the internationally established Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary against Japanese whalers for eight seasons and has done so legally, effectively, and with an unblemished safety record. (This season, its ninth, is being run by Sea Shepherd Australia, a separately governed entity.) On October 2, 2012, the New York Times reported Sea Shepherd cost the whalers $20.5 million USD for the 2010-2011 season alone. The organization’s effectiveness has made it the target of a $30 million attack campaign by the Japanese government using taxpayer funds as well as monies siphoned from Japan’s Tsunami Relief Fund, which were donated by citizens from around the world to help Japan’s citizens —many still in need — not to subsidize a failing and destructive whaling industry. The United States along with Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands have stated publicly that they ‘resolutely oppose’ the hunting of whales (including endangered) in a sanctuary, but the U.S. has done little to back-up its rhetoric. The Supreme Court filing will force the issue in the hope of bringing this ongoing battle to a successful conclusion for the whales and for the future of our oceans.

(l. to r.) Attorney Charles Moure at Monday's press announcement in Washington, D.C. of Sea Shepherd's U.S. Supreme Court application filing, with Sea Shepherd's Susan Hartland and Scott West(l. to r.) Attorney Charles Moure at Monday's press announcement in Washington, D.C. of Sea Shepherd's U.S. Supreme Court application filing, with Sea Shepherd's Susan Hartland and Scott West
Photo: Sam Hurd, National Press Club

After the press conference concluded, reporters conducted one-on-one interviews with speakersAfter the press conference concluded, reporters conducted one-on-one interviews with speakers
Photo: Sam Hurd, National Press Club

?

Sea Shepherd
Divina Guadalupe Beaked Whale Research Project
Divina Guadalupe Beaked Whale Research Project
**If you cannot see the captions on this video, just click on CC on the lower right corner of video settings on the video ** #Breaking #SeaShepherd helps scientists learn more about #rare Beaked whales! Did you know that Cuvier's Beaked whales hold the record for the deepest mammalian dive? Watch t...
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.