Thursday, November 22, 2007
Open Appeal to Greenpeace for Cooperation to Save Whales
Once again the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is requesting that the Greenpeace Foundation and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society cooperate towards the goal of ending illegal Japanese whaling operations in the Southern Oceans.
"This is a serious situation and the lives of over a 1000 whales including endangered humpbacks and fins are at stake," said Captain Paul Watson. "It is time to set any differences aside and focus on a common goal and that goal must be the shutting down of the Japanese whaling fleet."
Most of the original founding members of the Greenpeace Foundation support Sea Shepherd and many of them including Robert Hunter, Lyle Thurston, Rod Marining, Al Johnson and many others have sailed on Sea Shepherd missions.
The Sea Shepherd ship Robert Hunter is named in honour of the late Bob Hunter, a co-founder along with Paul Watson of Greenpeace and the first President of the Greenpeace Foundation in 1972. Captain Paul Watson's lifetime Greenpeace membership number is 007 and he sailed on the very first Greenpeace mission in 1971 to oppose nuclear testing at Amchitka Island in Alaska. Captain Watson also served as 1st Officer on the first Greenpeace whale campaigns in 1975 and 1976 and was the campaign leader for the first Greenpeace campaigns to protect seals in 1976 and 1977.
Captain Watson resigned from Greenpeace in June 1977 because of disagreements with then Greenpeace President Patrick Moore. Moore today is now a lobbyist for the logging, mining, salmon farming, bio-genetic engineering industry and the nuclear industry.
The Greenpeace Foundation which was co-founded by Captain Paul Watson has expressed disapproval of Sea Shepherd tactics despite the fact that in 30 years of operations not a single person has been injured because of a Sea Shepherd campaign and not one Sea Shepherd crewmember has ever been convicted of a felony crime.
Despite this the present leadership refuses to communicate with Sea Shepherd or to cooperate with Sea Shepherd vessels and crew. Last year the Sea Shepherd crew immediately contacted Greenpeace with the coordinates for the Japanese whaling fleet and this year Sea Shepherd will do the same with or without Greenpeace cooperation.
"We want to see their ship down there," said Captain Watson. "In fact we would love to see as many ships and whale defenders down there as possible. We would like to see the Australian and New Zealand navy down there. The whales need all the support that we can collectively provide regardless of the petty differences in tactics and strategies between organizations."
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is not expecting a positive response from Greenpeace. "However," said Captain Watson, "Our offer of cooperation is sincere and we have demonstrated that sincerity by providing fleet coordinates to Greenpeace earlier this year. We are not opposed to Greenpeace. Our concern is for defending the whales. Perhaps one day Greenpeace will acknowledge that in cooperation and diversity there is strength."