|Monday, February 15, 2010|
Sea Shepherd is Concerned that Captain Bethune Has Been Injured by Japanese Whalers
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is concerned that Peter Bethune may have been hurt after he entered the wheelhouse of the Japanese whaling fleet security vessel Shonan Maru #2.
Glen Inwood, the spokesperson in New Zealand for the Institute of Cetacean Research has reported that Captain Bethune cut his hand while boarding the Shonan Maru #2 and was receiving medical treatment from the ship’s doctor.
“This is very strange,” reported Captain Paul Watson on the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin. “We spoke with Pete after he boarded and we were in contact with him for an hour and a half after he boarded until he entered the wheelhouse of the Shonan Maru #2. He reported that he had not received any injuries during the boarding. We are now quite concerned as to how this injury reported by Glen Inwood was received because we know for a fact it was not received during the boarding of the whaling vessel.”
The Sea Shepherd Conservation is not surprised that New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has taken Japan’s side over the interests of one of his own citizens.
“Obviously trade relations between Japan and New Zealand take priority over the rights of a New Zealand citizen.” Said Captain Paul Watson. “New Zealand has done nothing in response to the deliberate sinking of a New Zealand registered vessel. Captain Bethune had no other option than to press for his rights as a citizen knowing that his government could not be counted on to represent his interests.”
Prime Minister John Key made a statement while condemning the Sea Shepherd action. He said. "I believe there is a way through this over time. That will require some goodwill on both sides and I just don't know if that's possible but that's got to be the long term solution."
Keys says he is worried the incident will mar otherwise good diplomatic and trade relations with Japan.
Captain Watson responded to Key's statement by saying, “The whales don’t have the luxury of time and when has time been a factor in the enforcement of the law. These whalers are poachers and you don’t deal with criminals with long-term solutions. This is like telling bank robbers that we will negotiate with them until they agree to stop robbing banks. Key’s needs to stop whoring his country out to the Japanese and he needs to understand that a Japanese poacher deliberately rammed and destroyed a New Zealand vessel and now is holding a New Zealand citizen hostage onboard a Japanese whale poaching ship.”