SEA SHEPHERD DOCUMENTED CARIBBEAN WHALERS IN THE ACT
JULY 19, 2001, CASTRIES, ST. LUCIA -- After repeated denials from St. Lucian authorities that whales are being killed here, Sea Shepherd documented proof to the contrary.
At 1700 Hours on July 19, one of numerous suspected whale killing boats that Sea Shepherd had under surveillance returned to Castries harbor. Two Sea Shepherd inflatables moved to intercept and documented the bleeding body of a juvenile pilot whale on the deck. The whale measured less than six feet and clearly showed gunshot wounds on the body. The agitated whale killer threatened the Sea Shepherd crew with a knife.
The dead whale was transported into the harbor alongside the Norwegian cruise ship Monarch of the Sea, and many tourists had a full view of the mutilated body of the young whale as its blood trailed into the water.
The killing of the whale was unreported, demonstrating that the fishermen slaughtering pilot whales operate without regulations.
"Now we know why the St. Lucian authorities can deny whaling," said Captain Paul Watson. "They have chosen to ignore the issue and are willfully ignorant of the slaughter. The whale was cut up within view of the government office buildings in Castries."
St. Lucia votes with Japan against all whale conservation measures brought before the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
Sea Shepherd has seen the evidence in St. Lucia of Japanese influence. Japan built a fishery complex, supplied millions of dollars worth of development grants, and supplied fiberglass boats to the fishermen in return for St. Lucia's vote at the IWC.
Many representatives of St. Lucia's strongest industry - tourism - worry about the image this Caribbean island nation is presenting to the rest of the world.
"The Eastern Caribbean is the key to protecting the whales worldwide. It was the Caribbean nations siding with Japan that defeated the Southern Pacific Whale Sanctuary in 2000, and year after year they attempt to help Japan in its attempt to overturn the worldwide moratorium on whaling," said Captain Watson.