INSIGHTS: Sea Shepherd's Non-Toxic, Organic, Non-Violent Response to Whale Killers
By Captain Paul Watson, Founder Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

ABOARD THE M/Y STEVE IRWIN, Southern Ocean, March 4, 2008 (ENS) - In Africa, Somali poachers are shot on sight for poaching elephants and the world approves. In India, Indian poachers are shot for poaching tigers. Yet when the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society crew tosses rotten butter onto the deck of a wealthy high-tech Japanese whale poaching vessel in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, there is a gasp of horror from those who fear to offend the great economic bully from Asia.

The crew of the Steve Irwin did not injure anyone. The entire confrontation was documented by both ships and there has been no video shown by either side documenting violent actions against the very violent whalers.

Sea Shepherd even offered to send its medical doctor onboard the Nisshin Maru to treat the alleged injuries and to confirm the claim that there were any injuries at all. The Nisshin Maru denied the request.

Crew of the Sea Shepherd vessel Steve Irwin toss containers of butyric acid onto the Japanese whaler Nisshin Maru. March 3, 2008. (Photo courtesy Institute for Cetacean Research)

The reaction in some media outlets leads one to think the Japanese whalers are the innocent victims of a horrific act of violence. Yet these same whalers are violating international conservation law and an Australian Federal Court order by illegally slaughtering endangered whales in an established whale sanctuary.

The Sea Shepherd crew did not shoot any of these poachers like the rangers in Africa would when they encounter elephant killers in the bush. They tossed rotten butter and fake banana peels onto their deck to discourage their illegal operations [on March 3].

The material tossed onto the deck of the Nisshin Maru was both organic and non-toxic. The Japanese whalers are spinning the story describing butter acid as caustic and harmful when it is completely harmless. Not all acids are harmful and some just smell bad. It is a fact that butter becomes Butyric acid when it goes bad. That does not make it toxic, just obnoxiously smelly.

Sea Shepherd's objective in tossing a foul smelling substance onto the deck of the largest floating slaughterhouse in the world is simple - to discourage the grisly work of mutilating the bodies of some of the largest and gentlest creatures on Earth.

There is no industry on earth as horrifically violent as whaling. Whales die in prolonged unimaginable agony as blunt tipped harpoons smash into their backsides and shred internal organs. They may take up to 40 minutes to die as they drown in a mixture of salt water and their own blood. They thrash and roll on the surface of the sea and scream piteously as they look up to see arrogant men gloating over their suffering.

Yet, some people get upset because these same people now have smelly decks and can't continue their foul sadistic work.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's clients are the whales and the crew defend them by intervening to enforce international conservation law in accordance to the principles established by the United Nations World Charter for Nature.

Southern ocean humpbacks play near the Sea Shepherd vessel Steve Irwin. (Photo courtesy SSCS)

Sea Shepherd has not committed any crime. Despite the fabrications of Japanese public relations spin doctors, Sea Shepherd has not injured anyone. In fact in over 30 years of high seas interventions the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has never caused an injury nor been convicted of a felony. Yet in that time whalers, sealers, shark finners, turtle poachers and illegal fishermen have assaulted, beaten, bloodied, rammed, shot at and threatened Sea Shepherd crew members' lives.

Sea Shepherd has had a very successful campaign this year in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Hundreds of whales have been saved.

The Steve Irwin has chased this Japanese killing fleet for thousands of miles and they will not fill their death quota and they are not very happy about it.

The crew of the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin are satisfied that they have behaved responsibly, that they have not injured anyone, and that they did not damage any property. They are satisfied that they have saved lives, hundreds of lives of the most social complex, gentle and intelligent creatures in the sea.

Sea Shepherd did their planetary duty and upheld the law and all of the crew on this gallant ship are both proud and satisfied at what has been accomplished.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2008. All rights reserved.