Paul Watson Steps Down From Sea Shepherd

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Paul Watson is once again going the distance in an effort to prevent more whales from dying at the hands of the Japanese whaling fleet.

The 62-year-old founder and president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society announced his resignation yesterday as President of the U.S. and Australia chapters; adding that he will “hold no paid position with Sea Shepherd anywhere Sea Shepherd is registered and operates as a non-profit organization in any nation.”

“I have also stepped down as campaign leader for Operation Zero Tolerance,” he added. “Former Greens Party leader and former Australian Senator, Bob Brown of Tasmania will now hold this position.”

Sea Shepherd’s Australian manager, Jeff Hansen, will also help guide the campaign.

Watson’s decision comes on the heels of a US appeals court decision to temporary block the SSCS from attacking the whalers or coming within 450 metres of their ships in the Antarctic.

As a United States citizen, I will respect and comply with the ruling of the United States 9th District Court and will not violate the temporary injunction granted to the Institute for Cetacean Research,” he says in a statement. “I will participate as an observer within the boundaries established by the 9th Circuit Court of the United States.”

It’s a shrewd move – and one that was likely calculated by the group and its clever lawyers  in the event of the injunction happening. With Watson removing himself and the US chapter (Sea Shepherd Conservation Society) named specifically in the ruling, the organization’s other international chapters are free to continue business as usual. The US does not have jurisdiction over charities based elsewhere.

As for Watson’s reduced role, Bob Brown insists it will stay that way.

“He’s behind the scenes, but he’s not in charge of the operation,” Brown told Stuff.co.nz. “I’ll be every day working, as will Jeff, working with the Sea Shepherd fleet under the authority of Sea Shepherd Australia, to make sure this mission is successful.”

The Japanese whaling fleet has a quota to kill up to 935 minke whales, 50 fin whales and 50 humpbacks. They will go up against a newly-strengthened Sea Shepherd fleet of four ships and more than 100 international crew representing 23 nations.

News Link:-http://www.ecorazzi.com/2013/01/08/paul-watson-steps-down-from-sea-shepherd/

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The dolphin snatchers: Mail investigation exposes vile trade where animals are sold for up to £100,000 each to aquariums where they suffer unimaginable cruelty

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For the men wearing wetsuits wading in a shallow bay teeming with trapped wild dolphins, the decision is as simple as it is ruthless. Running their hands carefully over each dolphin’s body, they check to ensure the creature is free from scars, particularly on the dorsal and tail fins.

At first glance this human interaction with one of the few creatures said to possess an intellect close to our own appears an act of caring tenderness. But in reality, these are businessmen selecting their merchandise for a multi-million-pound trade in live dolphins. The best specimens (usually young females, or cows) are removed from their families to be sold live for between £50,000 and £100,000 each to aquariums.

The dolphins they reject — the ones with minor blemishes on their skin — are slaughtered where they are trapped in that cove at Taiji on the south coast of Japan.

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT – Discretion advised when scrolling down!

The cruel sea: A dolphin selected for sale last month in Japan. Others that are 'not suitable' are killed

The cruel sea: A dolphin selected for sale last month in Japan. Others that are ‘not suitable’ are killed

In a frenzy of violence that has shocked animal lovers and marine environmentalists around the world, some are speared repeatedly by fisherman circling in motorboats whose propellers often slice the dolphins’ skin. Others are simply held underwater to drown.

Sometimes, a metal pole is rammed into their blubber in the hope of shattering the mammal’s spine. A cork stopper is then hammered into the hole where the rod was forced in, to try to reduce the blood spilt into the sea — to conceal the extent of the slaughter.

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The rejects are slaughtered for their meat. Some are speared repeatedly by fisherman circling in motorboats whose propellers often slice the dolphins’ skin

Invariably a few dolphins try to make a break for freedom and attempt to jump over the netting that seals off the bay.

However, amid the blood-red waters almost all of them eventually succumb to their fate. These barbaric scenes took place just before Christmas, during a hunting season when Japanese fishermen ‘harvest’ dolphins to supply to aquariums for human entertainment.

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Killer cove: The dolphins they reject – the ones with minor blemishes on their skin – are trapped in a cove at Taiji on the south coast of Japan

It is estimated that for every wild dolphin caught to be trained to perform tricks in captivity, around four times that number are slaughtered.

The fishermen then sell off the meat for about £10 a kilo. They see the creatures as a menace because they pose a threat to the dwindling reserves of fish in the Pacific Ocean.

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Blood red: Japanese fishermen collect the bodies of harpooned dolphins from the bloody waters of a bay in Taiji

But for those that survive the slaughter, life might as well be over.The stress a dolphin suffers as a result of being captured, transported and imprisoned in a small tank dramatically reduces its lifespan

While wild dolphins live for up to 60 or 70 years, captured ones often perish when they are as young as eight, say environmentalists.

According to marine experts, some dolphins are so distressed by their capture that they commit suicide.

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The odds: For every wild dolphin caught to be trained to perform tricks in captivity, around four times that number are slaughtered

One of the most vocal campaigners against the practice is also one of the most knowledgeable — he is the very man who helped create and promote the worldwide aquarium industry.

Ric O’Barry became famous in the Sixties as the on-screen trainer of the five dolphins that played Flipper in the popular U.S. TV series, which was also hugely successful in Britain.

For ten years he worked at Miami Seaquarium, where he trained the wild mammals after capturing them on hunting expeditions in the Pacific.

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Rounding them up: Fishermen drive bottle-nose dolphins into a net during their annual hunt off Taiji. The ‘drive hunt’ involved five or six large fishing vessels sailing out to sea to find a pod of dolphins

But when Kathy, the main dolphin that played Flipper, died in his arms after apparently losing the will to live, he says it dawned on him how cruel captivity is for such intelligent and social creatures.

For the past 40 years he has travelled the world highlighting the plight of dolphins in amusement parks, and even releasing them from those parks into the wild, often getting arrested in the process.

Three years ago, he made a documentary called The Cove, which revealed the truth about the ‘drive hunts’ that take place at Taiji in Japan. Yet since then, the practice has continued unabated — as these photographs demonstrate only too graphically.

O’Barry, 73, says live dolphins taken from the waters in Japan are shipped to aquariums and ‘swim-with-dolphin’ centres mostly in the Far East. Speaking from his home in Miami, O’Barry says: ‘Taiji is the number one location to get dolphins for the dolphinarium industry — or what I called “abusement parks”.’

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Some dolphins are so distressed by their capture that they commit suicide. the stress that they suffer as a result of being captured dramatically shortens their lifespan

Although there are no international laws banning the shipment of live dolphins to those countries prepared to accept them, O’Barry claims the dolphins undergo terrible suffering.

‘After enduring a painfully long period of transportation, they are put into often filthy and confined conditions at aquariums. ‘These are free-ranging creatures with a large brain whose primary sense is sound.

‘Some have been placed in aquariums at casinos where the noise is appalling. These environments are hell-holes to creatures used to the open seas and which often swim up to 100 miles in a day in search of food. ‘They are taken away from the two most important aspects of their life — the world of oceanic sound and their families. ‘They end up suffering depression. I believe they are also capable of trying to commit suicide.’

Two years ago at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in south-western Japan, hundreds of tourists at a marine show looked on in astonishment as a large dolphin rose up out of the water tank to balance precariously on the glass barrier of the aquarium. It then threw itself out of the water on to the ground.

Touchingly, the other dolphins in the tank swam to the glass wall to look at the plight of their companion, called Kuru (meaning ‘black’). The dolphin was eventually put into a huge tarpaulin sling and winched by a crane back into the water.

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The hunt is on: Taiji’s fishermen are licensed by the national government to catch 2,100 dolphins and pilot whales in the six-month hunting season

The incident was filmed by an appalled American tourist, who passed the footage on to O’Barry. While many thought the mammal was trying to make a break for freedom, O’Barry believes it was more likely it wanted to commit suicide.

‘It was depressed and wanted to end it,’ O’Barry says, adding that it had been in captivity for six years after being taken from the wild. ‘I have seen it many, many times. They are living in a world of sensory deprivation, then bombarded with a wall of noise from the crowd.’

After the clip was made public the aquarium managers immediately issued a statement saying the dolphin was ‘playing around’ and suffered minor scratches and bruises on its head and fin. It was, they insisted, fine and enjoyed a healthy serving of mackerel and squid once returned to the tank.

They did admit, however, that dolphins occasionally jump out of the water on to dry land, so they have now placed crash mats around the perimeter of the three tanks in their amusement park to avoid serious injury.

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A hidden practice: Due to worldwide concern, the fishermen now try to hide the slaughter. The kills take place out of sight underneath blue tarpaulins

The trade in wild dolphins to U.S. aquariums has ceased due to public outrage, and the high-profile campaigns of activists like O’Barry.

There are no captive dolphins in Britain either as a result of a public backlash against the shows. Only a few are on show in Europe, and these animals were born in captivity — although O’Barry fears even this poses a threat to the mammals’ welfare because there is now a problem with inbreeding. O’Barry exhorts the public never to attend dolphin aquariums.

‘The solution lies with the consumer,’ he says. ‘Don’t buy a ticket for a captive dolphin show. ‘This is a multi-million-dollar industry I helped create. I remember loading them onto the planes after the Flipper show became so popular. At one point there were more dolphins in the UK than in Florida.

‘But the consumer now has to bring his power to bear on this trade, which also results in the slaughter of all those other dolphins. There is more money in live dolphins than dead ones, but the one fuels the other.’

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A fisheries worker guides the carcass of dolphins at ‘killer cove’ in Taiji, Japan. The fishermen claim that any kills that take place are humane and that it takes only seconds for the dolphins to die

In Taiji, Nicole McLachlan, of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, is part of a team monitoring the capture and killing of dolphins that takes place from September to March each year in the small port where whales have been hunted since the 17th century. Last month alone, she claims up to 170 cetaceans were killed, including pilot whales, risso, striped and bottlenose dolphins. More than 100 were captured for aquariums.

Such is worldwide concern over the slaughter that the fishermen try to hide it. ‘Nowadays the kills take place out of sight underneath blue and brown tarpaulins that cover the bay,’ the Australian marine environmentalist says.

The carnage lasts about half an hour. It is harrowing. ‘They are terrified. You hear the dolphins screaming; it’s a high-pitched wailing sound. ‘There is splashing as they thrash around in the water. Young dolphin calves are often among those slaughtered within the cove; some are younger than a year old.’

Yet locals are adamant it should continue. Police monitor the activists while many of the town’s 3,500 residents — most of whom are linked to the fishing industry — arrive to support the fishermen in this Japanese tradition.

The ‘drive hunt’ (‘oikomiryou’ in Japanese) involves five or six large fishing vessels sailing out to sea to find a pod of dolphins. The fishermen bang metal poles against the side of the boat to disorientate and scare them.

More boats arrive, making the same noise, to corral the confused and by now terrified pod into the cove, which is then sealed off. The next day the inspectors arrive to examine their quarry and separate the dolphins for the aquariums from those to be killed.

According to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, between 1968 and 1972, only 77 live-caught bottlenose dolphins were sent to aquariums from such hunts. But now Taiji’s 120 fishermen are licensed by the national government to catch 2,100 dolphins and pilot whales in the six-month hunting season.

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A fisherman tows away dolphins that have been tied by rope to the front of his boat. In 2011, about 15 per cent of dolphins were taken into captivity (68 were kept alive and 968 killed)

The fishermen claim any kills that take place, particularly those where the rod shatters the spine, are humane and that it takes only seconds for the dolphins to die. It is a claim vehemently refuted by marine environmentalists.

A spokesman for the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society said: ‘In 2011, about 15 per cent of the dolphins were taken for captivity (68 were kept alive and 968 killed). ‘The year before that (2010-2011), nearly 20 per cent were taken into captivity (213 were sold for aquariums and 1,100 were killed)  This year, however, may be even higher due to the 100 bottlenose dolphins already taken into captivity.’

In the summer months, long after the blood has been washed away from Taiji cove, tourists arrive to swim in the bay — with dolphins. The town has a whale museum and fish tanks in which dolphins are kept — in 2011, two dolphins were filmed in a tank so small it was nicknamed ‘the fish-bowl’.

Captured dolphins also swim in the bay, which is sealed off to ensure they cannot bolt to freedom.

And as tourists marvel at the antics of these sensitive creatures and play with them, almost every one remains blissfully unaware of Taiji’s bloody secret — and of how young healthy dolphins are snatched away from their parents to amuse humans in this callous multi-million-pound trade.

News Link:– http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2257426/The-dolphin-snatchers-Mail-investigation-exposes-vile-trade-animals-sold-100-000-aquariums-suffer-unimaginable-cruelty.html#ixzz2H3wYDyHM

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Paul Watson out of prison Sea Shepherd – Press Conference JV

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Please sign the petition below to drop charges against Captain Paul Watson. He deserves a medal for all the whales, sharks & dolphins that he & the crew of the Sea shepherd fleet have saved over the years.

 

Published on 21 May 2012 by 

Complete press conference Paul Watson Sea Shepherd in front of the prison JVA Preungesheim on May 21, 2012.

PETITION: Tell Costa Rica to drop all charges against Captain Paul Watson “Our Sea Shepherd

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Dolphin meat likely to be on menu at planned Taiji whale zoo

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Rumors continue to swirl around proposed plans for a whale and dolphin zoo in Taiji, Japan.  An April 30 article in The Japan Times described the plan to “turn part of a local bay into a huge pool where people can swim and kayak along with small whales and dolphins.”  Black whales and bottlenose dolphins are named as among the cetacean species to be held captive in the netted 70-acre facility.

Proposed whale zoo in Taiji to feature kayaking and swimming with captive cetaceans Photo credit: Los Angeles Times

Perhaps far more chilling is the notion of whale research being conducted as part of the overall plan. “The town hopes to make the area a center for whale research by inviting research institutions from outside as well.”  Japan’s whale research agency, The Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR), is most widely know for its illegal whaling activities in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary as seen on the Animal Planet television show “Whale Wars.”

According to reports from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, ICR killed 267 whales between December 2011 and March 2012.

The Japanese town of Taiji isn’t exactly well known for its humanitarian efforts either.  The 2010 Academy-award winning documentary The Cove, starring Ric O’Barry, exposed the bloody dolphin drive hunts that take place annually in the waters of the small fishing village from September to March.

For the past two seasons, volunteers from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Save Japan Dolphins have been in the ground in Taiji to document and raise awareness about the slaughter. Reports from the 2011-12 hunt are that 818 dolphins were driven into the cove.  Of those, 719 were killed and 51 were retained for use in the captive entertainment industryincluding marine parks and “swim-with” dolphin programs.

In an article published earlier today by Fox News, a Taiji town official, who declined to be named, told an AFP reporter that the dolphin hunt will continue and that “local residents see no contradiction in both watching and eating dolphins.”

The social media campaign Save Misty the Dolphin is urging concerned citizens worldwide to call their Japanese Embassies to express their viewpoints about the planned park.

News Link:-http://www.examiner.com/article/dolphin-likely-to-be-on-the-menu-at-planned-taiji-whale-zoo

Sea Shepherd leader fears for his life

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Conservation group leader Paul Watson says he was surprised by his detention in Germany, and has pointed to “powerful enemies” of Sea Shepherd’s campaigns.

Paul Watson, Canadian founder and president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, in a file photo. Photo: AFP

In responses to Fairfax Media’s questions relayed to him in a Frankfurt Airport holding cell overnight, Mr Watson expressed fears for his life in Costa Rica if extradition was granted by Germany.

But he said that, whatever the outcome of the case, Sea Shepherd’s anti-whaling campaign in the Southern Ocean would not be deterred.

“In our efforts to defend the whales, we have made some powerful enemies, most notably the government of Japan,” Mr Watson said.

Costa Rica has revived a 10-year-old case in which Mr Watson’s then ship Farley Mowat was involved in a collision with a shark-fishing boat. The central American country has alleged navigation offences.

“I am surprised that Germany would consider extradition for an alleged offence against an illegal fishing vessel that did not cause injury, nor did it damage property,” Mr Watson said.

Sea Shepherd said a long-lapsed warrant for Mr Watson’s arrest was taken up again in Costa Rica last October, just as Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research initiated a civil case aimed at stopping the group.

“It is no coincidence that the extradition request by Costa Rica was issued the same month as the Japanese lawsuit against Sea Shepherd was initiated,” Mr Watson said.

The group’s spokesman, Peter Hammarstedt, said Mr Watson was doing well under the circumstances when they met overnight Australian time in Frankfurt.

He said that a General Public Prosecutor to the German Higher Regional Court had formally requested a preliminary extradition arrest warrant against Mr Watson on the basis of the local arrest warrant and request for extradition from Costa Rica.

“In a highly unusual move, the Public Prosecutor stated that the German Ministry of Justice and the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs have the power to stop the extradition procedures on political grounds,” Mr Hammarstedt said.

Sea Shepherd is still waiting to hear a decision from the closed court hearing, he said.

If the extradition request is granted, Costa Rica will have 90 days to file full papers to Germany to complete the request.

German Sea Shepherd supporters protest in front of the provincial court in Frankfurt Main, western Germany. Photo: AFP

If it is not, Mr Watson would be freed.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/environment/whale-watch/sea-shepherd-leader-fears-for-his-life-20120517-1ys4h.html#ixzz1vPPdQQ1P

Sea Shepherd crew | Life aboard the Bob Barker

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“A video taken in 2011, I’m posting in support of  Conservation group leader Paul Watson

With bunk beds in cramped rooms, stickers with slogans such as “Woodchipping Sucks” plastering the walls and the smell of samosas filling the air, this could easily be a backpacker’s hostel.

But life aboard the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society‘s anti-whaling ship Bob Barker is no holiday.

The Bob Barker, named after an American game show host who donated money to buy the ship, is docked in Sydney’s White Bay and will soon make the voyage into the freezing waters of the Southern Ocean for a three-month campaign.

Over summer, the crew of 35 conservationist volunteers will stalk the Japanese whaling ships and brave nature’s whims to put themselves between the hunters and their prey.

The crew will work exhausting days and nights in an ocean known for its dangerous winds and huge waves.

“I think this season down in the Southern Ocean is going to be the most intense year to date,” the ship’s manager, Andrea Gordon, said.

“Sea Shepherd has been getting stronger and more successful every year and last year we saved over 850 whales and we intend to shut them down completely this year.”

We talked to the crew – who were busy doing maintenance and stocking medical and food supplies – about a day in the life of the Bob Barker’s crew at sea.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/environment/whale-watch/it-takes-a-pirate-to-catch-a-pirate-20111102-1mviq.html#ixzz1vPNKK3PQ

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Support The Fight Against Whale and Dolphin Slaughter

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“Please support the Sea shepherd; we do not need to slaughter these beautiful marine mammals to survive in this century. It  is barbaric, senseless & so very cruel; as your about to see”

Sea Shepherd is an international nonprofit on the frontlines in the battle to save ocean wildlife worldwide. Be part of our life-saving efforts now!

The slaughter of 20,000 dolphins, porpoises, and small whales occurs in Japan each year – stand with the Cove Guardians to stop this!

It Takes One Voice to Make a Difference

Cove Guardian Melissa Seghal leads the way in Amazon whale meat petition – click to sign

Petition against selling dolphin and whale meat

Visit the Cove Guardians site to learn more

Support:- http://www.seashepherd.org/

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