Fugitive Sea Shepherd founder hands over reins

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  • 10

    Vernie Jefferies

    Even though I don't agree with his tactics, I think it's best the thing for him to step down at the time. Since he is the biggest target, he may do more harm than good for his cause.

  • -5

    wtfjapan

    see plenty of willing connected & well funded people to take his place, SS is more than just Paul Watson, and will still be there when hes gone. BRING ON THE PAIN SS!!!!

  • 2

    gogogo

    Under a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Sea Shepherd must stay at least 500 yards from whaling vessels and is prohibited from physically confronting any vessel engaged by the Japanese

    This is why he stepped down, so they can now without any legal issues get within 500 yards.

  • -3

    DJbooth

    GO SS, great to see them now using "loopholes" in the law, just as J-whalers have done for decades. Can't wait to see the pro-whalers arguments now!

  • 8

    Nessie

    Hiliarious pieta photo

  • -2

    BurakuminDes

    I never really respected the "flamboyant" Bob Brown - essentially a failed politician with a huge ego - however he is probably seen as a safer pair of hands than Watson by the backers of the environmentalists. I wouldn't financialy back the Sea Shepherd, however I do hope they continue keeping those hunted whale numbers right down.

  • 13

    zichi

    The right decision since the centre of attention has been on Watson instead of saving the whales.

  • -3

    AriesKJJ

    Watson the "militant" fugitive, Can't believe Japan Today missed an opportunity to call him a terrorist! ( But then our Canadian media is bound and tied in the governments back pocket too) The funniest part was "Japanese harpoon fleet." That's such a nice way to describe whale killers!

    This could truly be the end of commercial Japanese whaling at least in terms on The Southern Ocean Sanctuary. With SSCS having an increased fleet and capacity and Japan having less, a critical financial blow could definitely be dealt this year.

    I see some good people in Japan have started to make headway in terms of awareness and can't see the public accepting the cost of a new fleet to do something that the rest of world detests so much. Failing that ... we'll have a good old fashioned boycott next year.

    Fin Whales are an endangered species and I cannot say what might happen if even 1 is killed tho.

  • 6

    aisai

    gogogoJan. 08, 2013 - 04:31PM JST Under a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Sea Shepherd must stay at least 500 yards from whaling vessels and is prohibited from physically confronting any vessel engaged by the Japanese This is why he stepped down, so they can now without any legal issues get within 500 yards.

    Sure, the 9th District's ruling may in reality be non-enforceable outside of US jurisdiction, but the ruling specified Sea Shepard and not Paul Watson. The court ruled that "Sea Shepard must stay at least 500 yards from (Japanese) whaling vessels" and that "Sea Shepard is prohibited from physically confronting any vessel engaged by the Japanese." Makes no difference whether Paul Watson is in charge, just along for the ride, or back at home watching TV.

    wtfjapanJan. 08, 2013 - 04:01PM JST see plenty of willing connected & well funded people to take his place, SS is more than just Paul Watson, and will still be there when hes gone. BRING ON THE PAIN SS!!!!

    Yes and I would imagine that many of those well funded and well connected people slowly came to the realization that Mr. Watson had become more of a liability than an asset. His legal troubles (justified or not) seen to have been hurting the anti-whaling movements cause. Removing him from the equation, helps eliminate the bad PR he generated and makes it seem that they are interested working within the law to achieve their goals. Rather than "bringing on the pain" and looking for loopholes, they seem to be looking for a more constructive way to win this struggle. If the Australian Government was to get more involved in this fight, they could not have an alleged eco-terrorist such as Paul Watson leading the charge. The is most likely why he stepped down.

  • -2

    JanesBlonde

    As I have said earlier, the SS is MUCH bigger than Paul Watson.

    The Japanese whaling industry is NOT going to win. The OLD BOYS may last a few more years, but essentially things are going to get MUCh harder for them every year down in the southern oceans.

    That said, the REAL POINT here is ... the current generation of Japanese (and the younger generations) who simply DO NOT BUY WHALE MEAT.

    The fact that the whaling industry has had to resort to the use of GUILTY MARKETING (Making the JP public feel guilty for not supporting them and buying their product.) are the actions of a very desperate group.

    If anything people should feel guilty that not enough had been done up north with regard to rehousing and relocations, NOT keeping these corrupt fat cats in Mercedes and Ginza mansions.

  • -1

    gogogo

    aisai: The ship is registered in The Netherlands I can't see how a US court has any rule over a boat that is registered to another country in international waters.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MY_Steve_Irwin

  • 0

    Thunderbird2

    Sure, the 9th District's ruling may in reality be non-enforceable outside of US jurisdiction, but the ruling specified Sea Shepard and not Paul Watson. The court ruled that "Sea Shepard must stay at least 500 yards from (Japanese) whaling vessels" and that "Sea Shepard is prohibited from physically confronting any vessel engaged by the Japanese." Makes no difference whether Paul Watson is in charge, just along for the ride, or back at home watching TV.

    Sea Shepherd Australia are now taking over, not the US arm.

  • 3

    USNinJapan2

    Good riddance, although I doubt we'll be seeing/hearing any less of the blowhard. Don't know how much good he'll do as ballast for the Steve Irwin though, seeing as he's nothing more than a bag of wind full of hot air.

  • -3

    letsberealistic

    This is a blow to Japanese whaling as it gives back SS some validity and takes the focus away from Watson and back to the mission of saving whales.

    I just hope Japan sees the light and stops this futile and costly "war". I wish they would stop pushing the propaganda of whaling being a Japanese cultural right as the majority of Japanese a prone to believe this.

  • 1

    cramp

    kudos, right move for him, the crew and the cause

  • -2

    anon99

    Agree with his move... given the circumstances it's better for him to get low.

    However, he should still be alert at all times and fight for his life whenever necessary, as there are still enemies out there (whether personal or jurisdictional) who might still want to off him.

  • 1

    aisai

    gogogoJAN. 08, 2013 - 05:43PM JST

    aisai: The ship is registered in The Netherlands I can't see how a US court has any rule over a boat that is registered to another country in international waters. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MYSteveIrwin

    Thunderbird2JAN. 08, 2013 - 05:47PM JST

    Sea Shepherd Australia are now taking over, not the US arm.

    The Sea Shepard Conservation Society is a non-profit organization based in the United States. Their non-profit status is very important to them. My take on things is that the 9th District perfectly understood that any ruling they made would most likely have very little direct impact on any of the activities of the SSCS's ships. However, the ruling can make it difficult for the SSCS to continue to maintain it's non-profit status and continue to raise funds within the US. This ruling was just laying the groundwork for possible future legal action against the SSCS. Sort of like drawing a line in the sand and daring them to cross it. By indirectly applying pressure on the SSCS people operating in the US, the court is hoping that the SSCS HQ will try and restrain the activities of those out on the front lines like Watson.

    Upon first glance it appears that 9th District's ruling along with all of the other legal actions against Mr. Watson have at least given those in the SSCS who might not totally agree with his approach the courage to try and push him to the side for at least the time being. Also, the Australian Govt. appears to be taking more of an active role. There is really no way the could have done this if Watson was still leading the charge.

    Watson still may be deeply involved in the SSCS's activities but somebody somewhere obviously decided that he needed to be less visible in doing so. It could've been him, but my guess is that it was pressure from others within his organization led to this change.

  • 0

    Probie

    This is why he stepped down, so they can now without any legal issues get within 500 yards.

    Nothing to do with it. It is the SS who have to stay away, not just the fat fool.

    He stepped down because he's probably scared of being arrested.

  • 0

    Jeremy Rigby

    Let the International courts decide, because that is where Australia and New Zealand are taking Japan! Oi, Oi. Oi!

  • -1

    praack

    interesting, the cull always seemed to be minor - both parties are pushing idealistic viewpoints. Sea Shepard is humanizing the whales and Japan is dehumanizing them.

    the sailors needed a job

    would be interesting to see what would happen to the industry if people's taste ruled the market- would the amount hunted drop or stop due to no lagging or no market?

    usually free market economics rule- that is what happened really to commercial whaling in other countries - not laws- the real commercial whaling industry died out because we stopped using whale oil, we did not use whale meat etc.

    laws for bans came easy- we did not hunt anyway- so giving way to those SS whacks was easy

  • 0

    caffeinebuzz

    BurakuminDes, Bob Brown never struck me as being "flamboyant", as you stated. Despite political leanings, I hope that the ex-senator can bring a more moderate, intelligent and persuasive outlook to this issue and bring about some positive change.

  • 2

    alliswellinjapan

    There is no way this rat race can remain financially justifiable and sustainable for both ends in this day and age. Continued funding of billions of taxpayers money for the so-called research initiative is certainly not LDPs top priority and thus hope they can put an end to this as part of all other necessities to cut down on wasteful spending.

  • 0

    Newsman

    Although the Japanese are increasingly bypassing whale meat, I'm not certain that economic logic is going to drive whaling ships out of business. Japan's agricultural and food policy has always been driven by the notion of self-sufficiency. Why else would rice farmers be kept going with outrageous price supports? Why else would the government promote overpriced fruits and vegetables instead of bowing to basic economics and importing what the country needs? The same goes for whaling; in a country with very little grazing land available, it has been a cornerstone of Japanese economic policy for some time now to maintain a whaling fleet in order to guarantee a steady protein supply. (Many of the elderly powerbrokers in Japan can remember their childhoods when whale formed the bulk of their protein intake.) I fear that, with the return of Abe, the whaling industry in Japan will be receive more financial support if anything. Whaling is at the nexus of nationalism, sentimentality, and perceived critical needs; it is exactly the sort of industry that Abe and his cronies would be likely to prop up, economic reality and international relations be damned.

  • 2

    eatthis

    This has been said here. That the ruling only applies to the us base part of the ss but if the ships of the ss violate the ruling the the government of the us can name the ss a terrorist group and arrest any of its members that are here take there assets and arrest anyone donating to the ss and Paul's stepping down dose nothing. And for this to come out of the 9th circuit is not to be taken lightly

  • 4

    Wolfpack

    Watson should do the right thing and turn himself in. Skipping bail isn't cool.

  • -6

    nedinjapan

    The only strategy that the Japanese are using is intimidation and they abuse the law to do that. Yakuza way of thinking is all over this culture and these liars cite "research" to keep killing whales and abuse all the legal tools to stop the global protest against their savage ways. Shame on you, Japan!

  • 3

    Tizalleyman

    For all those folks who still want to think Watson is a stand up guy...

    http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/01/08/whale-wars-star-sued-for-5-million-by-ady-gil-ship-owner-report-says/

  • -5

    Outta here

    Probie,

    Nothing to do with it. It is the SS who have to stay away, not just the fat fool. He stepped down because he's probably scared of being arrested.

    Lets see. The SS ships are foreign registered not US registered. As stated in the article SS Australia is running this campaign not SS US so any actions by an Australian run operation using foreign registered vessels puts this beyond the jurisdiction of the US courts. As US law does not impact Australians or what they do.

  • 4

    USNinJapan2

    Outta here

    Watson personally is wanted by Interpol, whet ever he does, wherever he goes. Nothing to do with US law and the limits of its jurisdiction or the registries of the SS vessels.

  • 0

    aisai

    Outta hereJan. 09, 2013 - 10:45AM JST

    Lets see. The SS ships are foreign registered not US registered. As stated in the article SS Australia is running this campaign not SS US so any actions by an Australian run operation using foreign registered vessels puts this beyond the jurisdiction of the US courts. As US law does not impact Australians or what they do.

    That is true but it might impact SS Australia ability to conduct business in places where US law is in effect. Once again, I'm pretty sure that the 9th District realized that their ruling would most likely have little direct impact. They were just trying apply pressure indirectly via the SSCS which has it's headquarters in the US. Even if Australia SS is running the campaign, money to help support that campaign might becoming from the SSCS HQ. SSCS has non-profit status in the US so this could possibly be taken away which would seriously hurt the SSCS's ability to raise funds in the United States.

  • -4

    gogogo

    Can the US courts please rule that the Japanese ships stay 500 yards away from whales!

  • -2

    aisai

    gogogoJan. 09, 2013 - 11:52AM JST Can the US courts please rule that the Japanese ships stay 500 yards away from whales!

    You should find a lawyer or lawyers willing to represent the whales and petition a US court on their behalf!

    Probably wouldn't be the first time something like that has happened. If the SSCS hasn't already tried that, then maybe they should.

  • 0

    megosaa

    as long as there are american troops stationed in okinawa, the japanese are not getting deprived of their whale meat! what's next? "save the chickens?"

  • -3

    Outta here

    USNinJapan2

    Outta here Watson personally is wanted by Interpol, whet ever he does, wherever he goes. Nothing to do with US law and the limits of its jurisdiction or the registries of the SS vessels.

    Sorry but where in my comment did l mention Watson. I was responding to another posters comment where he says SS has to stay away from the Japanese whalers. Or did you miss that bit?

  • -1

    marcelito

    On ya Bob...good luck. Bob Brown is not a bad guy and should bring more level headed, pragmatic, media savvy approach to the SS campaign.

  • 0

    OssanAmerica

    Seems some people don't know that both Seas Shepherd Conservation Society AND Paul Watson, in personam. accepted the jurisdiction of the Court last year when the action was first filed and they answered. Both of them are subject to the US Court Order and violation of same can result in Contempt Charges, ie; Arrest Warrant. This will affect all SSCS operations in the U.S. as well as individual SSCS mermbers if they enter U.S. jurisdiction. The idea that SSCS "shifting" it's operations to Australia, which is clear evidence that they anticipate that their U.S. operations' days are numbered, will not absolve SSCS from any obligation to comply with the U.S. Court Order.

  • 0

    Tamarama

    Bob Brown is a very good politician who has helped make the Green Party in Australia a considerable polititcal force in that country. He is a savvy, articulate, well respected man and is a coup for the SS in my opinion. Smart move by the SS.

  • -4

    Outta here

    Tamarama,

    Yeah if bobby boy can screw the whalers like he screwed the Australian public over then the whalers are buggered.

  • 0

    arrestpaul

    The Steve Irwin will be captained by Indian sailor Siddharth Chakravarty, formerly the ship’s first officer, with Watson to “remain aboard to document the campaign.”

    There doesn't appear to be any direct evidence that Watson is actually on the SS scow Steve Irwin or any of the other eco-terrorist scows. Watson's claim that he isn't running the show anymore isn't believeable, either.

  • -1

    JanesBlonde

    Everytime this topic comes on line there is a huge influx of Pro-whaling industry trolls hitting these boards.

    They some how think, by clicking bad on peoples comments that they are affecting how the whaling industry is perceived.

    The whole world knows that the "scientific research" that is supposedly gained by the continued slaughter of whales equates to NOTHING OF VALUE.

    Its a shame that the Whaling Industry's continued lying reflects badly on the whole of Japan. Not that these stubborn greedy old men really care that they continue embarrass Japan every year in the eyes of the international community.

    • Moderator

      Pro-whaling readers are just as entitled to post their opinions as anti-whalers. Remember, neither side has the moral high ground in this debate.

  • 3

    USNinJapan2

    JanesBlonde

    I am not pro-whaling by any means, but I am vehemently anti Sea Shepherd because I reject their illegal vigilante methods which completely disregard maritime law and the right of the whaling vessels to safe and unmolested navigation. I also cannot condone their dangerous MO which values animal life over human life. Just because someone is critical of Sea Shepherd it doesn't mean that they can't be anti-whaling. The two aren't mutually exclusive.

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