Flim Flannery Environmentalism

Commentary by Captain Paul Watson
Founder and President of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Tim Flannery who was designated with the honour of Australian of the Year has just demonstrated how out of touch he is with the passionate concerns of the Australian people. Flannery who calls himself an environmentalist does not have a problem with illegal Japanese whaling. He claims it is a sustainable hunt and states that groups like Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace should address issues like over-fishing and exploitation of plankton.

So rather than keep his opinions to himself, Flannery has to issue a media statement supporting Japanese whaling as sustainable. Flannery said that killing minke whales would not necessarily affect the long term viability of the species. He completely ignored the fact that the Japanese are also illegally targeting highly endangered fin whales.

What is the motivation for Flannery's pro-whaling stance? Perhaps he is trying to set up a lecture tour in Japan so he can get paid to tell the Japanese what they want to hear. Other so called environmentalists like Patrick Moore, Adam Warbuck and Bjorn Lomborg have become quite wealthy on the corporate lecture circuit as apologists for killers and earth rapers. Maybe he wants in on some of that action. Or maybe he was frightened by a whale as a child and suffers from some sort of whalephobia. Who knows? It is however curious that he sees cause to make any statement at all in support of Japanese whaling.

The fact is that there is no such thing as sustainable whaling, in fact it is hard to find examples of sustainable fishing. There are simply too many people in the world consuming too much of the available resources and impacting overall carrying capacity. The term sustainable has become very popular in recent years by any corporation, government or individual wishing to justify resource exploitation. The word sustainable has become code for business as usual.

But what Mr. Flannery forgets is that he is condoning criminal activity. The Japanese whalers are targeting endangered whales in a whale sanctuary in violation of a global moratorium on commercial whaling. By his reasoning, the poaching of elephants could be supported as long as the poachers claim sustainability.

Which brings us back to why is he doing this? I would be very interested in what has motivated Mr. Flannery to volunteer himself as Australia 's defender of illegal Japanese whaling?

Mr. Flannery then sees cause to criticize Sea Shepherd and other groups for not addressing "more important" issues affecting the oceans. Which of course means that Mr. Flannery has not done his homework before shooting from the lip.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is protecting sharks worldwide, intervening against the poaching of sea-cucumbers, confiscating illegal longlines, protecting plankton, turtles, seabirds, opposing the destruction of shrimp and salmon aquaculture and many other projects involving a wide range of marine species.

Sea Shepherd is an organization that intervenes against illegal exploitation regardless of the species and the Japanese slaughter of whales is blatantly illegal.

I'll ask the question once again - what is motivating this flim flannery in of defense pirate whaling activities?