Sea Shepherd Honored by Recognition from International Whaling Commission

The delegates to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) once again recognized Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as the most powerful threat to illegal whaling activities on the high seas.

The Japanese delegation was given the opportunity to present a highly biased presentation condemning Sea Shepherd for intervening against their illegal whaling operations in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary. The pro-Japanese whaling puppet Caribbean nations even attempted to link the death of a Japanese whaler to Sea Shepherd. Only Britain stood up to state that there was no connection between the death of the Japanese whaler and Sea Shepherd activities.

The resolution was entitled "Safety at Sea," and the tone of the debate was anti-Sea Shepherd and completely ignored the fact that this year for the 2nd time the Japanese factory whaling ship Nisshin Maru suffered a major catastrophic fire, this time taking the life of one of their crewmembers. This fire also threatened the largest Adelie penguin colony in Antarctica. It would have been a major ecological disaster if the Nisshin Maru had spilled its load of fuel and chemicals into the fragile ecosystem of the Antarctic coast.

Sea Shepherd has never caused the injury of a single person in over three decades of high seas interventions against illegal activities.

Sea Shepherd Founder and President Captain Paul Watson was not allowed to present video evidence which clearly showed the Japanese whaler Kaiko Maru deliberately ramming the Sea Shepherd vessel Robert Hunter. Nor did Australia offer the results of the forensic investigation by the Australian Federal Police of the Robert Hunter, an investigation that offers evidence that it was the Japanese ship that rammed the Robert Hunter.

"If we had rammed the Kaiko Maru, we would have said so," said Captain Watson. "Our target was the Nisshin Maru. The Kaiko Maru rammed the Robert Hunter twice and the Japanese refused to allow the Australian Federal police to conduct a forensic investigation onboard the Kaiko Maru. We cooperated fully, yet the evidence was withheld."

The IWC delegates delivered a consensus statement condemning Sea Shepherd for intervening to uphold IWC regulations against illegal Japanese whaling activities.

"What this means, I have no idea," said Captain Watson. "Further harassment I suppose, but we intend to return to the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary in the Southern Oceans to protect whales in December 2007. We intend to intervene once again to oppose the blatantly illegal lethal whaling activities of the Japanese pirate whaling fleet. It is strangely ironic that the only organization or enforcement body upholding international conservation law against illegal Japanese whaling operations is Sea Shepherd and we are the only organization banned from attending the IWC meetings every year."

Sea Shepherd has been banned from IWC meetings since 1987 after sinking half the Icelandic whaling fleet in November 1986. The Icelandic fleet was openly violating the global moratorium on commercial whaling. The Sea Shepherd ship Farley Mowat is presently en route to Iceland from Australia on a mission to intervene against illegal Icelandic whaling operations.

Captain Watson was not disturbed by the condemnation or the fact that he was prohibited from attending the IWC meeting or even allowed into the Hotel Captain Cook.

"I think it is a recognition that we are an effective force against illegal whaling," he said. "In fact, we seem to be the most effective force judging by their attitude. We expose their hypocrisies, we expose their illegalities, and we embarrass the hell out of them. I would rather be out on the sidewalk defending my clients the whales and dolphins than to be inside that room where delegates actually applauded when the barbaric nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines was given permission to murder 20 gentle humpback whales. History will be the judge of who the villains are at this meeting. I feel confident that Ric O'Barry and I standing out here on the sidewalk, banned from entry into that den of hypocrisy and betrayal, will be judged as courageous people who stood up for the whales while milquetoast bureaucrats talked in calculating cold tones about slaughtering them. History will not look very favourably upon the men and women inside the Hotel Captain Cook this week. They will be judged as the weak-kneed cowardly hypocrites that they are by future generations that will not forgive them for exterminating some of the most intelligent, highly evolved forms of life on this planet."