Sea Shepherd challenges Denmark to ban slaughter of pilot whales

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I received the following press release today from Sea Shepherd:

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Sea Shepherd Challenges Denmark at the European Commission

to Permanently Ban the Largest Slaughter of Marine Mammals in Europe

BORDEAUX, France and FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash. — December 26, 2012 — In response to the ongoing bloodshed of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands as part of the brutal, ritual hunt known as “Grindagrap.” or the “Grind,” the global marine conservation nonprofit, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, reports Denmark is in violation of three conventions it has signed whereby it vowed to do everything within its capacity to protect pilot whales — the Bern Convention, Bonn Convention and ASCOBANS. As a result, Sea Shepherd is bringing the matter to the European Commission in order to compel Denmark to abide by the obligations contained in these conventions and act to uphold the principles outlined therein.

For centuries, pilot whales have been slaughtered as they’ve approached the shores of the Faroe Islands [1]. The drive and kill of entire families of whales is called “Grindadrap,” or the “Grind.” Denmark claims it has no say in stopping the “Grind,” but in 2010 and 2011 it sent a military ship and helicopter to patrol the Faroese waters while Sea Shepherd was on site to prevent Sea Shepherd from intervening. Sea Shepherd has been engaged in opposing these merciless slaughters since 1984 and has sent a ship to document the bloodshed several times [2].  Continue reading

Sea Shepherd cheers as Japanese ships end whaling season far short of projected kill numbers

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The Sea Shepherd fleet of anti-whaling vessels has managed to disrupt the Japanese whaling operations again and this time the whalers are limping back home with less than a third (267) of the marine mammals they had hoped to brutally kill (reportedly 900).

So at least hundreds more in the Antarctic waters have survived. Captain Paul Watson is quoted on the Sea Shepherd website as saying, “It has been a successful campaign. There are hundreds of whales swimming free in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary that would now be dead if we had not been down there for the last three months. That makes us very happy indeed.”

The Sea Sea Shepherd Conservation Society will launch another mission later this year, if the Japanese whaling fleet heads back to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. The mission will be called “Operation Cetacean Justice” and will include four ships, two helicopters, four drones and 120 volunteers.

“If the Japanese whalers return, Sea Shepherd will return. We are committed to the defense of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary,” Watson said. “No matter how long it takes, no matter how risky or expensive. The word “sanctuary” actually means something to us and that something is worth fighting for.”

Japan’s commercial whaling-killing operation is run by – get this – the “Institute of Cetacean Research.” That would be like the Syrian government declaring that in bombing cities, they are only testing the effectiveness of their bombs. It’s only research.

A CNN blog reports there was a confrontation four days ago between the Japanese ships and the Sea Shepherd’s “Bob Barker.”

Incredible video of a grateful whale freed from a large fishing net

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The video is a bit over eight minutes long but it’s worth every second, showing the rescue of a humpback whale entangled in a large fishing net.

Once the people finally free the whale and it is finally able to swim freely, it puts on a show for its rescuers. Whales are intelligent beings and it is clearly grateful that it is able to swim again.

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Sea Shepherd vessel renamed Brigitte Bardot

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Earlier this year, the fleet of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, along with its interceptor and scout vessel the Gojira (Godzilla) was able to shut down the Japanese whaling operation in the southern oceans.

The operation was a huge success and saved the lives of many whales that might have otherwise suffered greatly.

The society, according to a press release I received Wednesday, was served with a notice to stop using the name for this vessel. Sea Shepherd suggest the notice came from Godzilla’s lawyers.

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