The Sea Shepard Society, a group of people who are tired and frustrated with the lack of progress made in banning whaling (the act of killing whales), have won a small battle in their mission las week as The Japanese government contemplated calling the whaling fleet home from the South Pacific Ocean. Protests from the Sea Shepard Society were endangering the whaling fleet to the point where safety of the crews became an issue. In some instances, the vessels of the Sea Shepard Society were blocking the stern if the ship where the whales were hauled in to be stored or chopped up. Boats that close are risking collision, especially in rough seas. This is the first time the Japanese whaling fleet have retreated due to safety resins from protesters.
This is a bitter sweet victory in my opinion. I am pleased to hear the whaling season is over early with very little whales caught (approximately 30 whales) compared to the last few years; however, I don’t like the fact that the only way to hinder the whaling efforts was to use violent and aggressive means. I get frustrated with constantly hearing the news of industry ignoring international, voluntary agreements to make a quick buck. I am sure that is why the staff at Sea Shepard do what they do. Is this type of protest the only way to get the attention of these types of industries…wow, I hope not.
Is the future of marine conservation turning towards one of violence to be heard? As a Marine Conservationist and Ecologist I find the thought offensive to my profession. Violence is not the solution, at least not the long term solution to creating a society whereby the environment and industry can coexist in sustainable and economically fruitful environment? The short term gain we are observing this year in the South Pacific may be the beginning of a long war between the environmentalists and industries. Perhaps next year, the Japanese government will authorize force against its protesters to deter aggressive and sometimes violent acts against the fleet. This would be a large step backwards in the relationship between environmentalists and stakeholders (people with a vested interest in a common environment).
I believed that the power of knowledge and awareness is the key to saving the Oceans in the long term. Speak Up for the Blue is a testament to my belief. Scientifically sound information communicated in an effective manner and/or various manners will make people aware of the Blue around them.
Do you agree with my beliefs or do you think the Sea Shepard Society has the right idea and will be effective fin the future?