As reported by Kate O’Hare for The Oklahoman.
An Animal Planet film crew was with Sea Shepherd, capturing the mission from the group’s point of view. Sea Shepherd members have been labeled as activists, heroes and eco-pirates — the group’s vessel sails under a Jolly Roger flag — and its goal is to cut into the profits of Japanese whaling.
To do this, Sea Shepherd’s tactics include ramming and disabling whaling ships. Its Web site states, “Sea Shepherd has no problem with admitting to ramming a whaling ship involved in illegal whaling.”
The news release for the show says Sea Shepherd disrupts the processing of whale carcases, and boards and disperses whaling fleets. (There is controversy over a boarding incident featured in the series.)
“This is our fourth year that we’ve been going down there,” Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson said. “So, this really covers the campaign as it proceeds leaving Melbourne, through the different confrontations with the Japanese, ultimately resulting in the Japanese getting half their quota.”
Watson said his group enforces international law as defined by the United Nations World Charter for Nature, adopted in 1982.
“Their argument is that they are doing it for scientific research purposes,” Watson said. “However, they’ve killed more whales in the last 20 years than they have killed in the last 50 years prior to that for that purpose.”
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