Sea Sheperd 2 released by Japanese wailer

Yesterday 17 January 2008, I [with a few hundred others I hope] wrote to Meg Munn MP, Minister for Asia and the Pacific, Foreign and Commonwealth Office.  I wanted to know what was being done about it all. [see yesterdays blog entry…….]

Anyway, they have been released.  But there is no mention of investigation or charges being laid against those commiting, what to appears to me, to be a criminal act.  What’s new you might say.

This is the reply below.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Room G/108
Consular Directorate
Old Admiralty Building
Whitehall
SW1A 2PA
Tel: 0207 008 0145
Fax: 0207 008 0161
E-mail: liz.hawkins@fco.gov.uk

18 January 2008

Thank you for your e-mail about the detention of a British national on a Japanese whaling vessel to which I have been asked to reply as the assistant consular desk officer for Japan.

You will be pleased to learn that the British national has now been returned to Sea Shepherd’s vessel, the Steve Irwin.  During the incident, we remained in close touch with both the Japanese and Australian Governments.  We are grateful to the Australian Government for making one of their vessels available to effect the safe transfer of the two men from the Japanese whaling ship to their own ship.

Yours sincerely,

Liz Hawkins
Consular Directorate

HOWEVER …….

On viewing the Sea Shepherd News release pages at:

http://www.seashepherd.org/news/media_080118_2.html

they appear to have a different take on it all …….
Sea Shepherd News Release

Lack of Cooperation May Kill the Whales

From onboard the Steve Irwin in the Southern Oceans

The Australian Customs and Fisheries Patrol vessel Oceanic Viking has thrown the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin off the trail of the Japanese fleet.

After picking up the two Sea Shepherd crewmembers from the Yushin Maru No. 2 the Oceanic Viking notified the Steve Irwin to head for a rendezvous point a few hours away.

This was unusual considering that the Yushin Maru No. 2 was only about ten miles away at the time. The Steve Irwin was forced to stop tailing the Yushin Maru No. 2 to meet up with the Oceanic Viking. This allowed the whaler to head off in an unknown direction to rejoin the factory ship Nisshin Maru.

After dropping off Benjamin Potts and Giles Lane, the Oceanic Viking headed off in a direction away from the Japanese fleet. The fleet then apparently changed course and has now been lost from Sea Shepherd. Greenpeace tagging along with the Nishin Maru has reported that the catcher boats have met back up with the main fleet.

Although Sea Shepherd has been relaying the position of the catcher boats to the Greenpeace ship Esperanza for the last three days, Greenpeace refuses reciprocate and refuses to reveal the present location of the fleet.

“With “allies” like the Australian government and Greenpeace, it is becoming increasing difficult to keep the Japanese fleet from killing whales,” said Captain Paul Watson. “Australian Customs deliberately led us away from the fleet and Greenpeace is guarding the coordinates like the crown jewels to prevent us re-locating the fleet.”    

Complicating the search is the fact that the Japanese have sent a new ship the Fukoyoshi No. 68 to shadow the Steve Irwin at all times. The vessel is not part of the whaling fleet. It’s a large Japanese drag trawler. It does not have any fishing gear onboard and seems to have more electronic gear than normal for a fishing vessel. This ship is apparently reporting the Steve Irwin’s position to the Japanese fleet.

Sea Shepherd has shut down whaling for a week. Unless the Steve Irwin can find the fleet soon, the killing will begin again. The Oceanic Viking will take pictures of dying whales and Greenpeace will hang banners, take pictures and continue on with their ineffective stunts. They will not stop the killing.

“If whales begin to die within the next few days, I will hold Greenpeace and the Australian government responsible,” said Captain Paul Watson. “They know we can stop the killing because whales don’t die when Sea Shepherd arrives. By leading us off the tail of the whalers and refusing to cooperate on coordinates they are deliberately helping the whalers to escape from Sea Shepherd and to resume the slaughter of the whales.  I understand that Greenpeace needs kill footage and images of “heroic eco-warriors” buzzing about in inflatables but that does not stop the harpoons. Our very presence will deter the Japanese from killing whales. Sea Shepherd is the best weapon that Greenpeace can use to stop the resumption of whaling. By withholding cooperation they are contributing to the death of the whales. If any whales are killed within the next week I will hold Greenpeace responsible for their deaths because they have the power to cooperate with Sea Shepherd to prevent the killing from continuing.”

The Steve Irwin is conducting helicopter surveillance patrols to re-locate the whaling fleet. The fleet should be within two hundred miles of Sea Shepherd.

>>

Now, if this is true, Greenpeace have just lost several brownie points in my view. I am likely to write to the national office, and ask what the fuck is going on. We don’t appear to be all on the same page.

also:

Sea Shepherd News :: Japanese Poachers Release Sea Shepherd Hostages
http://www.seashepherd.org/news/media_080118_1.html

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