Friday, January 08, 2010

Can this Whale Wars thing get any nuttier?

The sinking of Sea Shepherd stealth boat Ady Gil, run down having gone undetected by the Shona Maru's radar, has encouraged already loose-talking Lefties to ratchet anti-whaling rhetoric to a whole new level of nuttiness.

Greens leader Bob Brown has sent a $2 million bill for the Ady Gil to the Japanese government.

Senator Brown says the bill should have come from the Australian Government.

"The Japanese fleet is entirely responsible for the destruction of the Ady Gil," he said.

"It was an illegal operation; it's part of the wider illegal operation of whaling in Australian Antarctic waters and it was in Australian Antarctic waters and the Japanese government should pay up."

Surely Senator Brown knows that Australia has done nothing to stop whaling in "its" waters because Australia's territorial claim is shaky at best.

Regardless, local media outlets, strongly supportive of the anti-whaling vigilantes, are giving relentless attention seeker Paul Watson plenty of coverage:

Mr Watson says an insurance payout on the Ady Gil is unlikely because the incident was a deliberate act.

"It's a $1.5 million loss for our organisation," he said.

"I think the Japanese deliberately took that vessel out; they saw it as a threat and they were under orders to take it out.

"It would be an act of war so there wouldn't be any insurance on it."

Try to imagine how much collision insurance would cost Sea Shepherd.

A cooler head sums up the situation quite nicely:

Don Rothwell, an international maritime law expert at the Australian National University who has advised the government on whaling, said it was possible Sea Shepherd could sue the whaling ship's master for negligence. But the whalers could also try to have the Ady Gil charged with terrorism at sea for trying to foul its navigation systems.

Any case would be problematic because the sovereignty of the waters where the clash occurred is not clear cut, and because the remote location means resolving the claims and counterclaims of each side would be extremely tough, Rothwell said. He said a court in New Zealand would be the most likely venue because that is where the Ady Gil is registered.

"I am not suggesting they were completely at fault yesterday, but Sea Shepherd operate really at the very outer edge of the law and it is amazing what they get away with," he said.

It's important to remember that Watson and his little band of cetacean-saving sea-hippies are pursuing the whalers and are doing everything they can to try to provoke a response. So they are equally to blame if say a Japanese harpooner succumbs to the pressure, miscalculates his shot and takes out a Zodiac full of rancid butter-throwers. That'll provide some great Whale Wars action footage for Watson to narrate, making him more famous than ever. And make no mistake, Watson's status as a famous whale protector takes priority over the safety of his crew.


Anonymous Mark said...

Hey, let us then just continue polluting the oceans, overfish the seas and proclaim that global warming is not happening! It's all a conspiracy by "cetacean-saving sea-hippies" anyway. The only true purpose in life is greed regardless of its impact on other human beings or the environment, talking of which "Time is Money". Can't waste it making comments right of right-wing blog...

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Dan Lewis said...

Does the Australian Government own any part of the Ady Gil?

If not, why the hell does Bob Brown think they should be sending a bill for its replacement?

Can I send the Japanese a $1.5 Million bill as well? Goody!

6:41 PM  

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