Paul Watson shot by Japanese whalers

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scott scott's picture
Paul Watson shot by Japanese whalers


scott scott's picture

This is just breaking. Thank goddess for anti-poaching badges.

Videos: [url=]Sea Shepherd Engages the Nisshin Maru[/url]


Sea Shepherd Media Release March 7th, 1800 Hours.

Japanese Fire On Sea Shepherd Crew - Three Injured
Steve Irwin Captain Shot
Cameraman and Crewmember Injured by Flash Grenade

At 1545 ( 0445 G.M.T.)a clash between the crew of the Sea Shepherd vessel Steve Irwin and the Japanese whaling ship Nishiin Maru turned violent when Japanese Coast Guard threw flash grenades at the crew of the Steve Irwin.

Captain Paul Watson was struck by a bullet in the chest which fortunately was stopped by his Kevlar vest. The bullet struck just above the heart and mangled Captain Watson's anti-poaching badge on his sweater underneath. Doctor David Page pried the bullet from the vest.

Doctor David Page was videotaped prying the bullet from Captain Watson's Kevlar vest. "You have been hit by a bullet," he said.

The kevlar vest and badge effectively saved Captain's Watson life.

Ashley Dunn 35, from Launceston, Tasmania suffered a hip injury when he tried to get out of the way of the exploding grenades.

Ralph Lowe 33, from Melbourne, Australia received bruises to his back when one of the flash grenades exploded behind him.

The Japanese were retaliating against the Sea Shepherd crew for tossing rotten butter on the decks to discourage whaling activities. The clash came after a weeklong pursuit by the Steve Irwin of the Nisshin Maru, in an effort to stop illegal whaling activities in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

Earlier in the day at 0800 Hours (1900 G.M.T.) the Steve Irwin had ordered the Nisshin Maru to leave French Territorial waters. The Japanese whaler complied and turned around and headed back west into Australian waters.

The confrontation occurred inside the Australian Territorial Zone at the position of 63 Degrees, 41 Minutes South and 133 Degrees 27 Minutes East.

Video and photos of the incident are being transmitted to Sea Shepherd's head office.

Captain Paul Watson
Master - The Steve Irwin
Master - The Farley Mowat
Founder and President of the
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Wow! [img]eek.gif" border="0[/img] I hope this makes the news tonight.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture


Sea Shepherd prevented whales from being killed from January 8 to February 1, for a total of 24 days, and from February 23 to March 5 (so far) for an additional 10 days, resulting in a total of 35 whale-killing-free days, or 5 solid weeks where no whales were slain and counting.

If the Japanese average 10 whales a day (their traditional take), this means they will have killed no more than 440 whales out of their set quota of 936 piked whales and 50 fin whales, or 985 whales in total. The number could be much smaller, but certainly not higher.

With only a few more weeks left in the season, the Japanese whaling fleet has taken only 47% of their quota. By now, they should have reached 90 to 95% of their quota.

With Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's ship, the Steve Irwin, virtually glued to the stern of the Nisshin Maru, there is no way whaling will resume in the next week.

The whaling season will be over by mid-March.

There is no possible way for the Japanese whalers to secure their full quota for the 2007-2008 season, and there is a very good possibility that they will not achieve even half of this quota.

In addition, they were forced to back down on their objective of killing 50 endangered humpback whales.

[url=]Paul Watson, March 6[/url]

[ 07 March 2008: Message edited by: M. Spector ]

Socrates Socrates's picture

Crikey [img]eek.gif" border="0[/img]

Guess Watson knew that whalers taking a pot shot or two wasn't out of the question, thank god he was wearing a vest.

I absolutely love this guy and Sea Shepard, I think that his interventionist approach is sorely needed.What occurs on our oceans with regards not only to whales but also sharks and a variety of other marine life is appalling, not to mention illegal.

I'm so going to volunteer for his boat.

scott scott's picture

There are members of the Japanese Coast Guard stationed on the Nisshin Maru, which is the processing ship, or mother ship of the whaling fleet.


Image is from Indymedia. Some Indymedia reports:
[url=]Sea Shepherd Activists Injured As Japanese Military Open Fire[/url]
[url=]Japanese Officials Caught Lying on Firearm Use against Sea Shepherd[/url]

[url=]CNN report [/url] has footage from both ships.
[url=]Guardian UK report[/url] Footage from both ships. A Japanese official declares that the whalers will respond in kind.

[url=]The Sea Shepherd videos[/url] have some of the above footage in better resolution. Clip 9 has the footage of the bullet being removed from the vest.


Originally posted by Socrates:
[b]I'm so going to volunteer for his boat.[/b]

And if I win the lottery the Sea shepherd will never run out of fuel. The Steve Irwin can only run for about 3 weeks without refuelling. Almost all of the whales killed this year were killed during the time the Steve Irwin had to return to Australia and arrange for more fuel. When the Nisshin Maru is being chased the fleet can't fish.

[ 07 March 2008: Message edited by: scott ]


who started it??

3 hurt in attack on whaling vessel
The Yomiuri Shimbun

Three people on board a Japanese whaling vessel suffered eye injuries after being spattered with acidic liquid from bottles thrown at their vessel by members of the U.S. environmental group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in the Antarctic Ocean on Monday, the Fisheries Agency said.

According to the agency, antiwhaling activists on board the Sea Shepherd vessel threw more than 100 bottles and bags at the Japanese vessel Nisshin Maru on Monday morning. Some of the bottles broke on the deck and spilled their contents. The liquid got into the eyes of one Nisshin Maru crew member and two Japan Coast Guard officers.

The Sea Shepherd vessel began chasing the Nisshin Maru on Sunday morning, the agency said. Nisshin Maru crew members gave warnings and sprayed the antiwhaling vessel with firehoses in an attempt to keep it at a distance. But the Sea Shepherd vessel came as close as about 10 meters to the Nisshin Maru, whereupon activists began throwing bottles and bags at the ship for about one hour from 7:10 a.m.

The liquid--believed to be butyric acid--emitted a pungent odor, the agency said. Butyric acid is an oily acidic liquid that can blind a person if his or her eyes come into contact with a sufficiently concentrated form of the substance. However, the injured three are recovering after washing their eyes, the agency said. The bags contained an unidentified white powder.

A Fisheries Agency official said, "Research whaling is a legitimate activity based on an international treaty."

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is based in Australia. The agency intends to ask the Australian government to take measures to prevent recurrence, sources said.

It is the fourth time since January that a Japanese research whaling ship has been obstructed by an environmental group in the Antarctic Ocean.

(Mar. 4, 2008)

JCG: 'Launcher' used in attack on whaler
The Yomiuri Shimbun

Environmental activists from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society used a launcher set on the deck of their vessel in their recent attack on a Japanese whaling vessel in the Antarctic Ocean, a Japan Coast Guard official said Tuesday.

The launcher was used to toss bottles of butyric acid at the whaling ship Nisshin Maru, but as the incident occurred in international waters the JCG concluded it is not punishable under Japanese law. The JCG plans to seek cooperation of involved countries, including the Netherlands, which licensed the activists' vessel, in its investigation.

The JCG investigation of the harassment by antiwhaling activists focuses on the fact that the activists' attack caused injuries on the Japanese vessel. Possible charges include assault and interfering with public officials in the line of duty.

According to the JCG and the Institute of Cetacean Research, which comes under the Fisheries Agency's jurisdiction, the launcher was spotted on the portside deck of the activists' vessel. Video obtained by the JCG shows a cylindrical object launching bottles giving off white smoke. None of the bottles tossed by the launcher hit the Japanese vessel, but the vessel was struck by bottles thrown by hand, causing minor injuries.

The Sea Shepherd announced on its Web site on Feb. 2, when it started trailing the Japanese vessel, that it would "use organic, nontoxic materials designed to harass and obstruct illegal whaling operations."

According to the JCG, the activists on board the Sea Shepherd vessel threw more than 100 bottles of pungent-smelling butyric acid and a liquid in which white powder had been dissolved. The activists ignored JCG warnings to stop the attack immediately, continuing their attack for about an hour. The butyric acid got into the eyes of one Nisshin Maru crew member and two JCG personnel.

"Research whaling is a legitimate activity. It [the activists' attack] was unforgivable," Construction and Transport Minister Tetsuzo Fuyushiba, who oversees the JCG, said at a press conference. "We must lodge a protest, if necessary, to involved countries through diplomatic channels and request control [of these illegal attacks]."

(Mar. 5, 2008)

related perspectve here:

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture


Originally posted by Fleabitn:

A Fisheries Agency official said, "Research whaling is a legitimate activity based on an international treaty."

[url=]The most important fact remains that the Japanese whaling fleet is illegally killing endangered whales in a whale sanctuary in violation of international law and an Australian Federal Court order[/url]

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Controversial plans to lift the worldwide ban on whaling were presented to a secret meeting of more than 70 governments in London last week.

The plans, which have alarmed environmentalists, have been welcomed by both pro- and anti-whaling governments and seek to lift a long stalemate over hunting, enabling Japan officially to resume commercial whaling for the first time in more than 20 years.

- [url= plan to let Japan resume whaling[/url]


I am in no way condoning the commercial fishing of whales, especially under the guise of "scientific research." Nor do I condone the shooting of protesters by the JCG, especially as it seems they were shooting to kill, judging from where Watson was hit. However, when protesters engage in criminal and dangerous activities such as throwing or launching acid at whalers, they do more disservice to their cause than benefit. And as the sea shepherd society is not an agent of the Australian state, it has no right or authority to launch attacks at a crew on a whaling vessel.

Obviously we don't know what truly happened on the high seas, and both sides may be guilty of excessive spin. The articles I pasted are from Japanese MSM, so they may be simply articulating the gov't spin. But remember too, that Japanese whalers are working men just out to make a living, and so are pawns. Do they deserve to have their health or lives ruined by protesters attacks?

I do not agree with, and wholly oppose what happens at the corner Esso station down the street, so by the SSS standards, I should be able to go down the street and throw acid in the face of the cashier/gas jockey in protest? i think not.

If the SSS professes moral authority, they cannot act like thugs and criminals and be taken seriously.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Paul Watson [url=]says[/url]:


The butyric acid is contained in one-liter glass bottles, all of which broke upon contact with the flensing deck of the Nisshin Maru. These bottles are sealed and the acid released after being broke, so it is impossible to be hit by an empty bottle. Secondly, no one squirted butyric acid into anyone's eye, and even if they did, this is a simple non-toxic butter acid, basically rancid butter. It will not cause eye injury. If we had tossed marshmallows on the deck of the Nisshin Maru, I'm sure the whalers would try to claim they were injured by them.


Right then. I'm off to the local gas station to throw rancid butter at the people working there. what do you think this will get me?

Cueball Cueball's picture

I think that what you are exposing here is falibility of moral absolutes, not the falibility of Paul Watson's morals. What if I were to pose the same question, and say "would it be right for me to throw rancid butter on the floors of the Dachau gas chambers to make the work of the SS more difficult?"

Would you be crying the blues if one of them had to wash out his eye?

I'll leave it up to you to determine at what point one moral imparative overcomes another lesser moral injunction by necessity.

[ 10 March 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Butyric acid is a harmless saturated fatty acid with a bad smell. These were essentially stink bombs.

The Sea Shepherd people prevent the slaughter of whales by means of sabotage. It's the only means available to them. Desperate times call for desperate measures. To call them thugs and criminals betrays your bias.



Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Is that not basically what Bush uses as justification for waterboarding?

[ 10 March 2008: Message edited by: Bubbles ]

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture


Originally posted by Bubbles:

Is that not basically what Bush uses as justification for waterboarding?

[ 10 March 2008: Message edited by: Bubbles ][/b]

I think that's what you'd call a fallacy of 'orange and appling'

scott scott's picture

From Fridays International Herald Tribune:


[b]Japanese whalers clash with activists in Antarctic[/b]

The Associated Press
Friday, March 7, 2008

TOKYO: Anti-whaling activists threw rotten butter and bottles containing an unidentified liquid at a Japanese whaling vessel in the Antarctic Friday, and the Japanese Coast Guard responded by throwing sound-emitting "warning balls" back at the activists.

A leading protester claimed he was shot at but was saved from injury by his bulletproof vest. Japanese authorities denied firing any gun shots.
The high seas clash is the latest incident involving the anti-whaling Sea Shepherd group and a fleet of Japanese whalers now in Antarctic waters on their annual hunt.

Activists aboard the Sea Shepherd ship threw several bottles containing what is believed to be rotten butter, more than 10 paper bags of white powder, as well as several bottles containing an unidentified white liquid at the Nisshin Maru, according to Hideki Moronuki, chief of the Japanese Fishing Agency's whaling section.
There were no injuries among the Nisshin Maru crew, he said.

The Nisshin Maru radioed warnings to the Sea Shepherd to desist. But the protesters did not, and the Nisshin Maru, which has Coast Guard escorts on board, responded by lobbing seven warning balls at the Sea Shepherd, Moronuki said.
Paul Watson, the founder of Sea Shepherd, said the clash was more serious.

"I felt an impact on my chest at one point," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. "I didn't think too much of it at the time. When I opened up my Mustang survival suit, and I have a Kevlar bulletproof vest, there was a bullet lodged in."
He said the impact left a bruise.
"If I wasn't wearing my vest, it would have been pretty serious," he said.

Moronuki denied allegations that shots were fired.
"We did not fire any shots," Moronuki said. "We will, again, urge the Netherlands to handle this issue firmly," he said.

The activists' ship is licensed in the Netherlands.

It was impossible to verify either side's account of the clash, which occurred in remote waters 3,000 kilometers (1,600 nautical miles) south-southwest of Melbourne in the Antarctic Ocean, according to the Coast Guard.

Sea Shepherd and other anti-whaling groups have repeatedly harassed the Japanese whaling fleet to interfere with the hunt. Japan kills about 1,000 whales every year under an internationally approved research program.

Japan has accused the activists of terrorist tactics. Sea Shepherd, meanwhile, has called on Japan to stop its hunt.

Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith issued two statements on the incident Friday. Initially Smith said Japan had informed Australian diplomats in Tokyo that a crew member aboard a whaling vessel had fired warning shots.

About 30 minutes later, Smith issued another statement saying Japanese officials had subsequently advised Australian diplomats that no gunshots had been fired, but that three "warning balls" had been thrown. He said warning balls were also known as "flash bangs."

"I absolutely condemn actions by crew members of any vessel that cause injury — or have the potential to cause injury — to anyone on the high seas," Smith said.

"The Australian government once again calls on all parties in the Southern Ocean — including all protest and whaling vessels, and their respective crews — to exercise restraint," he said.
Japanese officials defended the Nisshin Maru's action.

"It is unforgivable they resort to such actions repeatedly," Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said. "It is possible, naturally, for us to use tear bombs if necessary," he said.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture


Originally posted by scott:
[b]"I absolutely condemn actions by crew members of any vessel that cause injury — or have the potential to cause injury — to anyone on the high seas," Smith said.[/b]

...anyone other than endangered species of sea mammals, anyway.

gram swaraj

Indeed, bullets are an appropriate use of force against organic, non-toxic liquids.

I'll bet they had the good captain in their crosshairs, ready for an excuse to pull the trigger. He should start wearing a helmet too, if he doesn't already.

Who was interfering with public officials doing their duty?????

I'd say the Sea Shepherd crew is serving the public quite well.

And maybe the Japanese Coast Guard should be charged with attempted murder.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

"Japan kills about 1,000 whales every year under an internationally approved research program."

What absolute bullshit. Has anyone in the UN called them on this? [img]mad.gif" border="0[/img]

M. Spector M. Spector's picture


Originally posted by Boom Boom:
[b]Has anyone in the UN called them on this? [img]mad.gif" border="0[/img] [/b]

The UN doesn't get involved.

The International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling was signed on December 2, 1946. The purpose of the Convention is to provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks. In reality, however, [url=]it is a joke.[/url] Compliance with the Convention and with the directives of the International Whaling Commission set up under the Convention is completely voluntary, even for countries that are signatories. The Convention has no teeth, no sanctions for countries that deplete whale stocks.