Friday, November 08, 2013

Bog 9: Whale Wars

Summary: Paul Watson, the founder of a group of an anti whaling group known as the "Sea Shepherd Conservation Society", is being accused of violating a court order that demanded that he and his crew leave whalers alone. Japanese whale fishing boats catch and kill whales for research in the southern parts of the pacific. The law states that these vessels can in fact kill whales, but only for the purpose of research, yet the left over meat is sold as food to Japanese markets. The Sea Shepherd's main goal is to disrupt and stop these whalers by any means necessary. This includes using acid and smoke bombs to disrupt and deter the operations conducted by the whalers. Watson has been arrested before for these types of acts but still continued in the act of anti-whaling. The current case is to determine whether or not Watson violated a court order that he and his vessel stay at least 500 yards away from the whaling ships. This order, according to the Japanese, was violated over 10 times by Watson and his fleet of nearly 5 ships. The Japanese whalers want up to a $100,000 fine for each of the violations. Watson claims that he didn't commit any violations due to the fact that the violations came from the sister fleet in Australia and he had stepped down as commander prior to the violations.

Analysis: This goes into the matter of international crime more than just a criminal act being committed on foreign soil. This is a somewhat grey area as far as crime is concerned. Due to the fact that the acts occurred in international waters, Watson believes that he has done nothing to violate crimes of any nation. Whaling for the purpose of commercial use is illegal according to the International Whaling Commission, however, because the Japanese vessels claim they are whaling for research, the acts get passed over. Watson's main goal is to protect the whales by any means necessary and that includes anything from ramming boats, to spraying them with acid. In any sense, both of the acts are considered criminal regardless of the country or ocean in which they are performed.

Published at 11:40 AM on November 8, 2013

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