Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Eco-Pirate: Story of Paul Watson

ABC2 showed Eco-Pirate: the Story of Paul Watson the other night. Certainly an interesting insight into the life and evolution of Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. The one thing that particularly struck me was Paul's direct manner in framing his activities that will get most attention by the mainstream media. It makes sense once you think about it, but it almost makes it seem a little manipulative. But hey, that is the world we live in and the Society's actions certainly grab attention and therefore make a difference. 

I read one of Paul Watson's books about eight years ago and I certainly found his methods of activism different and confronting. Paul and the Sea Shepherd Society don't sit back when it comes to the protection of marine wildlife. They are active and sometimes aggressive in their tactics. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society boasts that they have sunk or "retired" a number of whaling boats and have stopped the killing of seal pups in Canada. Paul Watson certainly believes that aggressive tactics are sometimes necessary, given that the activities of many of these commercial operators are very aggressive. Paul also believes the "Greenpeace model" of "bearing witness" to such activities doesn't achieve anything.  

Paul and his organisation are currently very active in the Southern Ocean, where Japan currently undertakes "scientific" whaling. This area in which the Japanese are whaling is recognised by a number of signatory countries as the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, yet this declaration is not recognised by Japan. Thereby, allowing this whaling to continue without signatory countries' action. Furthermore, the Japanese "scientific" whaling is being conducted with "permission" from the International Whaling Commission. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is currently attempting to stop this whaling, with a crew currently in the Southern Ocean on the Steve Irwin

If you get a chance to either see the Eco-Pirate or read one of Paul Watson's books it is a great opportunity to see how some people are making a difference and truly standing up for the wildlife for no other reason that these creatures should be allowed to live on this planet too!

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