Re: Greenpeace Eats Whales to "Save" Them
Sea Shepherd Stands By Allegations
This is the response from Captain Paul Watson to the recent rebuttal by Greenpeace over the posting of the article on the Sea Shepherd website entitled "Greenpeace eats whales to save them."
Captain Watson?s comments are interspersed in the rebuttal and are highlighted in bold text.
Sea Shepherd's president, Paul Watson, has falsely alleged that Greenpeace staff have eaten whale meat on an Internet TV programme, Whale Love Wagon.
The Whale Love Wagon programme is produced for Greenpeace in Japan, not by Greenpeace, both of the presenters, Ivan and Yuki, are independent of Greenpeace and are not Greenpeace staff. Ivan's choice to eat whale meat was his alone and not endorsed by Greenpeace.
Captain Paul Watson: Let me see, the Whale Love Wagon programme is produced FOR Greenpeace in Japan, not BY Greenpeace. The credits include Greenpeace. Greenpeace has promoted the video, and legally, if it was produced for Greenpeace then Greenpeace is responsible for the content. I also notice that Greenpeace did not condemn the video. The video can be accessed through the posting on the Sea Shepherd website (see link above). There is an entire series on YouTube of these Whale Love Wagon videos and they seem like they are sympathetic to whaling to me. I stand by the allegations
The purpose of Whale Love Wagon is to investigate all aspects of whaling, and we welcome free speech and debate on the issue. That the travellers are eating whale meat is not meant as either an advert for, or a condemnation of eating whale meat, but is part of a discussion with one elderly woman who remembers eating it frequently in her youth, but rarely does so any more. Recent research shows that 95% of Japanese people rarely or never eat whale meat anymore, but there is an historical element to its consumption and this should not be ignored.
Captain Paul Watson: There is no debate. The targeting of endangered species in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary in violation of the International Whaling Commission moratorium on commercial whaling is illegal. Once does not debate the merits of robbing banks or poaching elephants, and therefore, you do not debate the justifications for illegal whaling. Why should we not ignore the historical element of whaling? Would we justify slavery by saying we can?t ignore the historical elements of slavery? How about bull-fighting, cock-fighting, child labour, and cannibalism? Greenpeace keeps saying that only 5% of Japanese people eat whale meat. Why is this relevant? Obviously there is a market for it and we have not seen much protest against it coming from the Japanese people.
This is just one episode of a ten-episode series, and should be placed in that context. Following episodes of Whale Love Wagon show the value of whale watching, and a local village that saved a stranded whale. The Internet TV show is designed to show every facet of whaling and will not shy away from confronting issues that some may find unpleasant. However, we hope everyone - in Japan and in other countries - will learn from it, and come to their own conclusions about the validity of whaling in the 21st century. Greenpeace remains clear in our position that we do not think there should be commercial whaling in the 21st century, and hope to convince others, including many in Japan, to also take this view.
Captain Paul Watson: Checking out the other episodes will show similar apologist approaches to Japanese whaling. This entire Whale Love Wagon project is a waste of money and it is a distraction.
Sea Shepherd's Paul Watson quotes from a news report that Greenpeace Argentina campaigner Emiliano Ezcurra said Greenpeace has "no problem with Japanese culture or eating whale meat". While he did say this, what he was trying to say was unfortunately 'lost in translation'. He had no intention of advocating eating whale meat, he was making reference to the elderly lady in the Whale Love Wagon episode, who we will not condemn for her view ? we simply want to change her mind.
Captain Paul Watson: I see. Lost in translation. Greenpeace admits that Emiliano Ezcurra said he has ?no problem with Japanese culture or eating whale meat.? So if he admits to saying these words, just what is lost in translation? As for condemning the lady who believes eating whale meat is okay, I have no problem with condemning any person regardless of age, sex, or race who consumes a product obtained through illegal means. I condemn poachers and I condemn the people who purchase the illegal products of poaching.
In addition, the Sea Shepherd press release refers to the same media article in which Emiliano credited with having said that Greenpeace has no problem with whaling on Japan's coast. That reporting was not a fair reflection of his comments, nor does it reflect the view of Greenpeace. We do not oppose local subsistence hunting, but oppose all commercial whaling and Japanese coastal whaling can be considered commercial whaling.
Captain Paul Watson: Greenpeace has been very clear in supporting some whaling activities. They supported the illegal whaling activities of the Makah tribe in Washington State and they have said they do not oppose coastal Japanese whaling. They have not opposed the dolphin slaughters in Japan either. So is Greenpeace saying that whaling off the coast of Japan is subsistence or commercial? If they consider it commercial, than why does Emiliano say that Greenpeace has no problem with whaling on Japan?s coast?
Sea Shepherd's Paul Watson also falsely alleges "in 1997 they [Greenpeace] assisted in a Yupik whale hunt by towing a dead bowhead whale ashore and ate whale meat as guests of the community." This is a lie.
Captain Paul Watson: It is not a lie and I stand by my allegations. The issue was investigated by the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service.