Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Captain Steps Back From The Helm

As time draws nearer for an expected clash between Sea Shepherd and the Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean, a surprise statement was released on Monday from SS's Paul Watson.
He has resigned as the President of SS in the United States, as President of SS Australia, and as Executive Director of SS USA and now holds no paid position with SS anywhere the group is registered and operates as a non-profit organisation in any nation.
Further, he's stepped down as campaign leader for Operation Zero Tolerance, and as captain of the campaign vessel Steve Irwin.
In February 2012, Japan's Institute for Cetacean Research (ICR) - which as we all know is a front for illegal, government-subsidised whaling - lost a preliminary injunction it brought against SS to try and prevent it from protecting whales during this year's Antarctic whale defence campaign, Operation Zero Tolerance. That decision was overturned last month and an injunction issued by the US Court of Appeals in favour of the ICR.
Paul's stepping down is to comply with that injunction, and should not be misconstrued as any sort of victory for the nasty Nippons. Indeed, competent successors are already in place, ready to defend the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. You can read all of Watson's statement [here].
Captain Watson will remain aboard SI to document the campaign...

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