Hysterics on the high seas will never halt whaling

Australia, Editorial; 8/1/10

Journalists and politicians must stop encouraging activists  Maybe it’s all Johnny Depp’s fault for making high seas hooliganism so popular in his Pirates of the Caribbean films. Whatever the reason, anti-whaling activists in the Great Southern Ocean are carrying on like piratical polemicists, assuming that their belief that whaling is wrong empowers them to do what they like. Thanks to a sympathetic media and a common belief in the community that whales should have the same rights as humans, the protesters’ propaganda provides the better broadsides. There is no denying the passion of the Sea Shepherd organisation’s opposition to the Japanese whale hunt now under way, nor the bravery of the crew trying to stop the whalers. But courage and commitment does not give anybody the right to masquerade as martyrs when the people they are harassing refuse to be bullied. We do not know who was at fault in the sinking of the fast craft Sea Shepherd used against whalers and their escort. The activists allege the Japanese set out to sink the boat, using a much larger vessel to hunt it down. The whalers argue that their attackers set a course that made collision inevitable and closed too fast for the bigger craft to manoeuvre out of the way. Whether the sinking was due to intent or ineptitude on either side will not matter much to most of the media, where anti-whalers are receiving the sympathetic sort of hearing reserved for the innocent underdog.

See: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/hysterics-on-the-high-seas-will-never-halt-whaling/story-e6frg71x-1225817131876; http://www.theage.com.au/environment/whale-watch/australia-steers-clear-as-protesters-resume-whale-chase-20100107-lwss.html; http://www.theage.com.au/environment/whale-watch/patron-stands-by-shepherd-20100107-lwsn.html; Court action would stop cull, lawyers say; Jonathan Pearlman; 8/1/10; http://www.smh.com.au/environment/court-action-would-stop-cull-lawyers-say-20100107-lwuj.html; http://www.smh.com.au/environment/why-hunting-on-the-high-seas-has-become-a-political-hazard-20100107-lwuk.html; http://www.smh.com.au/environment/japan-criticises-nz-over-collision-20100107-lwul.html