Whaling protesters are behaving like pirates
Natalie Klein; 18/2/10
Activists are breaking international law.; When Sea Shepherd Conservation Society member Pete Bethune climbed from his jet ski on to Japanese whaling ship the Shonan Maru 2 and presented a demand for money following weeks of hostile encounters between the whalers and Sea Shepherd, the environmental activists finally crossed the line from protesters to pirates. The dramatic and violent encounters that previously have taken place in the waters off Antarctica during Japan’s whaling season have rightly given rise to allegations of violating laws relating to the safety of life at sea and failing to show due regard to the rights of other maritime users. Arguments continue to go back and forth as to the legality of Japan’s so-called scientific research into whales. What is clear, legally, is that Sea Shepherd does not have policing powers. As a private organisation it is not entitled to enforce its view that the whaling activities of Japan are illegal. Sea Shepherd members are not entitled to conduct what is known as a right of visit against a Japanese vessel to deliver protest letters (as happened in the previous whaling season) or for a citizen’s arrest.