Thursday, January 9, 2014

Australians Have Spoken for Sharks!/Japanese Harpoon Vessel Close to Entering Australian Waters

Good evening once again to all of you. Hope all is going well. Not too many complaints here and even if there were, here is not the place to talk about them now is it? No it is not, tonight this is the place to talk about two topics. One is a massive protest that took place a few days ago on the beaches of West Australia against the government's plan to kill sharks in order to make beaches safer. The other is that, as expected, the Japanese whaling fleet has partially re-entered the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. First though the sharks!

Conservation groups throughout West Australia banded together to produce a massive rally in support of the sharks whom are being threatened by the West Australian Government. Some of these groups include Western Australians for Shark Conservation, Animal Rescue Team, and Sea Shepherd Australia. In total, over 6,000 people came out in support of the sharks, the largest showing of any shark protest! Here is a video clip of the rally.

Meanwhile, this guy...
Thousands to join shark cull protest
Photo Credit: Perthnow News

Premier Colin Barnett continues to feel that killing these animals is going to make the beaches safer for people. He still insists that killing the sharks will magically solve an issue that is really not that big at all. In the above picture, you can see Mr. Barnett holding a very large hook. That is one of the 72 hooks that will be used for catching sharks off of several beaches in West Australia. Any bull, tiger, or great white shark that is caught and is over 3 meters in length will be shot and simply discarded at sea. Barnett claims this is not a cull. I fail to see how that is the case. Conservation groups are ready and standing by to do whatever they need to do to see this plan flop. Some plan to directly attempt to sabotage any of these drum lines that they can get to. Some claim that they will be removing any bait that is used. Others simply state that they have divers and volunteers at the ready. My hat is off to each and every one of those groups who are going to take action against this ridiculous cull. With over 6,000 people attending the rallies a few days ago, it is also unknown just how against the cull the general public is. Conservation groups are hoping that individuals who have boats and feel strongly against the cull will take action as well... Wish I had a boat down there...

The Department of Fishiries has stated that anyone who is caught attempting to sabotage the lines could be hit with a $25,000 fine or 12 months in jail. Again, I applaud each and every individual who is going to take a direct stand against this cull. The argument that the ocean is shark territory, but also ours is irrelevant, ridiculous, and frankly not even legitimate. Do we as people live in the ocean? No. Do we breathe underwater or spend excessive amounts of time in the water as seals and other marine mammals do? No. Do we have the ability to swim without using an incredible amount of energy? No. Do we need to go into the ocean to live? No. There are plenty of people who have never even seen the ocean let alone been in it. I could go on. If the ocean was our territory how could I sit here and come up with all these reasons as to why it isn't. Long story short. These animals live in the ocean. It is THEIR home. It is THEIR territory. It is NOT ours. We do not live in it. We do not occupy it. We do not, and realistically cannot truly, own it. For the West Australian Government to sit there and say they are going to slaughter sharks because they swim to close to shore and are in human territory is disgusting. They are prepared to kill these animals and yet they continue to neglect another one of their territories that oddly enough is being torn apart by people. Lets head south shall we... (Note: The shark cull is set to begin TODAY)

Down in the Southern Ocean an interesting development has occurred. One of the Japanese harpoon vessels, the Yushin Maru #3 has come within 200 miles of the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone and the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

 The ship is not welcomed in either of those waters. Last year, the Japanese Security Vessel, armed with armed members of the Japanese Coast Guard, ventured into the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone. The response from the then Environmental Minister Tony Burke was a message to the Japanese Government demanding the ship leave. Sure enough the ship left the zone soon after the request was sent. Now eyes shift to Environmental Minister Greg Hunt to see if he too will order the Japanese to back down.

 As of yesterday, the ship had been tailing the Sea Shepherd vessel Bob Barker while the other two Sea Shepherd ships continued to chase the poachers out of the whale sanctuary. Not only is Australia now setting out to kill sharks, but it is once again abandoning the whales living inside of it's whale sanctuary. The harpoon vessel, while not whaling, is still in contempt of a 2008 Australian Federal Court Injunction. The Japanese Whaling Fleet has ignored this injunction for years, and every year, Australia sits and does nothing about it. Instead conservationists have to do the work and uphold the law that Australia should be upholding. If Australia takes a stance once again of no action, it could be a green flag similar to what happened last year for the Japanese to do whatever they want down there. That once again will not bode well for the conservationists. Australia needs to stop sitting around and send a ship down there and do what is right. Remove the Japanese Whaling Fleet from the WHALE SANCTUARY.

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