As the Sea Shepherd crew onboard the Farley Mowat returns from the massive massacre of seals off the Eastern coast of Canada, this week the Norwegians are preparing to send out 30 harpoon boats out to slaughter 797 Minke whales.
"I wish we could get there to intervene," said Captain Paul Watson. "With one ship permanently stationed in the Galapagos and our only other ship the Farley Mowat in need of repairs, we cannot be everywhere."
There is a ship in Norway. In fact, it is in the Lofoten Islands where most of the whaling takes place. The ship is the Greenpeace vessel Esperanza.
But there is little hope for the whales from this ship or from Greenpeace this year. In an interview with Associated Press, Greenpeace activist Truls Gulowsen, currently aboard the group's ship Esperanza in the Lofotens, said, "Whaling takes the focus away from the real threats to the coast, including overfishing, and the risk of oil industry pollution," Gulowsen said.
The Associated Press story also reported:
The 1990s, the Norwegian whaling season became a battleground between whalers and activists. Whaling boats were sabotaged, pursued through the oceans, and even boarded by protesters, some of whom were repelled by force.
The Associated Press story did not mention most of those activities were carried out by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
"Now all that is over. It's quiet," said Per Olav Rolandsen of the Norwegian Fish Sales Association to Associated Press reporter Doug Mellgren.
Norway's activities are in direct violation of the moratorium established by the International Whaling Association in 1986 that prohibits commercial whaling activities.
This year, another violation will be committed. Norway is allowing the hunt to take place without a government inspector aboard to monitor that the kills with explosive-tipped harpoons are humane.
The meat is consumed by Norwegians but the blubber is considered worthless. The Norwegian whaling association has destroyed hundreds of tons of stockpiled blubber. This year the whalers have been ordered to dump the fatty blubber back into the ocean.
"I cannot understand how Greenpeace can continue to raise money to save the whales," said Captain Watson from onboard the Farley Mowat currently at sea. "And yet they can be there where the whalers are about to kill whales and do nothing."
Captain Paul Watson is one of the original founding members of the Greenpeace Foundation. He left Greenpeace in 1977 to establish the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
"I can tell you right now that no Greenpeace ship would have sat out a whale hunt when I, or my former Greenpeace shipmates were onboard. The lack of action by the crew of the Esperanza is disgraceful."