I didn’t expect Greenpeace Expedition Leader Shane Rattenbury to hesitate for so long and then to be so coy, when he was asked by Michael Duffy on ABC Radio Counterpoint (23rd January 2006) whether he would have blamed the Japanese if one of his men was hurt or killed in the Antarctic.
Michael Duffy: What if something went wrong? What if one of your people was killed or seriously injured? Would you blame the Japanese for that?
Shane Rattenbury: That’s something we desperately hope to avoid. We do place a real paramount on safety. All our activists are well-equipped, and you mentioned someone heading into the water…we did have that happen just last week and we were in a situation there were we were able to quickly retrieve that activist. He was suitable dressed for the occasion. I guess we do rely a certain amount on the whaling fleet in this case having a level of respect for human life as well and that they would not place…or take actions that would bring even greater risk upon our activists.
Rattenbury was not so coy when the Nisshin-Maru and Arctic Sunrise collided, click here. But that was perhaps just damage to a ship – not a life.
The Radio National interview is fascinating and includes Glenn Inwood explaining how and why the Nisshin-Maru was moving before the collision occurred, click here for my first blog on the issue.
The radio interview was just a few days after Greenpeace decided to leave the whales, the whalers, and the Antarctic, click here for Greenpeace’s summary of their campaign (20th January 2006).
That was only a few days after one of the Greenpeace campaigners ended up in the freezing waters of the Antarctic coloured red with the blood of a recently harpooned whale. The campaigner had maneuvered a small inflatable between whale and ship and then clung to a taut harpoon line. The Japanese version of events with a link to the Greenpeace video is at the end of this blog post, see below.
There is no denying the bravery of these righteous Greenpeace activists.
I say righteous, because they are so sure of themselves.
But I am not so sure.
They have left the Antarctic but will continue their campaign focused on whales and whaling.
But why not campaign for Sun Bears? It would seem there is much more real need here with the bears dwindling in number and being held in the cruelest of conditions. The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA)claims about 7,000 bears are kept at more than 200 farms across China in excessively cruel conditions,
There has been a fair amount of arguing at this blog about how special whales are. All life is special.
As long as we eat meat, some animals are going to be slaughtered, but I like the idea that they have the opportunity to ‘stretch their legs’ and feel the sun before they are slaughtered.
To quote from the High North Alliance website:
…obviously, it is extremely difficult to compare the whale’s relatively short-lasting, but intense pain when being killed, with the other more long-lasting but less intense forms of suffering experienced in cattle farming. Personally, I have no problems in making such a comparison. The conclusion of this comparison is that,
I would rather be a minke whale living in freedom until the final few minutes of pain, than a …pig or hen [or a sun bear].
ICR Media release about Greenpeace Activist in Water:
Greenpeace claims that their activist was thrown into the cold Southern Ocean by a taut harpoon line are shown to be false in new video released by the Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) today.
The version of the story by Texas Joe Constantine that the harpoon line fell onto their inflatable, became taut and threw him out of the boat has been placed on their website:
Texas Joe said:
“The harpoon line came down onto our boat trapping us between the whale and the catcher. The line came tight at that point and threw me from the boat into the water. It was a few minutes before our boat was able to come around and pick me up out of the water.”
The ICR has today placed video footage on its website that shows the line was slack on the Greenpeace inflatable for some time while Japanese crew members told the activists to throw off the line before something dangerous occurred.
ICR Director General Dr. Hiroshi Hatanaka said, “Our crew were concerned about their safety and urged them to throw the line off their boat. This can be clearly seen by the video. They kept the line on their inflatable so long that eventually it became tight. The Greenpeace activists deliberately held onto the rope while they decided how to get the best PR from it.”
Dr. Hatanaka said that when you view the edited Greenpeace video it appears the event happened in a matter of seconds, but there was plenty of time available to throw the rope off. “This slick manipulation misrepresented what happened, and Greenpeace must come out and admit their man had enough time to avoid being thrown into the sea.”
He added that this was the second time edited Greenpeace footage had shown the organisation to make false claims. Greenpeace claims that the Japanese vessel the Nisshin Maru collided with the Arctic Sunrise have also proved false.
The latest video footage can be seen at: