BlueVoicers, Sea Shepherds, MEDASSET defend marine life

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2001:


Video crew assaulted in Japan

“Videotaping the capture of whales for broadcast on the
Internet,” executive director Hardy Jones, director
Larry Curtis, and Sakae Fujiwara of the Elsa Nature Conservancy, of
Tsukuba, Japan, reported that they were “threatened with knives” on
October 9-10 “by the fishers who killed more than 20 pilot whales,”
in a shallow bay near the village of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture,

“While filming,” the team said, they were
“confronted by two fishers who tried to steal” their cameras “and rip
out the videotapes. Threatening the team with a heavy
rod and slamming them with a construction hardhat, the assailants
repeatedly said they would kill” the videographers “if they were not
given the tapes.”
Added Jones, “When we fended them off our camera equipment,
they tried to force us to accompany them to an area where there were
many more fishers. We broke free, and after fighting them off the
entire way, we got back to our hotel. For several days,” Jones
continued, “we had kept the pilot whales alive by showing up with
our cameras each time the fishers tried to kill them. They would
shut down operations and go away to figure out what to do next.”
However, Jones said, “We documented the killing of this
entire pod, including large numbers of newborn calves. One entire
end of the bay turned red with blood.”
Added Curtis, “We also kept our cameras running during part
of the time we were under assault. We can certainly document our
Jones, of Petaluma, California, has been trying to stop
the so-called drive fisheries since 1979. Fujiwara, also known as
Sakai Hemmi, wrote the monographs A Report on the 1996 Dolphin
Catch-Quota Violation at Futo Fishing Harbor, Shizuoka Prefecture
and Wild Orca Capture: Right or Wrong?
Ecuadoran court raps fishers

The Ecuadoran Constitutional Tribunal, the top court in
Ecuador on constitutional matters, on September 24 rejected, 8-1,
a claim by the Association of Tuna Fishers of Ecuador (ATUNEC) that
the Special Law of the Galapagos violates their rights.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society patrol vessel Sirenian
has been helping the Galapagos National Park Service to nab marine
poachers including ATUNEC members since March 7. During one five-day
stretch in March, the Sea Shepherds caught three large fishing boats
inside the Galapagos Marine Reserve, and the Park Service caught
“Elements of the Ecuadoran military immediately
ordered two of the ships released without investigation, fine, or
forfeiture,” Sea Shepherd marine liaison officer Sean O’Hearn
Giminez said.
The Sea Shepherd flagship, the Ocean Warrior, was meanwhile
in the West Indies. On July 19 the volunteer crew filmed a St. Lucia
fisher with a dead pilot whale. St. Lucia officials had denied that
the tiny island nation was involved in whaling. “After the story was
widely reported,” said Sea Shepherd media liaison Andrew Christie,
“the St. Lucia coast guard ordered the Ocean Warrior to leave.”
Passing through the Panama Canal, the Ocean Warrior sailed
on to Cocos Island, owned by Costa Rica. On August 20, Sea
Shepherd founder Paul Watson and crew caught the longliner San Jose
and seven support vessels six miles inside the 14-mile-wide “no
fishing” zone surrounding Cocos Island National Park. The San Jose
was held by Costa Rican authorities at Puntarenas, pending
Sailing on to the Galapagos to resupply the Sirenian, Watson
and the crew of the Ocean Warrier were barred from Ecuadoran waters
by the Ecuadoran Navy, and Galapagos National Park Service staff
were not allowed to board. But by then the Ocean Warrior did not
have enough fuel left to go anywhere else, Watson said.
After a five-day standoff, the Ocean Warrior was allowed to
land for five days at Puerto Ayora–but as it prepared to depart on
August 31, the Ecuadoran Navy detained O’Hearn-Giminez overnight,
stating no charge. Released the next morning on a writ of habeas
corpus, O’Hearn-Giminez remains in Ecuador to help in the
prosecution of the owners and captain of the Maria Canela II, one of
the tuna boats the Sea Shepherds caught allegedly poaching in March.
The Maria Canela II had “25 miles of long line laid across
the Galapagos Marine Reserve, live sharks on its hooks, and holds
full of more than 1,000 shark fins and 78 shark trunks,” Christie
The Ocean Warrior headed back to Los Angeles, but paused
again at Cocos Island to help Costa Rican park rangers nab the
Primavera III, of Puntareans, Ecuador, with “more than two
kilometres of line” allegedly illegally in the water.”
Greek fire hits sea turtles

“At least four outbreaks of fire in different parts of the
Zaknythos National Marine Park occurred overnight on October 11-12,
destroying the natural vegetation around the loggerhead sea turtle
nesting beaches of Lagunas Bay,” the Mediterranean Association to
Save Sea Turtles e-mailed to ANIMAL PEOPLE. “The fires are reported
to arise from the arsonists’ reaction to a decision a few days
earlier in the Greek Constitutional Court,” MEDASSET said,
“rejecting appeals by the landowners of Daphne and the islet of
Marathoniai of the Presidential decree” which established the sea
turtle sanctuary. The European Court of Justice on July 12 put
Greece on a five-month probation for violating the Environmental
Directive of the European Council by failing to protect loggerhead
sea turtles from development on Zaknythos.

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