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Pic of the Day

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The Gojira… Sea Shepherd’s high speed vessel. 

The Future of Humpback Whales

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This BBC clip taken from the documentary “Planet Earth” Narrated by Sir David Attenborough. Incredible footage of Humpback Whales. Thumbs up to BBC and particularly the various organizations involved in the conservation of these majestic animals.

Today, 2 December 2010, marks the day Paul Watson and the three Sea Shepherd ships depart for the Southern Atlantic in their annual campaign against the Japanese whaling fleet. It is also, coincidentally, Paul Watson’s birthday. Happy Birthday to you, sir!

Chuck Swift

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Chuck Swift from “Whale Wars” is the Bob Barker Captain and a member of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in the Animal Planet reality docu-drama.

Born and raised in Southern California, Chuck Swift has a history of involvement in conservation and animal welfare issues spanning the last 20 years.

Captain Chuck (“Whale Wars”) began volunteering for Sea Shepherd in 1990 and remained involved for nearly a decade. Captain Chuck Swift’s campaign roster includes the 1994 Whales Forever campaign in which Sea Shepherd was violently attacked by the Norwegian Coast Guard, multiple seal campaigns including the explosive 1996 confrontation in the Magdalene Islands, and a variety of other campaigns before and after.

During his absence from Sea Shepherd, Captain Chuck (“Whale Wars”) worked in various professions, earned a degree in Business Administration, a professional certificate in Change Leadership from Cornell University, and as time permits, he continues his studies toward a Masters in Communication and Leadership. Since his return to Sea Shepherd in early 2009, Captain Chuck Swift has functioned as Sea Shepherd’s Deputy CEO, positively influencing both the administrative and ship operations sides of organization—most notably helping to secretly acquire, refit and then ultimately captain Sea Shepherd’s newest ship the Bob Barker during Operation Waltzing Matilda.
Captain Chuck (“Whale Wars”) believes that the time for talking is over, and prefers a direct action approach on behalf of Sea Shepherd’s customers (“the salty ones”) currently threatened by societal greed and exploitation. While serious about his dedication to the protection of marine and other ecosystems, Captain Swift maintains that a good sense of humor and positive attitude are critical to the success of any movement. Captain Chuck (“Whale Wars”) has been heard to say, “We should take our mission seriously, but never ourselves.”

International Anti-Whaling Day 5 November.

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Mmm, so it’s been a few days since I did the whole blog thing. What have I been up to? This is the question.
Aside from a very dull day job, I’ve been working behind the scenes with some cool people for the International Anti-Whaling Day Protests happening tomorrow, 5 November. Cape Town and Pretoria being two of more than 120 cities in over 60 countries taking part.

So, what’s all the noise about? Well firstly, each year around 22 000 dolphins are killed off the coast of Japan alone. These creatures are herded into a death trap where they get speared to death and their throats are slit. The Japanese also hunt whales. Lots of them. More than a thousand. Around 900 Minke whales, the balance made up of hump-backs, southern rights etc. The Japanese do this in a protected area and attempt to disguise the massacre as research. The IWC are spineless and recent evidence goes so far as to show Japan giving monetary aid to developing nations on condition of supporting Japanese whaling policy. Thats buying the IWC vote!

Whaling has hardly changed in the last 100 years. These majestic creatures are shot with a harpoon which has an exploding tip attached to it, The harpoon shot does not kill the whale, but causes massive trauma and unbearable pain. The injured and alarmed whale thrashes futilely against its fetters and is shot repeatedly with rifles until it dies some time later.

Now, before you wish to vent your fury solely on the Japanese, consider the following. Japan is one of TEN nations involved in this barbaric practice. So is the US of America,  Russia, Norway, Faroe Islands, Canada, Indonesia, Greenland, Iceland, St Vincent and the Grenadines. The slaughter of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands is particularly heinous and very much akin to the atrocities perpetuated in Taiji Japan. Paul Watson refers to them as the Ferocious Islands. The participants of the “grind” slaughter just under a thousand each year. The water turns crimson as it is stained with blood as men with machetes and knives hack these innocent creatures to death. None are spared, not even pregnant females.

 

I could continue ad nauseum, but you get the picture. So thats what all the noise is about. Fortunately, people do actually care. Hundreds of folks from all around the world will unite in condemnation of this horribly cruel practice. It will be the largest animal rights protest in history. I am proud to have played a small roll in its execution and I further thank and congratulate all parties involved for their contribution. I pray that policies surrounding whaling change, the slaughter relegated to a thing of the past, a haunting reminder of the apes we used to be.
For further info and how you can help, check out the facebook page for Sea Shepherd SA