In which I discuss the disgusting behavior of the Sea Shepherds as if someone cared

The short version: If you support one of the corporations on this list you are giving aid to a group of professional bullies who pretend to care about whales but are actually solely interested in harassing villagers.

The long version: Here is the reality of Sea Shepherds. It is a documentary produced by Asahi TV, a national Japanese television agency.

Contrary to the fabricated images in The Cove, dolphin hunting at Taiji is not a secret, and it is not kept under wraps. We see in this documentary the truth: it is possible to see and photograph the kill from various public spaces, which Sea Shepherds are seen patrolling just as much as villagers. Actually, the barriers were put up around the dolphin hunting area because of ongoing harassment from Sea Shepherds during the morning of the kill. The Asahi reporters did not need to hide cameras to get footage of the dolphin hunt, meat being cooked, etc.

The Sea Shepherds stand in the middle of the road, blocking a guy from driving to the port. He’s not there to kill any dolphins; as far as I can tell he’s an ordinary dock worker. When he asks them to move, they respond rudely in mock Spanish, saying “No hablo Japanese” and giggling. We learn that this insane behavior has continued every day for seven years.

The Sea Shepherds press cameras in the face of the fishermen, saying, “I’m sorry, is this bothering you? Are you upset?” very similar to the behavior of Scientologists. They shove a camera in the face of one of the Asahi reporters, saying, “Ooh, I like this one”.

Asahi asks the leader, “Why do you bully villagers?” He responds: “Because it’s fun.” He explains that if villagers don’t like being harassed by foreigners, they should move to another village. He then says that he really wants to commit some crimes in Japan. He has come here on a tourist visa.

The reporters follow him to his hotel, continuing to ask questions. “Give me a little bit of time here!” he says. “Please, don’t be rude!” They ask him why he doesn’t show fishermen the same politeness he’s requesting from the real reporters. No reply is forthcoming.

In this video, Asahi mocks the fake “Mission: Impossible” style of The Cove, following the covert movements of the Sea Shepherds in and out of the town. The Sea Shepherds refuse to talk to the media or answer questions, saying that they were instructed not to talk. “No talk, no talk,” they say in gleeful pidgin English. In the uncritical Western media, Sea Shepherds soak up the attention, but when forced to answer real questions about their work they clam up.

Asahi pursues the similarities of the Sea Shepherds to a religious cult. A Japanese anti-dolphin hunt protester who used to be in the organization comes to Taiji, saying that she understands the intent of the protesters and hopes that the town could reach some understanding with those who love dolphins. But the Sea Shepherds refuse to talk to her, much less appear with her on camera. Finally, some foreign environmentalists in Taiji outside the organization are interviewed, who say that joining the Sea Shepherds would have prevented them from talking with villagers in a friendly way.

When Asahi asks the Sea Shepherds for an interview one last time, one of them breaks into tears spontaneously! After saying that the other foreigners are “just an opinion”, they walk away from the interviewers.

Some more footage of real Sea Shepherd “charity work” here:

If that didn’t make you uncomfortable, I don’t know what else to say.

Analyzing these videos, one is forced to conclude:

  1. Sea Shepherds receive an insane amount of money to financially enable their harassment.
  2. They are not changing the mind of any Japanese people in Taiji; in fact, they seem intent on sowing seeds of hatred between foreigners and villagers.
  3. There are other foreign activists in Taiji who are familiar with this and have doubtless pointed it out to the Sea Shepherds before.
  4. Considering their cultlike behavior, it is entirely possible that their leader has decided it would be better to continue these anti-social, extremist activities and live off of the resulting donation money than change their attitude and see the Taiji project come to an amicable end.

The following companies lend material aid to a campaign of harassment from a cult-like organization:

Flattr (who describe this disgusting behavior as “charity work”)
LUSH Cosmetics
Lonely Planet
E Street
Snorkel Bob’s
Beanie’s Health Foods
Living Harvest
Native Foods
Redwood Foods
Freeverse/Strange Flavour Games

Posted: April 5th, 2011 | Japan, Res pueriles 3 Comments »

3 Comments on “In which I discuss the disgusting behavior of the Sea Shepherds as if someone cared”

  1. 1 Kaitlin said at 1:53 am on April 6th, 2011:

    I’m confused. When I saw The Cove the people in it were not Sea Shepherds but a rag-tag group of divers, camera geeks, and a guy that used to train dolphins for Flipper. I thought the Sea Shepherds were exclusively the tiny band of nutjobs on Paul Watson’s anti-whaling boat and their supporters.

    What is the actual connection between the Sea Shepherd organization and the makers of The Cove? The documentary did not make the connection explicit.

  2. 2 Kaitlin said at 1:55 am on April 6th, 2011:

    Never mind. Their website answered my question. If I had known The Cove was produced by the Sea Shepherds I probably wouldn’t have watched it.

  3. 3 Center-right Blog managers said at 2:44 am on April 6th, 2011:

    Hello, avery
    Flattr was added to the article.
    Thank you for your information.

    [This document has been automatically translated. ]