Japanese Open Fire on Sea Shepherd Crew – Time to Boycott Japan?

March 9, 2008 at 3:03 pm (Sea Shepherd's Antarctic Whale Defence Campaign) (, , , , , , , )

Terri Irwin with Captain Paul Watson in front of the ‘Steve Irwin’ from Flickr by guano

Rebecca Sherman from London is the creator of a Facebook group which proposes that we Boycott Japanese Products Until Japan Ends Whaling!

Just last Friday, a clash between the crew of the Sea Shepherd vessel Steve Irwin, and the Japanese whaling ship Nisshin Maru, turned violent when the Japanese Coast Guard began to throw flash grenades at the crew of the Steve Irwin inside the Australian Territorial Zone .

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

SSCS is an international non-profit organisation whose mission is to end destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in the interest of conservation.

Captain struck by bullet

Captain Paul Watson was struck by a bullet in the chest. However, his life was spared when the bullet was stopped by his Kevlar vest and an anti-poaching badge which was worn on his sweater underneath.

Additional injuries were sustained by crewmembers Ashley Dunn and Ralph Lowe. Dunn, 35, from Launceston, Australia suffered a hip injury when he tried to get out of the way of the exploding grenades. Lowe, 33, from Melbourne, Australia received bruises to his back when one of the flash grenades exploded behind him.

Why did this happen?

“Whales are endangered and hunting them has been illegal since 1986. However, under the auspices of The Institute of Cetacean Research, Japan uses a scientific loophole in the ban to continue hunting and killing endangered whales and selling the meat for profit,” says Sherman.

The Japanese Coast Guard was retaliating against Sea Shepherd crewmembers for tossing rotten butter onto the decks to discourage their illegal whaling activities. The clash came after a week long pursuit by the Steve Irwin of the Nisshin Maru, in an effort to stop illegal whaling activities in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

Sherman says: “Please boycott Japanese products. Hit Japan wear it hurts. Let them know that you think whale hunting is wrong and it should be stopped.”

Visit www.seashepherd.org for more information on their campaign.

Also check out Sherman’s Facebook group for further details at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5925369230

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Surfrider Foundation’s fight for ocean access in the USA

February 22, 2008 at 8:28 pm (The Surfrider Foundation) (, , , , , , )

The Surfrider Foundation is fighting against a proposed development permit for the Takanassee Beach Club property in Long Branch, New Jersey. The Foundation has launched a petition to try to persuade the NJ DEP to refuse the permit.

If the plans go ahead, public access to the ocean will be restricted by 19 luxury residences with path ways to the beach and 5 public parking spaces. The property previously operated as a private beach club allowing thousands to enjoy the ocean and Lake Takanassee.

John Weber, Surfrider Foundation’s Northeast Regional Manager said: “In short, coastal development is out of control here in New Jersey. We should be pulling away from the coast in the face of sea level rise, not building more condos etc.”

Reasons to fight

The property has historic importance and the Surfrider Foundation would like particular buildings to be saved and turned into some type of museum dedicated to the lifesaving services that once used them.

The development would mean a significant reduction in the number of people able to access the beach.

This site is in between the ocean and a coastal lake and has experienced flooding several times in recent years and the property has been ruled as an erosion hazard area.

The recreational opportunities for local residents and visitors would be reduced and their history lost.

The lake is on the City’s Roster of Open Space Inventory. The development will prevent people accessing the lake to fish in the current way and adversely impact public open space.

The problem

Despite this list of reasons to save the Takanassee Beach Club, Weber remains concerned over the prospect of losing the fight: “…our state Department of Environmental Protection is just too close with developers and their attourneys, so getting these coastal building permits is easier.”

But the fight continues whilst the project is on hold pending environmental review.

The Surfrider Foundation’s Mission Statement

“The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches for all people, through conservation, activism, research and education.”

For more information on the The Surfrider Foundation’s fight to Save Takanassee Beach visit http://www.savetakbeach.com/ . There is also a short documentary on YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8dNH8UOPH8

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