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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Australian Federal Police Seize Whale Wars Videos



The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship Steve Irwin
arrived in Hobart, Tasmania at 1700 Hours on February 20th.
The ship
was met at dockside by a party of Federal Australian Police officers
who boarded the Steve Irwin with a warrant.

The warrant authorized the seizing of "all edited and raw video
footage, all edited and raw audio recordings, all still photographs,
producer's notes, interview transcripts, production meeting minutes,
post production meeting minutes as well as the ship's log books, global
positioning system records, automatic radar plotting aid, purchase
records, receipts, financial transaction records, voyage information
and navigational plotted charts.
"

The Animal Planet series Whale Wars was very embarrassing
to the Japanese government and the Japanese whaling industry in 2008.

Japan does not wish to see the airing of the second season of Whale Wars
and is putting as much diplomatic pressure on Australia as they
possibly can to prevent further exposure of their illegal whaling
operations in the Southern Ocean.

"I wish that the Australian government would apply the same
"diplomatic" pressure on Japan to end their illegal whaling
operations," said Captain Paul Watson.
"The Rudd government was elected
on a promise to take the Japanese whaling industry to court for their
illegal whaling activities.
Now they seem to be more interested in
taking Sea Shepherd to court for our efforts to intervene against
illegal whaling operations.
"
Captain Paul Watson said he would welcome a trial.





"We have to start somewhere so it may as well be by taking me to
court.
Let us get the evidence on the table and although a trial
against Sea Shepherd and myself may not allow the introduction of
evidence about Japan's illegal whaling operations, it at least will
give us the forum to present our evidence.
Let's see the Australian
government bring the Japanese whale killers to Australia to bear
witness against Sea Shepherd and Animal Planet and let's see them
appear as witnesses for the government of Australia that professes to
be against whaling.
"

"It's a very one-sided affair," continued Captain Watson.
"The
Japanese ships have not been boarded by the Australian Federal Police;
they have not had their video and navigational data confiscated.
They
have not been questioned nor will they be, yet they violently attacked
my ship and crew in the Southern Ocean.
Does the law only go to bat for
those who destroy nature's creation? Are we about to see the ultimate
kangaroo court where Sea Shepherd will be legally crucified because the
Australian government has not lived up to their promise of taking the
whale killers to court? The truth is that we would not have to be in
the Southern Ocean defending the whales if the governments of the world
would simply enforce the international conservation treaties they once
so proudly signed into law.
Without enforcement there is no law - just
ecological anarchy.
"

Captain Watson said he had no complaints about the Australian Federal Police.

"They were very professional and polite and they were doing their job in carrying out the orders of the government.
"
"We have quite the year ahead of us," continued Captain Watson.
"We need to repair damages to the Steve Irwin,
we need to secure a second and faster vessel, and we need to be
prepared to return to the Southern Ocean again at the end of the year
to defend whales.
If need be we will be in court to answer to charges
of defending endangered whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary
and to this we proudly plead guilty.
"

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