Posts Tagged understatement
Monday, 13 February 2012 Mistakes made, Lessons Learned
To say that Friday was tough would be an understatement. after flying home from Surfing Life’s Oakley big Wave Awards on Thursday, and with commentating duties at the Breaka Burleigh Pro beckoning on the weekend, I took the morning off to try and set my home life straight. When I got online around lunchtime I was stunned to see what had happened on our web site.
A piece on whaling I’d approved had set the net alight, and people were baying for blood. our web editor’s details had been posted online, and he’d received anonymous threatening texts. there were over 250 comments on the story, the majority derogatory, and Captain Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd was rallying his troops. In the bright light of day, what we’d hoped might have been a thought provoking post now looked misguided, insulting, and poorly researched, and for that and any offence caused, I apologise.
I emailed Paul Watson and offered him full right of reply. his gracious retort is below, and I thank him for that. In response to many of the comments, no, this story was not paid for by the ICR, nor any other Japanese right wing group. Surfing Life is definitely NOT pro-whaling, nor do we think that Sea Shepherd is a racist organization. I understand the point that Gabe McCauley was trying to raise – that perhaps Australia’s passion against the Japanese whaling fleet has deeper roots than just the sea’s largest creatures – and it is one that has been floated in the mainstream press before, but in this piece it was not clearly articulated, and framed in an antagonist body of text it only incited further criticism and anger.
Sea Shepherd are clearly an organization that demand media attention and with their name up in lights there will always be backlash. on the many pro-Sea Shepherd articles we have posted in the past there has always been much comment for and against, and it was that in mind that I approved the article on Thursday night. looking back, I wish I had better done my editorial due diligence, and the weekend just gone was a constant reminder of that.
Surfing Life will always be a home for passionate debate, and we always encourage opinion pieces and curious contributions. but in this instance a lot more research and a lot more care was called for.
- Chris Binns, Editor of Surfing Life
PS. Wanna hear a feelgood story involving cleaning the ocean, surfers and Japan? back in the 80s Occy was surfing the Japanese leg of the World Tour. A whole heap of rubbish and plastic crap floated by and Occ decided he should clean it up. He grabbed as much as he could and shoved it up the leg of his wetsuit. When he came back to the beach he unloaded it all in the nearest bin. Some locals saw Occ do this, and with the status he has around the globe, and the Japanese people’s respectful ways, they spread the word about Occ’s good deed. Apparently it is now common to see Japanese surfers doing exactly the same thing whenever they see flotsam in the water. cool, huh?
By Captain Paul Watson
When I read the article Fuzzy Wuzzy Whales in Australia’s Surfing Life, I thought for a moment I had mistakenly opened one of the editorial pages of the Australian. that is usually the kind of publication one would find such a shoddily researched simplistic rant like this posing as serious journalism. I have never heard of a single surfing publication anywhere in the world, including Japan, that has taken up the cause for whalers and it was even more amazing to see the tiresome canards being presented as “evidence” that Sea Shepherd’s real agenda is not saving whales at all and that we have spent eight years venturing into the most remote and hostile waters in the world because we hate Japanese people.
My Japanese crewmembers and supporters were surprised to read that racism was their agenda. A glance at Wikipedia would have quickly presented evidence that Sea Shepherd does not and has never singled out whalers just because they are Japanese. The reason that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is in the Southern Ocean defending whales from Japanese whalers can be found in one word. “Sanctuary.”
SSCS in the Southern Ocean. Photo: AAP/ABC
The Japanese whaling fleet is targeting endangered whales (Fins and Humpbacks) and protected whales (Minkes) in the established internationally designated Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. they are doing so in violation of the global moratorium on commercial whaling and they are engaged in commercial exploitation of Antarctic resources in violation of the Antarctic Treaty. The Japanese fleet is also in contempt of the Australian Federal Court ruling prohibiting them from whaling in Australian territorial waters and Australia is taking Japan to court over the legality of their whaling operations in the Southern Ocean.
What is the point of establishing a whale sanctuary if people are allowed to kill whales in it? Those who accuse Sea Shepherd of opposing whaling because we are motivated by racism with their assumption that we are anti-Japanese have failed to do any research into Sea Shepherd’s very long history of opposition to whaling.
Since I established the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in 1977 we have openly engaged in confrontations with whalers from the former Soviet Union, Iceland, Norway, the Danish Faeroe Islands, Spain, South Africa, Australia, St. Lucia, the United States, Japan and pirate whalers flying various flags of convenience. we have opposed sealing operations in Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Russia, the United States and Namibia. we have opposed shark finners in Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador and across the South Pacific. we have intervened against turtle poachers in Trinidad and we have seized and destroyed drift nets in the Caribbean and the Pacific. we have opposed dolphin killers in Japan, the Faeroes, the Galapagos and Brazil. we have protected plankton off the Galapagos and off Bermuda. And we have intervened against illegal fishing operations by Cuba and Spain on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and by Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia and the United States in the Galapagos National Park Marine Reserve. we do not discriminate.
SSCS in action in the Faeroe Islands. Photo: SSCS
Sea Shepherd is not a protest organization. we are an interventionist organization and we are an anti-poaching organization. we oppose operations that unlawfully exploit marine wildlife. we operate in accordance with the principles established within the United Nations World Charter for Nature that allows for non-governmental organizations and individuals to uphold international conservation law.
Since 1999, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has worked in partnership with the Galapagos National Park rangers and the Ecuadorian National Police to protect the Galapagos National Park Marine Reserve. towards that end we have installed a one million Euro AIS system in the Galapagos, provided a patrol vessel, a canine unit, engineers for a surveillance barge, radios and equipment for the rangers and police.
In Costa Rica, Sea Shepherd has provided generators and equipment to the Cocos Island National Park rangers. Sea Shepherd apprehended the first illegal long-liner to be taken to court and convicted in Costa Rica when we seized the Ecuadorian fishing vessel San Jose two miles off the beach of the Cocos Island National Park and Marine Reserve. we have scuttled six Norwegian whalers, two Icelandic whalers, two South African whalers, two Spanish whalers and two pirate whalers. we have not by the way, rammed or sunk a single Japanese whaler.
And most importantly in over thirty five years of activism we have not caused a single injury to our opposition nor have we ever been convicted of a felony crime. nor are there any outstanding warrants for our arrest for any crime at all. we have also not been reprimanded by our flag nations of the Netherlands and Australia.
In response to critics labeling us eco-terrorists, all I can say is that if I or my crew are eco-terrorists committing crimes then we should be arrested. if our critics do not have a case against us to arrest us they should simply shut the hell up because all they are doing is spouting nonsense. there is actually no such crime called eco-terrorism and to me the meaning of eco-terrorist would more legitimately be applied to BP for what they did in the Gulf of Mexico or Union Carbide for what they did in Bhopal, India. Monsanto is an eco-terrorist corporation. Sea Shepherd is actually a counter eco-terrorist organization.
Back in 1977, we were fighting whalers in Western Australia. A few months ago I met with some of these old whalers who are now Sea Shepherd supporters in Albany. three of them told me how they felt ashamed of what they had done back in the Seventies. Australia once a whaling nation is now indisputably the most passionate anti whaling nation on the planet and that gives me great hope that Japan will soon convert to a nation that values whales more alive than dead.
The article recently published by Australia’s Surfing Life stated: can you trust an organization whose logo plays on the pirate flag skull and crossbones? Where do you draw the line between conservation, activism and piracy on the high seas? Sea Shepherd adopted the Jolly Roger flag based on a historical reality. back in the 17th Century when piracy was out of control in the Caribbean, it was not the British or Spanish Navies that brought it to heel. too many politicians and bureaucrats on the take. Piracy in the Caribbean was defeated by one man, Henry Morgan, a pirate. sometimes you simply need pirates to fight pirates and in our case we are pirates of compassion opposing pirates of greed.
The other great thing about pirates is the lack of bureaucracy because we believe that bureaucracy keeps things from being done efficiently and expediently. And history is full of notable pirates who made positive contributions including John Paul Jones, the founder of the American Navy, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Francis Drake and Jean LaFitte who helped defend the city of new Orleans in 1814 with Andrew Jackson. aside from that, it’s a popular logo. The kids like it and it gets people’s attention. And where do we draw the line? The line is quite distinctly drawn to stop illegal activities without causing injury to our opposition.
With the criticism that we are violent all I can say is that in our entire thirty five year history we have not caused a single injury and we have only destroyed property used for illegal exploitation of marine life. A few years ago, his Holiness the Dalai Lama gave me a figurine of a horse headed dragon like creature to put on the mast of the ship. The figure is called Hayagriva and he said that it represented the compassionate wrath of the Buddha. When I asked him what that was he said that, “you never want to hurt anyone but sometimes when people cannot see enlightenment, you may have to scare the hell out of them until they do.”
The Dalai Lama understood that Sea Shepherd practices aggressive non-violence. we do not cause physical injury to those we oppose but we do destroy equipment illegally used to exploit marine wildlife. to us the destruction of a harpoon or a rifle is an act of non-violence because it can save the life of a sentient being by doing so.
Dr. Martin Luther once wrote that violence cannot be committed against a non-sentient object. it is the Sea Shepherd position that the saving of a sentient being from death and injury justifies the destruction of the weapon or equipment that threatens the life of that living entity. You can commit violence with a gun but it is not violent to destroy a gun, in fact it is merely a first strike action of non-violence to neutralize a potential instrument of violence since the only thing a gun (or a harpoon) is meant for is to inflict violence and death.
Our oceans are in trouble. there is more illegal fishing than legal fishing taking place and very rarely are the laws enforced and upheld. every single commercial fishing industry is in a state of collapse. Over-fishing is killing our oceans and if the oceans die, we all die. that is why Sea Shepherd is involved with defending species ranging from phylo-plankton to the great whales.
The caption in a recent Sydney Morning Herald article said “The Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin and the whaling ship Yushin Maru no.2 in a cat-and-mouse chase through Antarctic pack ice. Photo: Sea Shepherd”
We do get more attention for our campaigns to defend whales because we have our own television show Whale Wars that focuses on our whale campaigns. last summer we filmed a five episode series on Whale Wars the Faeroe Islands to cover the slaughter of pilot whales in the Danish Faeroe Islands. we have also filmed an episode on our Operation Blue rage to defend Bluefin tuna off the coast of Libya and another episode on Operation Desert Seal, our campaign to protect fur seals on the coast of Namibia. our award winning film Sharkwater changed the perception of sharks to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.
The article in Australia’s Surfing Life asked why we are not addressing global warming instead. The reason for that is simple. First the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was established as a marine wildlife anti-poaching organization. we are doing what we were established to do. And secondly, there is nothing we can organizationally to address global warming nor is there anything anyone else can do about it as long as people drive cars, fly around in airplanes, use plastic, stop eating meat and continue to live life styles that consume vast amounts of resources and utilize vast amounts of energy.
What we do in Sea Shepherd to address this issue is to run our ships as vegan vessels because more greenhouse gas emissions are produced by the meat industry worldwide than by the automobile industry. Also some 40% of all fish caught is fed to livestock in the form of fish meal making the pig a larger marine predator than the shark and factory farmed chickens more voracious consumers of fish than puffins and albatross.
When the article says: “Here’s a cheeky little fact for you to take home: whaling is not the biggest environmental problem in Australia’s waters and is not even the biggest problem created by Japanese fishing vessels.” how about this? Auto theft and domestic violence are not the biggest crime problems in Australia and not even the biggest problem for Australian police. Maybe they should stop chasing car thieves and handling domestic violence cases to concentrate on murder and rape.
The strength of any movement lies in diversity of approaches, tactics, strategies and activism. everybody can’t focus on doing just one thing but some can focus on one thing and at the same time do their part to help others focus on other issues. we intervene against poaching and our contribution to addressing global warming is to not consume animal products.
The article asked why people support Sea Shepherd and why some are so passionate with their support. The answer is because we are different. we are a volunteer driven international activist organization that delivers results in terms of actual numbers saved. In other words we deliver.
Last season, the Japanese whaling fleet took only 17% of its kill quota and retreated back to Japan a month ahead of schedule. we have helped to shut down the commercial seal slaughter in Canada. we physically prevented the dumping of iron filings off the Galapagos and Bermuda by an organization violating EPA rulings opposing ocean dumping to artificially enhance plankton populations because the research was suspect. we have arrested over 70 poaching vessels, seized hundreds of miles of longlines and drift nets and shut down illegal whaling operations worldwide.
In addition Sea Shepherd crew were on the beaches in 1989 rescuing animals from the Exxon Valdez spill and we also rescued animals from spills in France, Scotland, Brazil, the Galapagos and we have had a crew working in the Gulf of Mexico ever since the BP oil spill diaster. In addition to our Whale Wars television series we have helped to produce incredible documentary films like the aforementioned Sharkwater, Oceans, The Edge of the World, Black Harvest, Eco-Pirates, Pirates for the Sea, Confessions of an Eco-Terrorist, and a Fierce Green fire.
The trailer for season four of Whale Wars on Animal Planet.
Sea Shepherd is also unique in that you will never see paid Sea Shepherd street solicitors and we don’t send out vast qualities of direct (junk) mail asking for donations. we do not spend money to raise more money. we utilize donations for the purpose given – to directly fund our ships and campaigns. And thus we have grown by word of mouth and this gives us a loyal following. we have a loyal following amongst the diving and surfing communities. Surfers don’t support Sea Shepherd to clear their conscience as the article stated in a very insulting tone. on the contrary surfers and divers support Sea Shepherd because they see results of our efforts and thus a return on their investment with us.
Do the writers of the article really believe that Kelly Slater, Dave Rastovich and Stephanie Gillmore support Sea Shepherd because they have a guilty conscience? Rasta has been on a Sea Shepherd ship pulling longlines from the waters of the Galapagos National Park and releasing turtles from the hooks. He has been to Taiji, Japan to oppose the slaughter of dolphins. He is an activist because he is a surfer and most surfers have a love for the ocean and the diversity of life within the sea. The writers of this anti-Sea Shepherd article would have their readers believe that Rasta was there because he was, as they so dramatically put it, “brainwashed.”
Two examples of Hemingways old Man And The Sea? Capt Paul Watson and Kelly Slater, back in 2010 when they were slightly less old men of the sea.
The Sea Shepherd Board of Advisors also includes “brainwashed” supporters like former Australian Environment Minister Ian Campbell and the former Environment Minster of British Columbia, Canada Rafe Mair.
The writers of the article also wrote : “All I suggest is that before supporting vicious anti-whaling groups and blindly screaming hatred for whaling, you should take time and look at the facts.” The question is why did the two writers not bother to look at the facts about Sea Shepherd and whaling before they wrote an article that has all the appearances of being a paid promotion piece for the Japanese whaling industry?
The Super Bowl is one of the most anticipated sporting events every year. from the way the excitement builds up leading to the event, it would look like the event is held once every century. A lot of people watch it and it doesn’t matter if it’s their team that’s playing or not. They’ll either troop to the stadium or invite a few friends over and order some wings for a Super Bowl party. In fact, saying that a lot of people watch it is an understatement. In 2010, 106 million people were glued in front of their TV sets to watch the new Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts. Yes, that’s the most-watched show on American TV…ever!
NFL Advertising – more Than Just Temporary Tattoos!
The Super Bowl also features a popular sideshow – the commercials. during this sporting event, companies pull out all the stops to make sure that they get to play their commercials during lulls in the game. They’ll come up with the most viral commercials in order to capture the attention of the viewers. Judging from the views that they’re getting on YouTube, it’s safe to say that they succeeded.
The Super Bowl is also home to the most hardcore fans. You’ll see fans wearing NFL temporary tattoos at the game in addition to the usual garb of the team’s jersey and a little face paint. This is why a lot of teams are putting out custom fake tattoos designed after the team. They know that there are a lot of fans who are looking for things that can help them show their support for the team.
If you order the NFL temporary tattoos from a trusted manufacturer, you can be sure that they’ll look as if they’re real. can you imagine the looks that you’re going to get from fellow fans if you show up at the game with a “tattoo”? They’ll think that you’re a hardcore fan which you are and you have the body art to prove it. Just make sure that you do something unique if you’re ordering them. after all, the sports teams logos are copyrighted and they wouldn’t want you copying them directly.
You don’t have to be in the NFL or other big sporting leagues in order to take advantage of custom fake tattoos. You have to know that they work no matter how big or small the market is. This is because they’re very versatile. In fact, there’s actually more reasons for you to use them. You can use them as a marketing strategy to help increase your team’s fan base. You can also use them to raise team spirit. This is why NFL temporary tattoos are very popular. They raise the spirit of the team and their fans.
Companies can also take advantage of the popularity of sports by advertising or marketing their products or services at games. while advertising at the Super Bowl may be too expensive for most companies, there are a lot of smaller leagues where they can advertise. This works perfectly for local businesses. For example, you can team up with popular players, team or league in the area where your business is located. You can have custom fake tattoos made and you now have a marketing tool that a lot of people in your area will see. It’s not the Super Bowl, but you’re highly-visible to your target market with local use of custom temporary tattoos.