I Will Never Get Enough of This

At The New Yorker, Raffi Khatchadourian follows up on a 2007 interview with Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Sea Shepherd claims to have inflicted a record loss on Japan’s Antarctic whaling operation last winter.

I never cease to be amazed by Sea Shepherd’s resources and ingenuity. With each season of Whale Wars, Sea Shepherd looks more and more like a fully competent naval organization. I don’t stand behind all of their tactics or even their legal analysis of Japan’s whaling operation but I am enamored with their ever-increasing competence at using military logic to embarrass Japan’s pigheaded Institute of Cetacean Research.

The following quote nearly made me swoon:

Khatchadourian: The Sam Simon is a vessel that you just secretly purchased—a surprise that you announced just as the whaling season started.

Watson: It’s an interesting vessel because we bought it from the Japanese. It was moored right along the Japanese whaling fleet when we bought it, and not only did they sell it to us—not knowing that they were selling it to us—but they delivered it to Australia for us. So we kept it in its original white color, and “RESEARCH” is painted on the side, so it looks like one of their ships.

Khatchadourian: I read an interview with a Sea Shepherd staff member who said that the psychological element—I guess, as it always is with your campaigns—was important: using one of their own vessels against them.

Watson: Well, they are pretty upset about it, I think, because it is a culture where they don’t like to be humiliated, and I think we did that.

I’m beside myself at the revelation that there will be a sixth season of Whale Wars after it appeared that season five would be the last.

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