Monday, November 17, 2008

Wars over whales

In the random thoughts category for the day, is anyone familiar with Whale Wars?

I had seen the previews, and I finally caught an episode last night in which the 'Sea Shepherds' boarded a Japanese fishing vessel that was illegally fishing in sanctuary waters.

The two men who boarded the ship were detained by the crew, which wasn't terribly shocking to me. Of course, the home base for the 'Sea Shepherds' called this a 'hostage situation' and then deployed some ill-conceived device designed to disable the boat and proceded to contact all sorts of Australian and Japanese media outlets. Naturally, the device failed, and the ship made off the with two men.

Now, bear with me on this, but ... how are the men not illegally boarding the ship. I'm not arguing that the crew was illegally fishing in the waters, but it would seem to me there should be a more appropriate, formal security force in place to deal with such infractions. A bunch of conservation advocates - doing noble work by patrolling the waters - boarding ships without consent seems to be a bad idea.

I mean, if I was on the open waters and a jet boat sped up next to me waving a pirate flag and two men jumped on board, I'd have my crew subdue them too until the appropriate authorities could arrive and properly deal with the situation.


Blogger Polusplagchnos said...

I know nothing of international maritime law, but I think you are right that there are certain prudent reasons to not hop on someone else's ship. However, the ocean is an extremely, extremely huge place. I mean, really, really, really big. And it's not easy to cross it quickly. Someone doing something illegal on it is not likely to get caught immediately unless there is already an active patrol in effect: witness the recent pirating taking place off the coast of Somalia going on.

9:22 PM  

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