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Murray McCully Don't Be A Wimp - Take On The Japanese Whalers!

Chris Ford
Chris Ford

Murray McCully shouldn't be so much of a wimp. Instead of blaming the campaigners on the Ady Gil for confronting the Japanese whalers and almost having their boat and crew obliterated by the Shonan Maru, he should be joining the popular chorus of condemnation against the whaling boat's crew and the company that owns the vessel.

While I do question the tactics of the Sea Shepherd Society, who are the new and aggressive campaigning rivals of Greenpeace, I have to say that the Shonan Maru was extremely aggressive itself in taking on the Ady Gil in Antarctic waters last week. From watching the pictures supplied to international media outlets by the Japanese vessel itself, I can see that the fault lies squarely with the Japanese rather than the Ady Gil. If anything, the Shonan Maru should have engaged in evasive actions to steer clear of the protesters.

And it is the aggressive actions of the Japanese to protect their whaling industry that should be the main concern of the international community and not just the actions of the Sea Shepherd protest fleet. That's why Murray McCully should step up New Zealand's ongoing opposition to whaling and not continue to make statements that the Ady Gil was the author of its own fate. McCully should also be supportive of the Sea Shepherd Society's police complaint alleging that the Shonan Maru engaged in the attempted murder of the Ady Gil crew. In fact, Australia (where I am currently on holiday) has taken a more neutral stance in that Acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard has called for restraint from both sides.

Therefore, if New Zealand wants to take sides in this dispute, it should align itself (perhaps with some reservations) with the Sea Shepherd Society.

It must be remembered too that what the Sea Shepherd Society have highlighted through their Antarctic protest campaign is the ongoing slaughter of whales in our own backyard. Hardly anyone in this country or around the world believes in the Japanese explanation that they are merely conducting 'research'. That is why the Japanese whaling campaign needs to be halted in order to preserve whale populations in our region before they are decimated.

That's why Murray McCully should think of the need to urge the Japanese to heed the call of the Sea Shepherd protesters and not condemn them.