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Subject: Two activists held aboard whaling ship
BLUIE006    1/15/2008 8:07:58 AM
Tuesday January 15, 10:59 PM Two activists held aboard whaling ship An Australian and a Briton are being held hostage aboard a Japanese whaling vessel in the Southern Ocean, the Sea Shepherd anti-whaling group says. Benjamin Potts, 28, of Sydney, and Giles Lane, 35, from Britain, crew from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessel Steve Irwin, boarded the Japanese whaling vessel Yashin Maru No 2 about 5pm (AEDT), the group's international director Jonny (Jonny) Vasic told AAP. ADVERTISEMENT The ship was one of a fleet of five the Steve Irwin had tracked since January 1 but located on Tuesday, Mr Vasic said. The men boarded the vessel from a Zodiac boat to hand its captain a letter informing him that the vessel's crew was "illegally killing whales" in the Southern Whale Sanctuary. "When they got on board and delivered the letter they were not allowed to leave," Mr Vasic said. "The letter basically stated that they (the Japanese crew) were breaking the international conservation law against whaling in the Antarctic sanctuary." Mr Vasic said the men were tied to a radar mast for up to three hours in freezing conditions before they were taken to a locked room below deck. "We have a photo that shows that when they were held they were basically strapped by the arms with zip ties and tied with rope around their chests, and then they were held there for several hours in the cold, and then about two-and-a-half to three hours after that, they were taken below," he said. Mr Vasic said Sea Shepherd had contacted the British High Commission in Australia and the Australian Federal Police to report the incident. "We're hoping that the federal government and the British government will step up and do the right thing, which is demand the release of their citizens," Mr Vasic said. "We're trying to contact (the Japanese vessel) by radio. They are moving away from us but we're in pursuit and we are holding off on taking any further action until we know if the governments are doing anything." Mr Lane is an engineer aboard the Steve Irwin. Mr Potts is a cook. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is investigating the incident. An AFP spokeswoman said a Sea Shepherd Conservation Society representative made a report to police early this evening, about 6pm (AEDT), saying two of their activists were being held on board a Japanese vessel in the Southern Ocean. There is no evidence at this stage that the pair had been tied to a radar mast on board that vessel, the AFP spokeswoman said. The incident occurred just inside the Australian Antarctic Sanctuary near the intersection of the coordinates 60 degrees south and 77 degrees east, a week's sail south-west of the Australian coast, Mr Vasic said. The encounter came after the Federal Court outlawed whaling in Australian Antarctic waters in a ruling the government said it would not try to enforce. - WHAT THE???? The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society earlier reported that the crew of the Steve Irwin had located five whaling vessels at 11.15am (AEDT) on the 60-degree south line. APP
 
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BLUIE006       1/15/2008 8:27:30 AM
The encounter came after the Federal Court outlawed whaling in Australian Antarctic waters in a ruling the government said it would not try to enforce. -
 
What  does this statement mean ?  Drugs  are outlawed  but  the  police won't bust you, speeding is ok -you wont get fines, stealing is outlawed but you wont get jailed??
 
Diplomacy  has  failed -- 
 
Potential military  options include,
 
 Send an  ANZAC   to the region to conduct "training" (patrol the  region until end of the whaling session) - deterrence
 
Sending  an  ANZAC & FFG  to  confront and escort  the invading  ships  out of  Australian waters
 
Announce that two Collins Class SSKs will be conducting  exercises  in the region ( may also harm the whales)  -deterrence
 
Covertly  send  a  Collins to damage the ships with lightweight torpedo's ( Alter the Steve Irwin tasking  to rescue and battle damage assessment)
 
Covertly  send  a  Collins to  blow them out of the water....
 
Covertly  send  a  Collins and SOF to conduct sabotage, to make sinking look accidental
 
Surface  ship  and SOF -  boarding party
 
and  my personal favorite -  send the PIGS  to  pave track  there  arses  back to  JAPAN  :)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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gf0012-aust       1/15/2008 8:50:25 AM
what morons.  they do an unauthorised boarding in international waters and get detained by the ships master.
 
what genius lawyer experienced in IML told them that it was a smart idea?
 
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Enterpriser       1/15/2008 8:52:58 AM

The encounter came after the Federal Court outlawed whaling in Australian Antarctic waters in a ruling the government said it would not try to enforce. -

 

What  does this statement mean ?  Drugs  are outlawed  but  the  police won't bust you, speeding is ok -you wont get fines, stealing is outlawed but you wont get jailed??

 

Diplomacy  has  failed -- 

 

Potential military  options include,

 

 Send an  ANZAC   to the region to conduct "training" (patrol the  region until end of the whaling session) - deterrence

 

Sending  an  ANZAC & FFG  to  confront and escort  the invading  ships  out of  Australian waters

 

Announce that two Collins Class SSKs will be conducting  exercises  in the region ( may also harm the whales)  -deterrence

 

Covertly  send  a  Collins to damage the ships with lightweight torpedo's ( Alter the Steve Irwin tasking  to rescue and battle damage assessment)

 

Covertly  send  a  Collins to  blow them out of the water....

 

Covertly  send  a  Collins and SOF to conduct sabotage, to make sinking look accidental

 

Surface  ship  and SOF -  boarding party

 

and  my personal favorite -  send the PIGS  to  pave track  there  arses  back to  JAPAN  :)

 

 

 

 

 

 


Okay lets be serious here.
IF the sea areas are considred part of our Antartic claims then.........
 
The Antartic Treaty System (including the Main Antartic Treaty which entered force on June 23rd 1961) prohibits military activity within the prescribed area under Article 1. Article 2 protects rights to scientific research. Article 4 means that our currently disputed claims are not recognized unless through peaceful processes, or ultimately, by determination of the ICJ in its arbitration jurisdiction - Article 11.
In ANY case the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources states....
 

Article II

1. The objective of this Convention is the conservation of Antarctic marine living resources.

2. For the purposes of this Convention, the term "conservation" includes rational use.

3. Any harvesting and associated activities in the area to which this Convention applies shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this Convention and with the following principles of conservation:

(a) prevention of decrease in the size of any harvested population to levels below those which ensure its stable recruitment. For this purpose its size should not be allowed to fall below a level close to that which ensures the greatest net annual increment;

(b) maintenance of the ecological relationships between harvested, dependent and related populations of Antarctic marine living resources and the restoration of depleted populations to the levels defined in sub-paragraph (a) above;

and

(c) prevention of changes or minimization of the risk of changes in the marine ecosystem which are not potentially reversible over two or three decades, taking into account the state of available knowledge of the direct and indirect impact of harvesting, the effect of the introduction of alien species, the effects of associated

 
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bigfella       1/15/2008 9:37:01 AM
Enterpriser is on the money. Territorial claims over the Antarctic & its waters aren't backed by strong enough international law for anyone to send in the Navy. It does, however, give us one more stick to beat Japan over the head with. Every bit helps.
 
On the other hand, imprisoning 2 of the Sea Sheperds is DUMB with a capitol DUH. Japan may have the legal right to do so, but it won't play out that way in the press. It seems that they can't even claim some sort of threat, as the 2 were simply presenting a legal document & then planning to leave.
 
Having tried hard for years to repair its image after the 'cockroacj of the sea' comment a few years back, the Japanese whaling industry has again shot itself in the foot. 
 
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Aussie Diggermark 2       1/15/2008 10:30:42 AM

The encounter came after the Federal Court outlawed whaling in Australian Antarctic waters in a ruling the government said it would not try to enforce. -

 

What  does this statement mean ?  Drugs  are outlawed  but  the  police won't bust you, speeding is ok -you wont get fines, stealing is outlawed but you wont get jailed??

 

Diplomacy  has  failed -- 

 

Potential military  options include,

 

 Send an  ANZAC   to the region to conduct "training" (patrol the  region until end of the whaling session) - deterrence

 

Sending  an  ANZAC & FFG  to  confront and escort  the invading  ships  out of  Australian waters

 

Announce that two Collins Class SSKs will be conducting  exercises  in the region ( may also harm the whales)  -deterrence

 

Covertly  send  a  Collins to damage the ships with lightweight torpedo's ( Alter the Steve Irwin tasking  to rescue and battle damage assessment)

 

Covertly  send  a  Collins to  blow them out of the water....

 

Covertly  send  a  Collins and SOF to conduct sabotage, to make sinking look accidental

 

Surface  ship  and SOF -  boarding party

 

and  my personal favorite -  send the PIGS  to  pave track  there  arses  back to  JAPAN  :)

Until the Japanese Maritime self-defence force are ordered to "defend" Japanese fishing boats in the same area. That self defence force which is MANY times stronger than the RAN and can claim legitimacy for it's actions on the basis that the Japanese are acting in a completely legal manner, something we would not if we used military force in this manner...

The Japanese don't have a leg to stand on morally, but are acting from all reports completely legally.

Australia needs to push strongly at the IWC for an amendment to the existing schedule that scientific "harvesting" of whales can continue. However only prescribed "testing" can be conducted and the carcasses not used for retail purposes in any fashion, just like the "Aboriginal  subsistence" whalers are forbidden to do.

Scientific harvesting would end tomorrow.

The unlawful harvesting would commence, BUT Japan would then have no legal basis for continuing it's slaughter and would become a pariah.

 
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DropBear       1/15/2008 6:09:38 PM
and  my personal favorite -  send the PIGS  to  pave track  there  arses  back to  JAPAN  :)
 
Mine too!!! 
 
 
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Yimmy       1/15/2008 8:24:47 PM
Ah piracy!
 
A fine way to swap the moral high ground for a ditch and a spade.  They are lucky nobody was hurt.
 
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stingray1003       1/15/2008 10:47:06 PM
Well the sea shepards are certainly getting stacks o press out of this. While risky its entirely sea shepard style. The japanese aren't going to kill them and its a hell of a lot safer and got more press than running up in a RHIB to the bow.
 
Thing is Japan has to be careful of the standards its setting. There are plenty of countries that would be interested in Antartic fishing, India and China have pretty much said as much, perhaps they too want to go down there and conduct some scientific study japan style of fish.
 
 If Australia doesn't assert itself the southern oceans look like becomming as contested as the North pole. Open house fishing, random antartic base building (already done by the Chinese), then someone will start prospecting..
 
 If the Australian government does nothing, then looney groups like the sea shepards certainly will. They have already stated they are going to wear body armour on the bridge. If they are already being charged as pirates, then they might as well send an armed team to board the ship, take back the the two crew "kidnapped", arrest the whaling crew, then scuttle the whaling ship.
 
 While remote, it is possible things could degernate to this level (after all both sides have shown a fair bit of crazyness). After loosing an entire vessel Japan might see fit to send its defence force to escort its vessels. Meanwhile Australia sits on its hands doing nothing while all out anarchy breaks out on the southern ocean.  
 
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gf0012-aust       1/15/2008 11:42:36 PM

While remote, it is possible things could degernate to this level (after all both sides have shown a fair bit of crazyness). After loosing an entire vessel Japan might see fit to send its defence force to escort its vessels. Meanwhile Australia sits on its hands doing nothing while all out anarchy breaks out on the southern ocean.  

the whole point is that we have no authority to send in armed vessels.  the classification of the area means that if we were to send in armed vessels to forcibly evict japanese vessels, then we would be engaging in an act of piracy ourselves.
unfortunately the morons in the press who advocate sending armed vessels to assert ourselves are ferking clueless about what international laws we would break.
 
journalists who know ferk all about what rights of intervention we have (esp with respect to sending in armed force) should shut the ferk up rather than pontificate about something which would legally fall in favour of the japanese irrespective of how abhorent the issue of whaling is to our society(ies)
 
you do realise that under ILS any countries research vessel has the right to enter your 12 mile limit under the conditions of research?  why do you think the cold war surveillance assets of the AG"nn" class were always pennanted as research vessels.
 
the only way to deal with this is to show how spurious the concept of research is being abused by the japanese whalers.  thats a mindset change.
 
armed force intervention is abolsutely moronic and shows no appreciation of what schitt we;d put ourselves in.  Let alone the fact that in a naval punch up the japanese would clean our clocks.
 


 
 
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Enterpriser       1/16/2008 12:52:50 AM

Well the sea shepards are certainly getting stacks o press out of this. While risky its entirely sea shepard style. The japanese aren't going to kill them and its a hell of a lot safer and got more press than running up in a RHIB to the bow.

 

Thing is Japan has to be careful of the standards its setting. There are plenty of countries that would be interested in Antartic fishing, India and China have pretty much said as much, perhaps they too want to go down there and conduct some scientific study japan style of fish.

 

 If Australia doesn't assert itself the southern oceans look like becomming as contested as the North pole. Open house fishing, random antartic base building (already done by the Chinese), then someone will start prospecting..

 

 If the Australian government does nothing, then looney groups like the sea shepards certainly will. They have already stated they are going to wear body armour on the bridge. If they are already being charged as pirates, then they might as well send an armed team to board the ship, take back the the two crew "kidnapped", arrest the whaling crew, then scuttle the whaling ship.

 

 While remote, it is possible things could degernate to this level (after all both sides have shown a fair bit of crazyness). After loosing an entire vessel Japan might see fit to send its defence force to escort its vessels. Meanwhile Australia sits on its hands doing nothing while all out anarchy breaks out on the southern ocean.  


Perhaps I didn't make myself very clear..........let my try again:
 
"WE CANNOT DO ANYTHING WITHOUT THE REPERCUSSIONS OF PERCEIVED BREACHES OF INTERNATIONAL LAW!"
1) As Gary says the ILS prevents armed contact with research vessels pretty much anywhere (including Territorial Waters)
2) The Antartic Treaty System specifically makes provision for the protection or rights to conduct of scientific research
3) ANY attempt to enforce  Australian Federal Law within the prescribed areas would be seen as an attempt to extend Australian Soverignty to include disputed areas
 
These suggested courses of military/policing action are a minefield. It is highly conceivable that the case brought about by the complaint by the HSI was only allowed to go ahead to satisfy the greenies within the Labor party. It is a court ruling that everyone knows cannot be enforced.
 
Brett.
P.S I note that Australia has just finished building the first airstrip on Antartica to allow direct flights...........sovereignty enforcer when the time comes?
 
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