I am not about to get up on a soap box regarding what I do or don't believe about wildlife conservation, but it has come to my attention that there was an altercation yesterday off the eastern coast of Canada between a Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Vessel and a Canadian Coast Guard Icebreaker. The two accounts of the story I was able to find are copied and linked below.
From the Sea Shepherd group http://www.seashepherd.org/news/media_080330_2.html
Sea Shepherd News
Canadian Coast Guard Rams Farley Mowat
The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker CCGS Des Groseilliers twice rammed the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship Farley Mowat today.
The Coast Guard had ordered the Farley Mowat to not approach the area where seals are being slaughtered. When the Farley Mowat did not comply, the Coast Guard rammed the vessel near the port aft stern area. After the Farley Mowat stopped in the ice, the Coast Guard rammed the ship a second time in the same area of the ship causing damage to the plates in that area.
The Coast Guard has demonstrated extreme recklessness with this move. The crew of the Farley Mowat were engaged in documenting the slaughter of seals. They were not interfering with the hunt.
“I’m beginning to wonder if anyone on the bridge of the Groseilliers has a license to command a ship,” said Captain Alex Cornelissen. “The incompetence of the Coast Guard has already cost the lives of four sealers this week-end and now they are ramming ships in dangerous ice conditions. This is unbelievable. It’s like the Coast Guard has declared war on seal defenders and the sealers are collateral damage.”
The Farley Mowat will remain in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and will continue to document the atrocities on the ice. Already the crew have seen enough evidence to understand that the Canadian government’s pretense that the slaughter is humane has no basis in reality – in other words it’s a state sponsored lie.
“It appears that Canada is prepared to use violence to cover-up the truth of this slaughter,” said Captain Paul Watson. “Our duty is to resist their violence and continue to document the truth.”
From The Canadian Press http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl.../BNStory/Front
Confrontation breaks out over East Coast seal hunt
The Canadian Press
March 31, 2008 at 9:08 AM EDT
HALIFAX — A Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker and a ship owned by a militant conservation group have collided in the Gulf of St. Lawrence as tension mounts over the annual seal hunt off Canada's East Coast.
A spokesman for the federal Fisheries Department said Monday that the icebreaker was “grazed” twice by the Farley Mowat, owned by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
But the conservation group said its ship was rammed twice Sunday by the icebreaker Des Groseilliers.
Department spokesman Phil Jenkins called the allegation that the Farley Mowat was rammed “absolutely false.”
The crew aboard the Farley Mowat said they were told by the coast guard not to approach the area where seals were being slaughtered on the third day of the hunt.
The conservation group said the coast guard ship rammed its vessel twice when the Farley Mowat did not comply.
I am not going to get into which version of the story is true as the truth likely lies somewhere between the two versions, however I am sure that we can all agree that both captains acted irresponsibly as there is no way in hell that the two ships should have been close enough to touch/graze/ram/whatever.
So my point to all this is to ask our Canadian members to contact their government and request some kind of explination. As I should think that the Canadian Government would be far more likely to care what it's citizens think than care what I think.
Regardless of weather sealing is right or wrong, there is no excuse for maratime recklessness such as this. Also please feel free to send some messages to Sea Shepherd as well, as their captain also should have been taking action to keep sufficient distance between the two ships as well.
Thanks for taking the time to help me address this.