Sea Shepherd Hits Red Tape Down Under

Late last week the Sea Sheherd Conservation Society’s Captain Paul Watson and first officer Peter Hammarstedt’s visa applications hit a bureaucratic red tape goldmine in Australia.

Previously, Watson was allowed to travel freely into Australia with a US passport and tourist visa. However, it would appear that now Australia is suddenly requiring proof of “good character” in order to renew his visa, which he attributes to intervention from the Japanese government.

“I do not have a single felony conviction on my record from any nation in the world. There is not a single warrant out for my arrest. Japan has not pressed charges. Our flag nation of the Netherlands has not charged us with anything. I have entered and reentered Australia dozens of times without incident, but now only a few weeks after Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith was given an ultimatum by Japan to stop Sea Shepherd, Peter Hammarstedt and I have found that our return to our own ship has been blocked without any reason given,” said Watson.

Japan has been hard at work putting pressure on not only Australia, but the Netherlands, US and Canada to stop Sea Shepherd’s efforts to protect whales, while they continue with the slaughter that they claim is for “research purposes”, which would appear to be nothing more than a loophole that allows them to continue with commercial whaling.

“Rudd and Garrett (Peter Garrett, Environment Minister) need to be reminded that it was not the Japanese whalers who voted them into power, it was Australian citizens, and Australians want the bloody slaughter in the Southern Ocean ended,” said Watson.

Sea Shepherd’s flagship, the Steve Irwin, is now docked in Sydney while the crew prepares to leave for the Southern Ocean in December.

Please take a minute to sign Care2’s petition to Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd asking him to renew Paul Watson and Peter Hammarstedt’s visas. 


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Lucille T.
Lucille T8 years ago

Why isn't anyone INTERNATIONALLY going after Japan...Of course they must have threatened the Austrailians..That boat shoud represent all countries and we should be sactioning Japan there is enough footage in all the areas and now they have gone so far to threaten Austraial...Swe let them wipe out these increable animals die off just the way thekill anything they don't want and toss it to the sea..WAKE UP people everywhere they are busted Please if there is something we can do I am on board wish I could go help on the boat....

roberto c.
robert m8 years ago

Shame on Australia and SHAME on the gov.. where is the gov. steeping i its their job this people should not be risking their lives saving these creatures we need to SPEAK people what happened to commercial whaling banned

Sarah D.
Sarah D8 years ago

Why not leave the Sea Shepherd alone and go after the real criminals, the Japanese who are slaughtering whales under false guise.

Storm Rise
Storm Rise8 years ago

Well done Kenneth! Once again, you've put Aussies in a position they DON"T AGREE WITH! None of us want the murdering buggers killing the whales. We don't agree with your petty politics and we want Capt Paul Watson out there doing what he does best... protecting what we are meant to protect! NOT some idiots fat wallet. Stop putting words in the mouths of the Aussies Kenneth.... you're dead wrong on this one, so Man up- and let them in!

BECKI K8 years ago

omg australian govt annoys me sometimes
they were here not long ago [docked in my home town of hobart] all was fine then!!
these people are fab and deserve to be treated as kings and queens for all they do to help whales from being revoltingly distroyed in the middle of the sea...

Summerannie Moon
Summerannie M8 years ago

Please do not lump all Australians together enmass who dont care about what happens to Whales as that isnt fair but to direct your attention to that Peter Garratt....beds burning crapola he sang about in his ugh band Midnight Oil. What a load of...... He is an offensive man who has made us a laughing stock along with Krudd. It is the Japanese and their politicians and not to mention like I did before money, votes and poor countries who vote for Japan in order to get millions of yen or dollars. This is such a lot of corruption of the powers that be and they all laugh..the whalers all laugh and Capt. Paul Watson soldiers on regardless. This man is an Angel on two legs along with his crew. A whaling Angel. I know no other man who has sacrificed most of his life on the 'seven sea's' and talked the talk and walked the walk. I bow to this man as its been an honour in my lifetime to know about such a person who is so dedicated in his persuamce of saving Whales. WE must ALL stand up and write to the Prime Minister of Japan and Krudd and pjarrat to stop this senseless killing. Honestly like WE ALL know its laughable when they try to pull the wool over the worlds' eyes in telling us that its all to do with research. What a load of.......That is so embarrassingly shameful and I hope the youth of Japan start realizing what they govt and cronies are implying and hoodwinking their countrymen and women. Its insanity and who is or who would want to eat Whale meat anyway full of Mercury! YUK!

Sarah W.
Sarah W8 years ago

Helen D although yes I am ashamed I think it a little rough to pin this on all Australians. We personally did not make this decision and I'm sure many would have gladly granted visas if the choice was theirs to make. I'm not sure where you're from but am positive your government have made many decisions you have disagreed with.

Nan B.
Nan B8 years ago

I have voiced my story of opinions about this a number of times. But the bottom line is they were promised the visas and now there’s a hold up. This is a ridiculous. What is up with this??

Paul P.
Paul P8 years ago

Our planet would be in a much better shape if we had more people like Paul Watson. Shame on you Australia !

Mark O.
Mark O8 years ago

The Australians need to remember the "research" done to them, their territories, their expats and to decency during WW II.

Screw the Japanese Government and their policy of LYING to the world in the face of a bloody CANNING operation.

What aspect of CANNING and selling MERCURY LADEN meat to the citizens of one's country is "research"??


Long Live Sea Shepard and the Brave Crew and Captain!

Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray!