New Yorker reporter at large Raffi Khatchadourian recently interviewed Sea Shepherd Captain Steve Irwin via Skype aboard the Sea Shepherd vessel, the Steve Irwin, off the Antarctic ice shelf.
- Outfitted with four ships, a helicopter, three drones, and a hundred and twenty volunteers from twenty-four different nations, Sea Shepherd is conducting its ninth campaign to prevent the taking of whales by the Japanese “research” fleet.
- In February, Watson released
- of Japanese crewmen firing concussion grenades at the Sea Shepherd volunteers, and ramming a vessel.
During these encounters, Japanese harpoon ships crossed the bows of the Sea Shepherd ships and shot water cannon down the exhaust vents of the Steve Irwin, Bob Barker, and Sam Simon, attempting to flood their engines.
The same month, Sea Shepherd Australia successfully blocked a third attempt to refuel the Japanese whaling fleet, which must refuel at sea because Australia, which prohibits whaling in Australian territorial waters, no longer allows the whalers to refuel in Australian ports.
Watson is a fugitive stemming from an incident in which he was charged with threatening to sink a Costa Rican long-liner in 2002. He was arrested in Frankfurt and put under house arrest last year on a Costa Rican warrant. Learning that Japan had applied for permission to extradite him, he escaped Europe by boat and made his way to the South Pacific and rejoined his ship on the high seas.
Germany has withdrawn its arrest warrant, but Japan and Costa Rica resubmitted their paperwork to Interpol, which finally accepted them, so Watson remains a fugitive. When asked where he would go after the campaign ended and Sea Shepherd’s ships had returned to port, he said, “Well, I can stay at sea.”
Source: New Yorker blogs.