In New York, Captain Paul Watson and his fight for the survival of whales
What if I told you that Captain Ahab, the famous character from the novel Moby Dick, still lives among us today? But instead of seeking revenge on the whale that took his leg, his modern-day counterpart aims to kill between 145 to 200 fin whales this summer. This man's name is Kristjan Loftsson. At the age of 13, he began hunting whales aboard his father's ships and later became the CEO of Hvalur hf after his father's passing in 1974.
The greatest whale killer,
Loftsson, 80 years old, holds the sad record for being the man who has killed the most whales in the world, and he is the only one targeting endangered whales. Recently, he announced his intention to continue killing them as long as there is a demand in the market. This demand mainly comes from Japan, but also from some restaurants in Reykjavik, where unscrupulous tourists delight in consuming meat that is prohibited in their own countries.
This summer, Operation Paiakan, led by Paul Watson, aims to oppose this man. Indeed, fin whales are endangered, and their hunting has been prohibited since 1986 when the International Whaling Commission imposed a global moratorium on commercial whaling.
The name "Operation Paiakan" draws inspiration from the heroic character of the whale Paiakan, featured in James Cameron's magnificent film, "Avatar - The Way of Water". Unfortunately, since they couldn't contact Cameron to obtain permission to use this name, they decided to name their campaign as a tribute to the late friend of Captain Watson, Chief Paulino Paiakan of the Kayapo nation in the Amazon. They assume that Cameron named his whale after Chief Paiakan, although they cannot be certain.
A few months ago, Paul Watson was ousted from Sea Shepherd Global, which prompted this indomitable pirate to establish the Captain Paul Watson Foundation. It is important to note that Sea Shepherd France remains loyal to Captain Paul Watson. In fact, I will be interviewing Lamya Essemlali on Thursday, June 15th at 10 AM New York time. We will discuss Sea Shepherd, as well as the effects of fishing on dolphins. Did you know that when you eat fish, you can be sure that a dolphin has been killed?
Here is the link to watch the interview live or on-demand.
John Paul Dejoria II
On Friday, June 2nd, the christening of Paul Watson's new boat, the John Paul DeJoria II, took place in NYC. This vessel will enable him to defend the whales in Iceland. It is named after the philanthropist who purchased it. As mentioned earlier, Paul Watson found himself without a boat after leaving Sea Shepherd. John Paul DeJoria, who has been by the pirate's side since the 90s, offered to buy a boat to support his mission.
Why we must protect whales
Whales are vital to the survival of the ocean as they provide nutrients to phytoplankton. However, due to the decline in whale populations, a 40% decrease in phytoplankton has been observed in the sea since 1950. Saving whales is of crucial importance as it equates to saving humanity while acknowledging that our evolution requires compassion and ecological common sense.
Since Captain Watson began advocating for whales in 1974, many countries such as Australia, Chile, Spain, South Africa, Russia, South Korea, Chile, and Peru have ended whale hunting. Whale hunting is now limited to the territorial waters of Iceland, Denmark, Norway, and Japan. However, Japan may return to the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary in 2024 or 2025.
On the other hand, Japon is currently building a new $100 million factory ship, with only one goal in mind: whale hunting in the waters surrounding Antarctica. Captain Watson has dedicated his entire life to defending and protecting whales, and his ultimate ambition is to eradicate this destructive practice from the ocean. He firmly believes in the need to preserve these magnificent marine creatures for future generations.
The Operation Paiakan campaign this summer aims to oppose Kristjan Loftsson and protect endangered whales. Through non-violent aggressive action, they will attempt to physically block the harpoons while ensuring the safety of the whalers' lives. This mission is risky, but they are willing to take this risk to preserve the lives of these sentient, intelligent, and self-aware beings.
The fight for whale protection is crucial for the health of our planet and our own well-being. By recognizing the importance of preserving these majestic marine creatures, we take one step closer to harmonious coexistence with nature and the preservation of the biodiversity of our oceans.
"I also want to share with you some photos I took during the inauguration of Captain Paul Watson's Foundation's first ship. It was a beautiful day on the water, full of hope." Julie TD