Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Is Sea Shepherd Embracing Public Sensibility?

Love or Hate Sea Shepherd, you have got to admire the tenacity of Paul Watson, and have more than a fleeting ounce of respect for his grasp of media wiles and how he plays that understanding to his generous advantage.
There are aspects of some Sea Shepherd campaigns that have had many or most marine conservationists publicly wincing whilst, I suspect, celebrating a well controlled inner yell of victory. However, there is ongoing serious debate amongst most major marine NGO's as to whether SS's tactics are actually damaging the cause. It is not helpful to be lumped in with a band of black shirted pirates, and seeing the SS stands at some dive and travel events has you wondering whether their recruiters hang out at local hells angel establishments, such is the mottliness of their crew.

So, it is with an pucker of trepidation that I read today that Sea Shepherd are to embark on an educational campaign within the Galapagos Islands. Is this a first for Sea Shepherd or is my understanding of their politica such that I can only envisage them as bestubbled gas mask wearing alumni? Maybe the dictatorial might of presidente Correa has cuddly pseudo terrorist Cpt Watson trembling in his Dubarry's.
It is a possibility that Watson's rattle shaking has brought about some unwanted attention of the angry president and another booting-out is on the cards, or, what would be more desirable is that the Sea Shepherd camp have recognised the success and acceptance of local community educational programs and that this new gentler side of Sea Shepherd will spread through the pirate ranks and become wider policy.
Imagine...antarctia next year will be a tranquil sea of westerners teaching japanese whalers the why's and wherefore's of conservation aboard a candelit flotilla.

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