As their US arm continues to be mired in legal battles with Japan in the US courts, militant conservation group Sea Shepherd has to turn to donations outside the country in order to reach the 4 million dollars needed to fund their activities. The money is primarily needed for their campaign against Japan’s whaling fleet next year.
“Operation Relentless”, their 10th Antarctic campaign, will find it doubly hard to find big donors in the US because of their legal battles, and so they have to turn to the global public to find financial supporters who believe in what they’re doing. Bob Brown, Sea Shepherd’s director and a former Australia Greens leader, says that Japan is pulling all the stops in order to derail their US operations through legal actions, so now they have to be funded outside of the US. He says they have usually depended on big philanthropic groups and individuals, like The Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon, but now they have to carry the responsibility of raising the funds themselves. Their founder, Paul Watson, is still at sea due to an Interpol alert for his arrest, issued by Japan.
Green said the 4 million dollars they need to raise includes the hundreds of thousands of dollars of damages they suffered during a collision with Japan’s whaling fleet in the last campaign. Both sides are blaming each other for the series of “dramatic” confrontations during the winter, which has led to Japan’s lowest number of catches in their whaling history. Japan is also facing legal battles as the Australian government has challenged them to a hearing at the International Court of Justice, which starts June 22. It may not finish by the time whaling season starts, so an Australian coast guard vessel will be on standby to serve an injunction should Japan attempt to enter the country’s waters.
[ via World News Australia ]