Conservation Group Launches Two White House Petitions; Has 30 Days to Collect 100,000 Signatures
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the world’s leading direct-action conservation non-profit, today has filed two petitions on the White House “We The People” page of the website which seek the U.S. Government’s support in upholding conservation law regarding protecting at-risk whales in the Antarctic’s Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and with ensuring safe haven for the organization’s respected founder, Captain Paul Watson.
The first petition is titled, “Take strong action to stop the Japanese from killing whales in the Southern Ocean Antarctic Whale Sanctuary” and can be found at: http://wh.gov/Vnbu. The full text of the petition language follows:
“The President must take swift and decisive action against Japan's illegal whaling.
Under the Pelly Amendment and the Packwood-Magnuson Amendment, the President has the power to apply economic sanctions against Japan for its continued whale slaughter in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary. The United States asserts that it resolutely opposes whale hunting by Japan, but does little to actually bring a halt to the practice.
The U.S. State Dept. has declared: “We remain resolute in our opposition to commercial whaling, including so-called ‘scientific’ whaling, in particular in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary established by the International Whaling Commission. In this context we wish to emphasize that lethal techniques are not required in modern whale conservation and management.”
The second petition is titled, “Provide Safe Haven to Captain Paul Watson, Founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society” and can be found at: http://wh.gov/VnRf. The full text of the petition language follows:
We request the U.S. not extradite U.S citizen Paul F. Watson.
There are two active Interpol Red Notices issued against Captain Watson at the request of Costa Rica and Japan. Underlying these notices are non-lethal acts in defense of marine life suffering from illegal shark fishing and whaling operations. The warrants are politically motivated.
Captain Watson is a world-renowned and highly respected leader in environmental issues. In 1999, he was awarded President George H.W. Bush’s "Daily Points of Light" Award and in 2000, he was named one of Time Magazine’s “Top 20 Environmental Heroes of the 20th Century.” In 2012, he became only the second person ever to be honored with the Jules Verne Award for environmentalists and adventurers. Captain Watson is a national treasure.
According to the procedures on the “We the People” White House Petitions page, Sea Shepherd has until close of business on February 28th (30 days) to garner 100,000 bonafide signatures from individuals 13 years and older who support these motions in order for the White House to consider taking action on the petitions.
Sea Shepherd has been engaging in interventions on the high seas in defense of marine wildlife for 35 years and for the last eight seasons against Japan’s Institute for Cetacean Research (ICR) — a front for illegal, government-subsidized whaling — all within the confines of the law and without causing serious injury. Launching of the petitions is the latest effort by the conservation group to fight the ICR’s efforts to kill whales in a designated sanctuary and persecute the group’s founder, Captain Paul Watson.
“The majority of citizens in the free world have demonstrated time and again they are against the killing of intelligent, sentient whales, particularly when it involves killing in an internationally designated sanctuary,” said Scott West, Director of Investigations for Sea Shepherd. “Now is the time for everyone who values majestic marine wildlife in our oceans to sign this petition and encourage the Obama Administration to act to protect these at-risk whales who should not have to be subjected to harassment and a cruel, painful death from grenade-tipped harpoons shot within the confines of a sanctuary,” he added.
The second petition, which focuses on the legal status of Sea Shepherd founder, Captain Watson, asks for him to be provided safe haven in the U.S. Captain Watson is currently at sea as an observer with this season’s current Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign, on the SSS Steve Irwin. He cannot make landfall due to being the target of two ‘red notices’ issued by Interpol put forth at the request of Costa Rica and Japan, which seek to extradite him to those nations for trial on trumped up, politically motivated charges related to defending marine wildlife from poachers.
“Captain Watson is an eco-hero doing the job of enforcing marine conservation law that governments have shown they lack the political will or economic means to do,” said Susan Hartland, Administrative Director, Sea Shepherd. “He has won countless awards including President George H.W. Bush’s ‘Daily Points of Light Award’ for his conservation work and should be on a list of national heroes, not on Interpol’s “Red List,” she said. “The charges against him are clearly politically motivated and we, as a society, should be asking why, instead of Captain Watson, are the illegal whale poachers and shark-finners not being targeted by authorities and put on Interpol’s ‘Red List’?,” she added.
SEA SHEPHERD, CAPTAIN WATSON & THE WHALES THANK YOU!