Whale Wars From A Fisherman’s Perspective (What do you think of the Sea Shepherds?)
Whale Wars is Animal Planets television show about an organization called the Sea Shepherds. The Sea Shepherds have taken up the self imposed mission of stopping the Japanese whaling fleet from killing whales off of Antarctica for their annual research quota. The Japanese researchers are dedicated to the ongoing science mission to answer the ultimate question, “Are whales delicious or just damn tasty?” The Sea Shepherd’s 3 vessels include the Steve Irwin, Ady Gill, and the Bob Barker. When Bob was asked why he bought a boat for the Sea Shepherds he said he always wanted a boat named after him and, “The price was right.’ Ohhhh.
Ok, so don’t laugh, saving whales isn’t funny but you might enjoy a fisherman and lifelong mariner’s perspective of that crazy tv show. A lot of my fellow fishermen might call me weird but I like the Sea Shepherds, I want one of those cool sweatshirts. I love whales, anybody who harms them on purpose deserves all the harassment and misery anybody can heap upon them. The entire civilized world has banned commercial whaling, why can’t the Japanese do the same? I find that countries failure to adhere to any ban and complete failure to support fisheries conservation measures to be offensive. That said Whale Wars the show does make me crazy. Who in the heck throws things these days? The Japanese are using security crews and LRADS (big sound cannons that cause nausea and headaches).
I know the Sea Shepherds have to be primitive, escalating to rockets and long rifles can’t be the goal. They can however do so much better without much in the way of new technology. The Japanese have escalated to using the LRAD as an offensive weapon, they use those things on Samali pirates. Anybody who comes after me had better think twice before they consider pointing one of those things. They use one of those things on me they are not going to like what happens next. The first offensive weapon I am recommending to the Sea Shepherds is the air cannon. A few good air cannons with the right ammunition would make all the difference in this war.
I would personally be firing a mixture of cockroaches and yesterdays lunch. Cockroaches can be bred in captivity and yesterdays lunch is brewing up nicely right now. Roaches don’t mind air travel at all and with a few turds to stand on during the flight they should arrive in fine shape to cause mayhem. In the whale processing factory that kind of vermin would be perfect. I mean flees, ticks, and crotch crickets would be good too, but what if they broke loose on your own boat? You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Yeah JJ, but what do you know about air cannons?” I know for a fact they are really fun, especially with an unlimited number of targets.
I discovered this fact on a crab boat named Oceanic in Russia, on our last day on the grounds in 2000, our processing ship the Rybok Chukotki got out fifteen cases of eggs for their annual egging of the last boat to deliver. Tied to that 330 foot ship, with their 165 crew to our 7 men, and the fact that it towered over us like we were a toy boat it was a foregone conclusion that we were screwed. Our crew was authorized to use all force available, but even with the assistance of our sister ship the Shelikof (1999’s victim) the situation was still dire. When I came on deck my crewmates were being pelted with everything but the kitchen sink. I came from the engine room with my new contraption and nobody even noticed me.
It was a pipe of 1 ½” diameter screwed into a 2” ball valve with a 2” hydraulic hose about 14 feet long for an air chamber. A little air hose connected to the vessels air system was all that was needed to charge the hose up to 175 psi. When the ball valve was opened all that air would shoot out of the pipe at once carrying anything with it a long ways at high velocity. I cut up a bunch of oranges and pushed them down the pipe with a broom handle. Worried for the safety of the opposition I unloaded the first shot over the stern. It was spectacular juice, peels, and seeds all fanning out like a giant shotgun blast. Suddenly I was surrounded by people that wanted to help.
We quickly organized into a firing and loading team. The 3 decks of the ship toward us were lined with targets. My heartless spotter held no distinction between participants and observers and directed me to fire on any that looked like they were standing close together for maximum effect. He would point and I would jump out and fire, crowded railings would disappear in what looked like a rolling wall of orange mist and peels. I took the first 6 shots, they tell me in those shots half the crew of the Rybok was hit, most were staring in disbelief as the cannon blasted them. My loading crew was laughing so hard they could barely work. I turned the gun over to the guys to fire because I wanted to see and I didn’t want to hog all the fun.
A quick assesment left me laughing, but also with the impression that while we were hammering, them this battle would not be won with oranges. A trip to the galley turned up cafeteria sized cans of purple beets and little red potatoes. The perfect load was a red potatoe for wadding and a full pipe of beets. The opposition collapsed, within 15 shots there was nobody left but the fire hose guy. By following the track of the water and shortening up on pressure we were able to arc a few shots into his location and apparently he got a red potatoe right in the head. After that we never saw anybody, we wanted an official surrender so we directed fire on the wheelhouse 7 stories above and painted it purple with beets. Then we shelled the ship with arcing shots of M and M’s and skittles raining them over every inch of the ship. “Taste the rainbow b!tches,” was the battle cry.
Yes air cannons are an excellent offensive weapon but a good defense is needed as well. My recommendation for a good defensive weapon is big garbage bags full of oxygen and acetylene with a good fuse. They make a floating bomb, thrown overboard lit they cause a lot more discomfort than an LRAD. They can be left behind, with an appropriate fuse length a ship miles behind you can get a big surprise. They would be most effective at night and too much fun for both crew and home audience. Imagine the chaos in the whaling fleet after you drop a few of those babies right in the middle of them at night. With the correct mix of oxy to acetylene they really do give a good window rattling bang. I was going to include instructions on how to accomplish that, but have decided that might not be wise as they are quite dangerous. Anybody that came after me would get a lot worse than what I have outlined here. So let’s go Sea Shepherds, get cracking, or am I going to have to come over there and show you how it’s done?
So that is what I think of the Sea Shepherds. Tell me what you think of them. I really want to know. I put up some polls for fun and I welcome anyone’s comments for, against, or neutral in the matter.