Posted by: Bruce | January 21, 2012

A hunger for publicity; The Tree Amigos. (Detained Aussie activists on hunger strike)

A thinly plotted storyline.

So, one day there were three Aussie activists from a forest (The Tree Amigos) who decided to save whales and with cloak and dagger stealth, illegally boarded a foreign ship (Japanese Shonan Maru 2) in disputed southern waters of Australia. The plan; get on board and then demand to be returned to Australia immediately, thus stalling the Japanese ship from following Sea Shepherd’s anti-whaling vessel the Steve Irwin. Yeh, right. Sounded a little nâive to me. Perhaps the Japanese Captain was expected to apologise for having forced The Tree Amigos to illegally board his ship and would immediately head for Australian shores. Bloody hell, they’re lucky he didn’t do a Pete Bethune on them; or is that what they wanted and all meals provided? I guess not on the meals because, like lightning, a hunger strike followed. Here’s a link on the activists arrest then decision to start a hunger strike.

After a lot of behind the scenes diplomacy, the three were returned to Australia via an Australian Customs vessel without the Japanese ship losing headway in its endeavours but with the Australian taxpayer losing a hell of lot of money that could have been spent on something tangible (kids with cancer). Time, money and resources down the toilet.

I’m all for helping out the whale population but there has to be a better way than this. The Tree Amigos were certainly barking up the wrong tree on this kiddy plot and past actions of the Sea Shepherd group aren’t exactly smart either.

It certainly appears that the protestors from the Sea Shepherd organisation have the courage of their convictions but I don’t think this is the way to do it.

Lasers in the eyes of ships Captains? Colliding with Japanese ships? Illegally boarding a ship at night (lucky not to be fired at). Doesn’t this stuff come under some sort of international piracy laws or something? After all, the Japanese whaling ships are apparently not acting illegally and the matter must be decided in an international court. Are the crew from the Steve Irwin, Ady Gil and The Tree Amigos counting on favourable publicity or the sympathy vote to keep them out of trouble?

Are there any other protest ships from other countries involved or is the Steve Irwin representing the world? Why is Australia seemingly the only country to headline on saving whales?

Why do the research vessels from Japan kill so many whales each year? What are they actually researching? Whales are a pretty big animal after all, samples don’t look to be scarce. Are the research scientists not that sharp or do they lose their notes every year?

The return to Aussie shores of The Tree Amigos would have been welcomed by some and not by others.

In Japan, our actions are also the object of protestors and they are not in our favour.

They have a point after all; what would we be saying in Australia if one of our ships was illegally boarded, lasers fired into the eyes of our ships captains and collisions at sea to name a few? I can guess but I won’t say it here.

There has to be a better way than what is currently on offer. Nothing has changed and until International law or pressure is achieved, Japanese whaling under the guise of research will continue.

Footnote; are other countries involved in whaling for feeding their populations? Don’t seem to hear anything if they are. Is Japan singled out because it is a soft target?

Father Jack might be right, but it can’t be done yet.

Word for today:     Fecket; a garment with sleeves used as an undershirt or jacket.

More to come; same blog time, same blog channel.


  1. Hi,
    I couldn’t believe that the PM sent the coast guard out to pick these idiots up, a coast guard ship that was protecting Australia’s waters from illegal fishing vessels by the way.

    These activists boarded a ship illegally they should of been left for the Captain of that ship to take them back to Tokyo, to be sentenced.

    I also feel there would of been some sort of deal done between our Government and the Captain or Japan, for them just to hand these people over, after all they did brake the law.


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