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Earth Japan Politics

Anti-Whaling Group Using Drones To Find Whalers 377

FatLittleMonkey writes "Anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd is using aerial drones to find and track factory ships used by Japanese whalers. The group claims the tactic shortened the Japanese whaling season last year by a month, saving 200 whales, and this year they've spotted the factory ship even earlier."
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Anti-Whaling Group Using Drones To Find Whalers

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  • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Monday December 26, 2011 @06:28AM (#38492948)

    This group was founded by a guy who got kicked out of Greenpeace for being too extreme. Logic has nothing to do with their decisions.

    That said, possible justifications might include the argument that the whales are too intelligent to ethically kill, or the argument that the law only allows killing whales for scientific research but the Japanese are instead killing them for food/profit (despite the word "research" written on the sides of their ships).

    Also have these people actually tried whale meat? It's delicious.

    I'd be very surprised if they aren't all vegans.

  • by sg_oneill ( 159032 ) on Monday December 26, 2011 @06:37AM (#38492982)

    Actually much of the whaling has been happening illegally in australian waters, and believe me, firearms would absolutely be the last straw in our governments very thin patience with these poachers.

  • by axx ( 1000412 ) on Monday December 26, 2011 @06:42AM (#38492998) Homepage

    I believe Watson left Greenpeace because they were softening up. Different interpretations?

    The Japanese have massive factory ships dedicated to cutting up and conditioning whales, and according to Wikipedia: “The efficiency of these ships and the predation they carried out on whales contributed greatly to the animal's precipitous decline.”
    These are, supposedly, research vessels. You have to appreciate the hypocrisy.

    Also, Sea Shepherd vessels *are* vegan, to the best of my knowledge.

    And SSCS also have a PGP key to send them encrypted email, c'mon, /. should approve of them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26, 2011 @07:02AM (#38493060)

    Actually much of the whaling has been happening illegally in australian waters, and believe me, firearms would absolutely be the last straw in our governments very thin patience with these poachers.

    Mod Parent up.
    Public Opinion has in the region is around 90-10 against the Whalers, especially after the Sea Shepherd Stunt.
    The Australian Navy has been requested to intervene on both sides in the last few years. Refused to take sides at this point.

    General feeling is the Activists could prob take it a few steps further iwthout getting into trouble whereas the Japanese have pushed to the limits already.

    Sonic weapons on both sides will be the next escalation step. However as this article is about communication and intelligence is vital.
    If they know where the mother ship is they know how far out the whaling ships can reach and therefore act to drive the whales out of the way.

    The danger comes where they know the Whaling ship has spotted a whale and is actively hunting it.

    They will attempt to get in the line of sight of the harpoon, acid/gumsplash the harpoon mechanism, anything to stop the shot.

  • by Discopete ( 316823 ) on Monday December 26, 2011 @07:25AM (#38493136) Homepage

    The Japanese are not "Whaling", they are conducting "Research" which apparently involves stockpiling whale meat for consumption. The Japanese whaling fleet has repeatedly violated international treaties and at least one off-limits whale sanctuary. The largest power in the area is Australia and they refuse to enforce the international treaties that apply to the sanctuary, hence Sea Shepard has to step in and enforce the law.

  • The waters they are fishing in are waters claimed by Australia but not recognised by Japan - Australia claim control over most of the southern ocean, well outside of the normal economic zone limits, and thus Japan has a valid reason to not recognise Australian control. Japan also doesn't recognise the economic area Australia claim off the coast of Antarctica, so once again the claim is in dispute.

    It's hardly as black and white as you put it - and I support the abolition of whaling.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26, 2011 @08:03AM (#38493228)

    So far it's been only one disaster every 25 years, not every 10.
    And the nuclear industry did give us something: lots of electricity. LOTS. If it weren't for nuclear energy, we would not be able to have computers in every home. And every office would have only 1 (10 for big corproations), not the 100s they currently have in many places. We would also have to give up on a lot of hospital equipment. And the industry would have to give up on a lot of machines that produce the goods we buy (cars, iPods, TVs, kitchen hardware, etc) and we would go back to technology from the 50s.

    Nuclear disasters suck but overall nuclear still saves much more lives, not to mention improve the comfort of our lives. Also, the technology is really safe (except for that Chernobyl incident - the reactor had flaws, but we improved so much since then). The problem behind disasters like Fukushima is people. People in charge don't go for maximum security in order to save money. The public also votes to cut funds to nuclear energy, thinking this will stop nuclear power, but in reality it just forces already existing nuclear plants to give up on security measures. It all comes down to people, and this is a problem we can solve if we really want to. On the other hand, if we gave up on nuclear power, we would not be able to run all the technology we have and need, no matter how much we want it to run without electricity.

  • by OeLeWaPpErKe ( 412765 ) on Monday December 26, 2011 @09:12AM (#38493434) Homepage

    That doesn't really matter. Drones have the extremely desirable property of having a tiny signature in pretty much any field.

    Tiny radar signature
    Tiny heat signature
    Tiny visual signature
    Tiny audible signature ...

    These things ... well they are tiny. Finding them is ridiculously difficult, even for advanced military hardware.

    Due to earth's athmosphere (ie. the wind generating small lensing effects) the smallest object you can find from 100km distance is about 15x15 cm. That's the theoretical limit. Let's say you can get military hardware half as good as that, well then you can find a 1m x 10cm drone from about 400 km distance. Since drones fly at a stupid altitude (we're talking 50 meters or maybe less), finding them from sea level is not possible at all, so basically they'd need a plane in the air less than 400 km from the drone. And this is assuming they don't make it really hard (paint the bottom to look like a cloud, paint the top to look like the sea, use a light nonconductive material for wings and don't let the engine's heat leak into the structure itself. Or better yet : use an engine that's too powerfull, run it at really low settings, so it doesn't get hot in the first place. Not hard, especially in tiny planes).

    (that's also the problem for terrorism using these things. Even over US soil, assuming the autopilot is not stupid (and the RC doesn't give it away), doesn't fly over bases and the like, the US military needs to have a spyplane will be very invasive privacy-wise. But once a few muslims figure this out ... the discussion is basically over, and the choice is between the military being able to see the pattern on your swimshorts in your own backyard live, or random explosions in cities).

  • by tp1024 ( 2409684 ) on Monday December 26, 2011 @09:28AM (#38493502)
    Sea Shepherd is not a conservation group, it's a group of terrorists attacking people on sea. Means are not justified by the ends.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26, 2011 @09:56AM (#38493648)

    But the Japs are hunting Minke whales and there's hundreds of thousands of them out there. More would die of natural causes each year than what the Japs take.

    Sea Shepherd are really just a pirate/terrorist organisation and I wish our government would enact its anti-terror laws against them and their supporters, or better still send the Navy down there to blow those fascist environazis out of the water.

  • by beltsbear ( 2489652 ) on Monday December 26, 2011 @10:14AM (#38493720)
    While sea sheppards were definitely harassing the whaling vessel with Ady Gil, it is hard to watch the footage and not see it as that the Ady Gil was rammed by the whalers. []
  • by rubycodez ( 864176 ) on Monday December 26, 2011 @12:50PM (#38494720)
    those are not australia's waters. australia's grandiose claims are not accepted by the international community. there is no poaching, just hunting in international waters.

Overload -- core meltdown sequence initiated.