Sea Shepherd: “Don’t Be Rude”

Sea Shepherd loves the limelight. Its daily operations are fodder for Animal Planet’s “Whale Wars” and it just acquired a flashy new boat, the Gojira, named after the Tokyo-stomping monster Godzilla. Most recently, Sea Shepherd has been seen shadowing dolphin fishermen in the Japanese town of Taiji (made infamous by the documentary The Cove). Sea Shepherd members have been living in the small town (pop. 3,500) for some time and file daily reports on the Cove Guardians blog.

Sea Shepherd’s attitude toward self-promotion took a step backward this week when Japan’s Fuji TV network followed its activists around for a day. Sea Shepherd’s Scott West tells the a Fuji TV reporter, “Don’t be rude” and “Please leave” (8:49) in the video below after he gets tired of the relentless press presence. JapanProbe summarizes the reporter-West interaction well: “The reporter responds by asking why its wrong for him to film Sea Shepherd members, when West apparently thinks it is okay for Sea Shepherd to follow around Japanese fishermen and film them without permission. Instead of answering that question, West declares that he won’t speak to them anymore.” It’s a bit rich for West to tell the Japanese reporter not to “be rude” when West himself calls Taiji fishermen “greedy molesters” on the Cove Guardian blog on a daily basis. 

Despite the rift between Japanese media and Sea Shepherd, there was one nice moment in the video when a Japanese crew member advises West’s vegetarian daughter that the instant ramen she was about to purchase contains fish.