Whale crusaders gain support
SEA Shepherd's eco-war against whaling is about to re-engage on the Southern Ocean, and is going to be reinforced through the energetic efforts of Noosa eco-tourists.
Last killing season, Japan's infamous whalers raised the white flag and headed back to port after only harpooning and butchering one fifth of its minke and fin whale quota - all in the name of pseudo-scientific research.
The whaling fleet, despite the international outcry and a distinct lack of Japanese appetite for whale meat, set sail again lat week with its harpoon sights set on another 900.
And this time it has reportedly spent $28 million on at least one escort security vessel with water cannon.
Back in Noosa, Cath and Rod Withyman, of Kayak Noosa at Noosaville, will be channelling the paddle strokes of their dolphin adventure tours into dollars to help fund the Sea Shepherd's campaign.
A dollar from every tour booking in 2012 will be donated directly to Sea Shepherd, a cause near and dear to Cath's heart.
Since becoming a supporter of the Australian Marine Conservation Society, the Withymans have embraced the Sea Shepherd's confrontational challenge to a barbaric practice that the Japanese defend as part of their culture.
"We have always made a donation to Sea Shepherd and I always buy things from their stores," Cath said.
This year she thought it was time to give them added support and raise awareness of the whaling threat by tapping into a business that is based around letting their clients have on the water experiences with marine life.
Noosa turned out in force to public protests in 2007 when the Japanese threatened to take 1000 whales - including 50 humpbacks.
"We support Sea Shepherd because they are the only ones actively doing something about this threat to the whales, and Noosa has an affinity with these creatures (the humpbacks) that swim past us every year," Cath said.
"Governments aren't doing enough to save the marine environment. They can pass laws to protect the land but very little out on the ocean.
"And we depend on the ocean ultimately to sustain us all. It soaks up more carbon than all our trees.
"Our donation might be around $500 (from the tour donation), which is a significant amount for a small business."
Cath said people could further help out Sea Shepherd, whose three vessels - the Steve Irwin Brigitte Bardot and Bob Barker - set sail in pursuit of the whalers this week, by doing their Christmas shopping with Sea Shepherd.
For those who want to know more about the whaling campaign, go to www.seashepherd.org.