MELBOURNE, Australia, June 12, 2013 (ENS) – Sea Shepherd crewmembers were honored in May to host two of rock’s greatest legends, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and Steven Tyler, on board Sea Shepherd’s fleet in Williamstown, Melbourne, Australia.
Perry and Tyler toured three of Sea Shepherd’s ships, the Sam Simon, Bob Barker and Steve Irwin, docked at Sea Shepherd’s new ships operations base.
The musicians took a ride in one of Sea Shepherd’s fast boats used to pursue the Japanese whaling ships in the Southern Ocean and shared lunch with the crew.
Tyler said, “Oceans and water is uncharted territory for human beings, they don’t even know the beauty underneath there with a mask and a snorkel, I mean, very few do, it’s certainly getting fished to death. The waters in Lake Sunapee, way up in New England are now depleted, the frogs are going, honey bees are going.”
“I was just fortunate enough to just buy a house in Maui and the reefs out in front of my house, I live on Ahihi Bay, which is a fish sanctuary, and the reefs are going away,” said Tyler. “It’s a very delicate ecosystem, you know, once a little bit goes awry, it all does, it’s all connected.”
Perry said, “I always heard about Malibu and all the movie stars that live out there and I found out you’ve got to get a tetanus shot if you go swimming in it. You know, it’s pretty screwed up.”
“The laws are in place, but as we know, most of the governments are run by the big business. There is not enough money in it for different countries to send police out for whales and fish. When it starts to hit them in the pocket book, then maybe they will do something, but right now it’s up to guys like you, who are true vigilantes, you take the bull by the horns and do it and come what may and you put your lives in danger and for something you believe in,” said Perry.
“I just wrote a song about one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist, and you guys are freedom fighters,” Perry said. “It’s great to know you and we will help with your work as much as we can.”
On May 4, all Sea Shepherd crewmembers were invited as VIPs to see Aerosmith perform at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, a gig that was part of their environmentally-themed Global Warming tour.
The Aerosmith performance brought the house down. For the Sea Shepherd crew, the highlight came the just before the song “Living on the Edge.”
Tyler told the audience that he and Joe had “one of the most amazing experiences” during the week by visiting the Sea Shepherd fleet and crew in Melbourne and that he wanted all the crowd to remember the name, “Sea Shepherd!”
Then up on the big screen came a video put together by Aerosmith, showing Steven and Joe’s visit to the Sea Shepherd fleet. Steven yelled, “Where are my Sea Shepherds” as he pointed over to our group with the spotlight to follow, as the song kicked off to the roar of the crowd and the Sea Shepherd crew punched the air with excitement.
Jeff Hansen, director of Sea Shepherd Australia, said, “To have two world renowned, amazing artists whose spare time is very limited, come and show their support for Sea Shepherd is a very humbling experience that all of us at Sea Shepherd are very appreciative of and will never forget.”
“Joe labeled our Sea Shepherd team as Freedom Fighters, a title that we proudly accept, fighting for the freedom of the whales in defense of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and all our precious marine life for the benefit of future generations,” Hansen said.
“In the short time that I got to spend with both Joe and Steven, I was very impressed by their knowledge on a range of issues regarding marine conservation,” said Hansen. “We cannot wait to have them both back on board again soon, and hopefully next time with Sea Shepherd founder, Captain Paul Watson.”
Bob Barker ship manager Andrea Gordon said, “Having Steven and Joe on board was such an uplifting experience for the crew after Operation Zero Tolerance. Our crew were touched by their words of encouragement, passion and support for the work Sea Shepherd does. By selflessly speaking up for marine species, they’re shining a much needed spotlight on the serious state of the oceans.”
Sea Shepherd claims that its Operation Zero Tolerance campaign saved 932 whales during the 2012-2013 whaling season in the Southern Ocean. The figure is the difference between the Japanese self-assigned quota of
For the upcoming 2013-2014 whaling season Sea Shepherd has launched Operation Relentless, the organization’s 10th Antarctic whale defense campaign. The campaign to halt Japanese “research” whaling in the Southern Ocean will be managed and led by Sea Shepherd Australia with campaign leaders Hansen and former Australian Senator and Green Party Leader Bob Brown.
Sea Shepherd says its direct-action interventions during the past nine seasons have saved the lives of more than 4,500 whales and exposed illegal Japanese whaling.
“Australia is now the focus of the biggest whale saving operation on Earth and funding depends on the generosity of whale-loving Australians. These whales are Australia’s responsibility,” said Brown. “Sea Shepherd is acting where governments have failed to intervene in the illegal slaughter of these magnificent creatures.”
“Japan stated that the attempt to kill whales in the Antarctic whale sanctuary was abandoned due to ‘relentless interference’ by Sea Shepherd,” said Hansen. “Sea Shepherd likes that kind of relentless accusation, we like being relentless in the pursuit of finally bring peace to the whales of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.”
“Sea Shepherd knows that this is a David and Goliath struggle. Our past victories show we have one thing that the whalers do not, and that’s the passion and courage of our crew. No matter what the odds, no matter what the risks, no matter how well equipped, funded and government backed your opponents are, you must never give in, must never surrender,” said Hansen. “You must fight for what is right, because the one thing that is worth fighting for on our beautiful planet is life.”