Lately there have been a spate of reports about Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherd as they confront Japanese whalers near Antarctica. It reminds me of something I want to write about at some point. In 1978 I spent a year working for Greenpeace in San Francisco, inspired by the 1975 dramatic confrontation between Greenpeace activists on a zodiac and Russian whalers in the pacific. I eventually held the position of “National Information Director” which means I’m the guy that wrote the press releases. I wasn’t just an office guy … but that’s another story.
The reason for this post is that I have found video of the iconic moment when the Russian whalers fired a harpoon over the heads of Bob Hunter, Paul Watson, and Rex Weyler 60 miles off the coast of Eureka, California in 1975. The harpoon flies over the heads of the men on the Zodiac, narrowly missing them, but the filmed record of the people risking their lives to protect whales helps launch a worldwide movement.
The footage appeared on global news during the International Whaling Conference meeting which was then taking place in Sydney, Australia. It truly had a major impact.
I’ve looked for this a few times on Youtube and never found it until tonight. It’s only had 230 views — it deserves to be seen. It also includes interesting interview/commentary by Paul Watson and Rex Weyler.