Former Greens leader, Bob Brown has joined Sea Shepherd board as the organisation grows in stature and professionalism, according to its website.
Dr Bob Brown now on the Sea Shepherd crew
Brown, who retired from the Greens leadership and the Australian Senate last year, will join Sea Shepherd Australia's board of directors this month.
He is a long-time friend of the Sea Shepherd's public face Paul Watson. 'It is an honour to join the Board of Sea Shepherd Australia, whose mission, backed by the majority of Australians, is to protect nearly 1000 whales from the Japanese slaughter fleet this summer,' he said.
The first major job Bob Brown hopes to perform in his new role as a Sea Shepherd Australia director was to ensure that the organisation's leader, Watson can come ashore in Australia.
Watson is wanted by Japan over his Antarctic anti-whaling campaigns, and after skipping bail in Germany has been at sea for months to avoid arrest. He is on board the Steve Irwin in the Southern Ocean, and has told media he had been given a business entry visa to Australia by the Australian Embassy in Washington, but he doesn't have a passport.
'Both my Canadian and US passports are in Germany.'
Brown has warned that arresting Watson would cause an international furore.
Brown has also managed to shine the spotlight on the political inaction of the Gillard government in his first speech as part of the conservation group, saying: 'Sea Shepherd is doing the job the Gillard government should be doing in moving to halt Tokyo's illegal whaling.'
Paul Watson said he was 'immensely proud' to have Dr Brown on board. What I most admire about Bob is that he is a living example of the three virtues that we need to protect our oceans and our planet - passion, courage, and imagination.'
This is not Brown's first foray with Sea Shepherd. In August 2012, Brown joined the crew of the anti-whaling ship, Steve Irwin when it traveled to WA to protest the gas hub at James Price Point near Broome, estimated to be worth more than $30 billion. The region is also home to the southern hemisphere's largest humpback whale calving grounds.
In January last year, Brown described the Australian activists who were detained on board the Japanese whaling security vessel Shonan Maru No.2 as 'heroic'.
'These three Australians are heroes for the whales,' Brown said of the boarding. 'They are terrific Australian citizens and they deserve a huge amount of support.'
Bob Brown with Jeff Hansen Australian Director Sea Shepherd
On December 17 in the US, the Japanese whaling fleet secured an injunction against Sea Shepherd and Captain Paul Watson, in the United States ninth District Court.
The court order was a single page e-mail granting the injunction despite the fact that the preliminary injunction was denied in February 2012 by Judge Richard Jones in Seattle.
In a completely unprecedented move, the preliminary injunction was granted by three judges on the ninth Circuit before a hearing has taken place and before the trial on this matter slated for September 2013.
The injunction stands against Dutch and Australian vessels carrying an international crew, operating out of Australia and New Zealand in international waters and the waters of the Australian Antarctic Economic Zone.
Sea Shepherd states that the Court has ignored the fact that the Japanese whalers are in contempt of a court order by the Australian Federal Court and the whaling takes place in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
In this photo released by the Sea Shepherd Soceity, Captain Paul Watson left, and Terri Irwin pose aboard the Steve Irwin ship at a dock in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2007. The radical conservation group, the U.S.-based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, has vowed to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt launched, its Antarctic campaign Wednesday by renaming one of its ships after "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, the late environmental campaigner. (AP Photo/ Sea Shepherd Conservation S
In a statement, the organisation said: 'Sea Shepherd’s position is clear: Our ships, officers and crew are 100% committed to achieving a zero-kill quota on whales. This is Operation Zero Tolerance and 120 crew members from 26 different nations are prepared to risk their lives to defend endangered and protected whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
'Sea Shepherd is committed to defending the integrity of this internationally established sanctuary.
'What is the purpose of a whale sanctuary codified into international law if Japan can kill whales within its territorial waters while in contempt of the Australian Federal Court?'
More at www.seashepherd.org/australia/