Whale Wars on Trial

Among my favorite reality shows is Animal Planet’s Whale Wars, starring the curmudgeonly captain, Paul Watson, and his rag-tag volunteers aboard the Sea Shepherd who risk their lives in the Antarctic’s icy waters trying to stop commercial whaling by the Japanese.

This week the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an oimagesCANVL7UEpinion, reversing a lower court’s decision and issuing a preliminary injunction against the Sea Shepherd’s attempts to interfere with Japanese Institute of Cetacean Research (“Cetacean”) whaling vessels on the high seas.  Watson and his team are now deemed dangerous pirates.  Continue reading


Tragedy of the Commons Strikes Again

We each have them, those childhood experiences that shape our life perspective and canvas our memories of youth.  Mine was spending summers in Maine.  I still feel it as though it were yesterday, that building excitement as we crossed the Piscataque River Bridge in Kittery Maine after a long and grueling road trip.  My brother, Scott, and I would roll down our windows, stick out our heads, and deeply inhale that first breath of salty air, tinged with the acrid smell of sour mud and clam flats.  I can smell it now.  Among the many wonderful memories of sailing, digging claims, eating lobster, and hunting for crabs was that special deep-sea fishing trip with our dad that we had dreamed about for the past eleven months.  Deer Isle Maine was our point of departure and the cod fish – the holy grail for the day – was our quest.

I was saddened to read an article in this morning’s NYT that describes the cod’s current plight.  Continue reading