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By Captain Paul Watson. I have the utmost respect for the law. Indeed, it is our duty as citizens of the Earth to live harmoniously within a community of complex interspecies interactions in accordance with the primary laws of ecology. Species survival is not dependent upon intelligence but rather upon adaptability and adherence to the laws of nature. These laws come under the category of lex natura (Natural Law) as opposed to the written and unwritten laws of nation states known as lex scripta (written law) and lex nonscripta (common law or unwritten law) respectively.
The Laws of Ecology and the Precedence of Natural Law On the High Seas
When lex natura is combined with lex ethica (ethical laws) these form a foundation for human behaviour that can be described as natural law.
Law in human societies is a bastion against social chaos. The laws of nature transform chaos into order.
Laws of nature can be divided into the primary and secondary physical laws.
The primary physical laws includes the law of gravity, the law of entropy, the law of thermodynamics, the chemical, nuclear, biological, electrical laws, and the law of conservation of energy or mass.
We don’t ever have to worry about the primary laws. There are no loopholes in the laws of physical nature. Not only is gravity a good idea – it’s the law. Step off a cliff without a parachute and the consequences of the law of gravity will be quickly appreciated.
We can even formulate a Law of Immediate Consequences. Violations of primary physical laws result in immediate consequences. Enforcement is usually ruthless and completely non-discriminatory. These laws are definite. They cannot be repealed, altered, or amended. These laws are beyond question, beyond criticism, and thus unbreakable.
Humans and all other organisms have little choice but to respect the primary physical laws of nature.
Secondary physical laws can be broken without immediate retribution. The results may not be drastic or immediate. Consequences can range from things just not working to catastrophes brought about over time.
The laws of ecology are secondary physical laws. These are the relatively simple laws that make up the second realm of bio-physical laws. These are secondary physical laws in that they can be broken with non-immediate consequences.
Violation of the ecology laws are possible, although escape is temporary. The consequences are just as ruthless and non-discriminatory with the only difference being that the penalty is delayed.
For a species to survive and prosper, instinct or common sense disallows violation of the primary laws. You don’t stick your hand in the fire. You don’t walk on water and you don’t walk off a cliff.
For a species to maintain itself within an eco-system, the adherence to the laws of ecology is a necessity.
Finally every species develops a code of conduct within its special structure that organizes behaviour amongst its own kind for the common good. This ethical code is ancient and evolving but it is required to ensure social survival, which has a direct bearing on biological survival. Humans have both universal ethics and cultural ethics. All other species have their own internal ethical disciplines.
The Laws of Ecology
There are three primary laws of ecology.
The Law of Interdependence
The Law of Interdependence dictates that all forms of life within an ecosystem are dependent upon each other. This dependence may be direct or indirect. John Muir illustrated it best when he said, “if you tug on any part of nature you will find it connected to everything else.”
The prey is as dependent on the predator for the control and health of its population as the predator is upon the prey for a source of food. The tree is dependent upon fungi to draw water into it’s roots and the fungi is dependent on the tree as a host. Even the hated mosquito or the dreaded virus are a part of this cycle of interdependence.
For example, few objections would be raised to a program to eradicate mosquitos. It would be difficult however to gain public support for a program to eradicate swallows. But swallows eat mosquitoes. If the mosquitoes die, so do the swallows.
A similar example can be taken from actual events in history. In our perceived wisdom, we humans carried out a program of mosquito eradication in Northeast Africa in the late fifties and sixties. The objective was to control and eliminate malaria. A noble goal in the short term, it was a program lacking in long-term vision. Malaria did decline with the mass extermination of the mosquito. At the same time, massive amounts of DDT killed off natural predators of the mosquito and affected the survival of a myriad of African species, both plant and animal. The results contributed to desertification coupled with rapid human population growth. The consequence was an ecology where the carrying capacity was lowered and human populations raised unnaturally.
Humans exceeded the ecological carrying capacity of the region thus setting into motion further degradation of the carrying capacity and forcing social conflict upon the people of the region.
The problem was that the well-meaning medical doctors and human rights advocates had proceeded with a program without factoring in the first law of ecology – the law of interdependence. The result was famine, disease, and warfare.
Malaria had been eradicated but at a horrible cost. And the worst was yet to come. The mosquito developed a resistance to DDT and malaria developed a resistance to the drug quinine, and there were now fewer natural mosquito predators.
Man had declared war on nature, won a battle and lost in the counter-attack. Millions of children in Africa died because men and women with high humanitarian ideals, but lacking ecological education or ecological common sense, violated the sacred trust of the Earth and defied a law of nature.
The Law of Biodiversity
The second Law of Ecology states that the stability of ecosystems is dependent upon diversity. An ecosystem that contains seven hundred different species is more stable than an ecosystem that contains seven species. For example, consider a natural forest which contains dozens of species of trees. Each species is susceptible to specific diseases that can kill individual trees. If there is a variety of tree species, it is unlikely that they would all be attacked at once. Since the trees of any one species are spaced apart, with other species between them, there is little chance of an epidemic that would wipe out every tree of that species.
Enter man. The forest is clear-cut for lumber and pulp and is replanted with seedling trees of one species, a species that suits man’s needs better than the original diversity of species. If a disease specific to the new species now strikes the forest, all the trees are susceptible and an epidemic is likely.
Because of the Law of Biodiversity, a rainforest is a stronger and more resilient ecosystem than a tundra eco-system or a boreal forest. Individual species enjoy more protection within the boundaries of diverse eco-systems. Diversity is strength.
For this reason the rights of a species must always take precedence over the rights of an individual or a group of individuals of any other species.
In my ecology classes I have been accused of favoring bacteria over babies. This in response to a choice I gave my students. Choose between the preservation of an unknown species of bacteria and the life of an individual human being, and to make it really tough, let’s make the human a cute little baby.
The anthropocentric response is that one human life is worth more than the survival of a species of germ. In fact, one journalist once told me that all the Redwoods in the State of California are not worth the life of one human being.
When the majority of my students choose the life of the baby over the unknown germ, I reveal the identity of the bacterium as Lactobacillus acidophilus, the microflora that dwells within the human intestinal tract that allows us to digest our food. Without it we would not survive and thus the choice would have condemned the entire human species thus illustrating the Law of Biodiversity.
Another example is a tree in Mauritius known as Calvaria major. This plant, also known as the Dodo tree, survives in only 13 ancient specimens. Once common, there is no evidence of a single new tree appearing since the extinction of the Dodo in 1680. Although fruits and seedlings grow on the 300 to 400 year old survivors, not one seed has propagated and these trees are coming to the end of their life span.
The reason for this is that the tough seed casing had to be crushed in the gizzard of a Dodo and passed through it’s digestive system before it could propagate.
When Dutch sailors slaughtered the last Dodo, they also unknowingly passed a sentence of extinction on the Dodo tree.
There are also bacteria and fungi dependent upon the Dodo tree, and other organisms dependent upon them, and so on.
The Law of Finite Resources.
The third law of ecology is the Law of Finite Resources. This means that all resources are finite and thus there are fixed limits to the growth of all living systems. These limits are dictated by the finite size of the earth, and the finite output of energy from the sun. Practically, ecosystem limits are dictated by the amount of resources within a particular system in relationship to the number of consuming organisms within that system.
Runaway human population growth is the most serious threat to biodiversity on the planet. The more people, the greater the consumption of finite resources. Humanity buys time by stealing the carrying capacity of other species thus we are in the midst of one of the greatest periods of mass extinction in the planet’s history.
Richard Leakey in his book The Sixth Extinction illustrates the magnitude of this die-off. Whereas the last five extinctions were due to primary physical laws, the sixth is a consequence of human population and consumption.
Human populations have doubled from three billion to six billion since 1950. Fifty more years should give us twelve billion. One hundred more years will give us twenty-four billion. These numbers will be purchased with the extinctions of a multitude of species until a breaking point is reached that will result in a drastic crash in human numbers.
In the meantime, as is happening today, chaotic safety valves will cut human numbers. War, pestilence, famine - - the three dark horsemen of the apocalypse - - will slaughter hundreds of millions. New viruses will cross over from disappearing hosts forced to adapt to the species whose numbers are plentiful. Increased population pressures lead to war and violence. Water and land are disappearing, and our dependence on a few domesticated species of plants and animals severely restricts our chances for survival.
More people produce more waste, polluting more habitats. There is also a finite limit to the capacity of the oceans, rivers, lakes, and estuaries to absorb this waste.
We are presently coming up against the limits of many natural resources, including agricultural land, fisheries, forests, whales, wildlife, minerals and water.
When the human species ignores the logical implications of these laws of ecology, we are guilty of crimes against the Earth and against future generations of humanity. We will not be judged by men for these crimes, but with a terrible justice rendered by the Earth herself. A course which leads toward destruction of the eco-systems of the Earth is a course which will destroy the human species.
The Precedence of Natural Law
Rape of the planet is a crime against nature, but it is in practice legal under human laws. Poisoning of the planet with toxic and radioactive waste is a crime against nature, but it is legal under human law in most countries. The murder of a citizen of the planet, either human or non-human, is a crime against nature, but in many cases with humans and most cases with non-humans, it is sanctioned under state law.
People have been imprisoned for refusing to kill other people. When the state declares that murder is legal, it becomes a crime to refuse to murder. People have been imprisoned for protecting forests, oceans, and eco-systems. The destroyers of these habitats are given full protection under state law.
The law recognizes rights for some people, corporations and ships, all of which have legal standing under law. Yet every other living creature, species, or ecosystem exists without the guaranteed protection of state law.
Where is the line drawn that determines the difference between what is right and what is wrong, between good and evil, between justice and the law?
Is the man who refuses to kill another man at the insistence of his government a criminal?
Under the law, he is, in fact, a criminal.
Ethically he is right, morally he is superior, spiritually he is good but legally he is wrong, inferior, and as some would have us believe, unpatriotic and therefore evil.
The spirit of the law often gives way to the rule of the law. The intent of laws are often subverted to the bureaucracy of those who administer the law.
Sometimes, the law of the state must be deliberately broken in the spirit of justice. When the law of the state is used in a corrupt manner to tyrannize, the law must be broken before it breaks the potential law-breaker.
Most importantly, we must have a hierarchy of allegiance to various spectrums of the law.
I submit that this spectrum should place the laws of nature on the top, followed by ethics and conscience, followed by international law, and then followed by the laws of the nation state that are divided by federal, state, county, or municipal rules.
There must be justification for the violation of the laws on the lower strata in the interest of upholding the laws on the upper strata.
For example, in 1981, I landed illegally on the beach in Soviet Siberia to document illegal whaling activities. In doing so I obtained evidence of the Soviets violating the international regulations of the International Whaling Commission. In the interest of upholding an international law, I was forced to break a state law.
There is a tenet of international law that allows for this.
The United Nations World Charter for Nature states in Principle 21 Section (e) of the Charter that:
States and, to the extent they are able, other public authorities, international organizations, individuals, groups, and corporations shall:
(e) Safeguard and conserve nature in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
Protecting the Marine Environment Under International Law
The greater part of the Earth’s surface is free of State authority, and this means that there is no structure, and no political or policing body that is in a position to defend the resources from high seas piracy.
The world’s oceans are an open frontier, with everything up for grabs to those who possess the biggest and best technologies to extract fish, whales, minerals, oil, plankton, or energy. The same holds true for those who view the seas as a dumpsite for radioactive waste, sewage, toxins, or discarded plastic.
On the high seas, might makes right. It is the only law that exists in practical fact, whereas most international laws exist only in theory. Laws without enforcement are not worth the paper they are written upon.
Captain Jacques Cousteau told me once that it was his belief that the navies of the world should stop playing war games with each other and get down to the real business of protecting the oceans from the greed of humanity.
Of course, navies are merely tools of nation states and it is not in the realpolitick interest of any nation state to protect the common heritage for the good of the commons. Of course in the long term it makes perfect sense, but politics has not been a discipline that has concerned itself with long-range objectives.
As such we are stuck with a dilemma. The oceans are being plundered, yet the status quo of international law is that nation states can choose to disregard any law, even if they have agreed to abide by it.
At present what we know as international law is merely a collection of agreements by certain nation states, all of which have no real binding force to back up their implementation.
The drafting of the laws has been undertaken by only those who are deemed to have “standing” to do so - - i.e. representatives of nation states.
It must be recognized that nation states do not have the scientific knowledge to determine the success or failure of international environmental and conservation law. As William Ruckelshaus stated in his law review article entitled The Role of the Envirnomental Protection Agency:
“As a society we know very little about what we are doing to our environment. We know very little about who is putting what where. We know very little about the additive and synergistic effect of diverse contaminants in our environment. We know very little about what we are doing to human health, to the climate, and to all the flora and fauna of our beleaguered planet.”
Even when the knowledge is available, action is not taken because it usually runs contrary to the desires of industry or agriculture.
For example, the government of Canada in the early eighties was very much aware of the possibility of the collapse of the Northern Cod fishery off Newfoundland. Action was continually delayed until after the fishery crashed, at which point Canadian Fisheries Minister Brian Tobin launched a public relations ploy to blame the whole mess on the Spanish to distract from the incompetence of his own government.
Canada still has refused to learn from its mistakes, and salmon populations continue to decline off the West coast under pressure from the large fishing companies and unions to deny the reality of the fragility of the species and the ecosystems.
Crimes against ecology are also crimes against humanity. These crimes have been consistently committed by the same nation states that possess the standing to participate in the formulation of treaties and laws. None of these states will admit to wrong-doing, or, if they do, they will certainly not agree to be penalized for their transgressions.
Just a short look at the crimes of some of these nation states reveals the awesome extent of lawlessness and irresponsibility on the world’s oceans.
Japan’s gross ecological crime of slaughtering endangered whales in an internationally established whale sanctuary The former Soviet Union’s crime of dumping nuclear reactors into the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans. Canada’s illegal whaling and incompetent management of both Atlantic and Pacific fisheries. Mexico’s slaughter of dolphins and the endorsement of this slaughter by the United States in the interest of trade considerations. Norway and Japan’s blatant violations of the global moratorium on commercial whaling. The drift netting of the oceans by Taiwan, Korea, and Japan, with monstrously long nets. Uncontrolled worldwide poaching of marine wildlife. The cyanide poisoning of tropical reefs. The operation of unsafe oil tanker traffic by all nations. The unrelenting destruction of wetlands and estuaries. The dumping of plastic into the sea from almost every nation bordering the ocean.
The litany of threats to the environment is ongoing and endless.
The real victims, the generations yet unborn have no voice to protest and no standing to contest these crimes. Ours is a generation that is profiting upon the deprivation and misery of our grandchildren.
Yet we have laws to protect the environment.
Japan and Norway are both members of the International Whaling Commission and between them they have slaughtered some 18,000 whales since the IWC implemented a global moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986.
We have international conventions like the 1973 convention on vessel dumping at sea and the 1973 convention for the prevention of pollution by ships, both of which are essentially unenforceable.
Article 192 of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea provides: “States have the obligation to protect and preserve the marine environment.”
These are all words without adequate measures for enforcement.
One possibility for enforcement is the enactment of national legislation that would impose trade embargoes on offending nations. For example under regulations of the U.S. Department of Commerce, measures can be taken to sanction nations that do not adhere to the rulings of the International Whaling Commission. Despite this being the law, President’s from Reagan to Bush consistently chose to ignore the law and instead substituted “letters of protest” to offending whaling nations like Norway and Japan. Their reasoning is that the issue is not worth upsetting trade relations over. As a result, despite the law, both nations have annually raised their illegal quotas with impunity.
This ties in to what Maurice Strong stated in an interview with Canada’s Financial Post in 1992. The Secretary General of the U.N. Conference on the Environment and Development, said, “environmental legislation must never be a barrier to free trade.”
If free trade rules, the environment loses. Both the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as international treaties render domestic legislation like the U.S. Endangered Species Act subservient. International trade agreements negate domestic conservation legislation. For this reason Mexico successfully sued the U.S. under GATT for barring trade in tuna caught by the method of “fishing on porpoise.” This in turn forced the U.S. to overturn legislation protecting dolphins from tuna nets.
What all this means is that the future looks bleak for conservation because it will always be forced to take a back seat to the interest of free trade.
Of course as resources are depleted, warfare will become the natural extension of diplomatic discussions. We saw this surface in 1973 with the British and Icelandic cod war when Iceland unilaterally extended its territorial limit to fifty miles. This was the first step to an international agreement creating the globally recognized two hundred mile limit, a measure that was successful because it appealed to the territorial ambitions of all the participating states.
Still, this was not enough, and in 1995 Canada fired upon the Spanish trawler Estai outside the 200 mile limit to underscore its desire to protect fish it considered its own, that had chosen to travel into international waters. In turn, Spain charged the Canadian Fisheries Minister with piracy but like everything else on the high seas, the charges did nothing except further the Minister’s own political ambitions. Spain carried on fishing as Canada beat her chest for displaying some rare machismo.
It is interesting that it was Canada that arrested me in 1993 for chasing the Cuban fishing fleet off the tail of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. This was also outside of the two hundred mile limit. Nonetheless, as a Canadian citizen, I was put on trial on three counts of felony mischief. Although I did not damage any property or injure any person, Canada attempted to impose two life sentences plus ten years for demanding that the Cubans leave the area.
What I had done was no different than what Canada would do to the Spanish two years later. My trial was held after the Spanish incident, and when my attorney attempted to compare my actions to those of the Minister of Fisheries, the judge refused to allow it. The judge ruled that it was improper to compare a criminal action to another criminal action.
In the summation, the Crown Prosecutor informed the jury that “a message must be sent that interference with over-fishing by citizens must not be tolerated.”
In other words, it was not my actions that were objectionable but the fact that the actions were not taken by a representative of the State like the Minister. Fisheries Minister Brian Tobin was lauded as a hero for doing what I had done which he charged as a crime when I had did it.
What the trial did achieve was to give me the opportunity to defend myself utilizing the United Nations World Charter for Nature.
Canada sent a legal expert to my trial to argue that although Canada had indeed signed the World Charter for Nature, the Charter was not to be considered as a defense for actions under Canadian law. My lawyer successfully argued that if Canada signed the Charter, then Canada agreed with the Charter.
The jury found that I had acted justifiably and I was acquitted of the felony charges, even though I admitted to doing exactly what the government accused me of – ordering the Cuban fleet home.
The fleet did leave and Canada informed me that I was responsible for some thirty-five million dollars in lost revenue to the Cubans. All I could see was the vast numbers of fish this represented and considered it a victory.
It is important to understand that I am not advocating the enforcement of our philosophy against any random target.
The IWC for example is the only international body empowered by participating nation states that compose its membership to draft whale conservation regulations. According to Article 65 of the U.N.Convention on the Law of the Sea, States shall co-operate with a view to the conservation of marine mammals and in the case of cetaceans shall in particular work through the appropriate international organization for their conservation, management and study.
The U.N. Conference on the Environment and Development in Rio De Janiero in 1992 further reinforced this ruling by recognizing the IWC as the legitimate body overseeing whale conservation regulations.
The Rio document, called Agenda 21, also gave reinforcement to the World Charter for Nature by stating:
Governments and legislators…should establish judicial and administrative procedures for legal redress and remedy of actions affecting environment and development that may be unlawful or infringe on rights under the law, and should provide access to individuals, groups, and organizations with a recognized legal interest.
There is a need to build an aggressive international oceanic policing force that is answerable to no particular government but is answerable to the commons in principle.
There really is no reason why this cannot be done.
A non-governmental organization has as much right to operate on the high seas as any government. Instead of citizens, this organization would have contributing members to fund an enforcement force to uphold existing laws, conventions, treaties, regulations, and agreements despite the protests of the participating signatories.
This Neptunian Tribunal would not create laws but would simply enforce and uphold all existing laws already agreed upon by nation states.
The World Charter for Nature provides individuals and groups the authority to act in this manner limited only to the “extent that they are able.”
I would envision this organization as a worldwide web of contacts that would monitor and communicate relevant information on all activities that transgress against established law.
Armed with this information, the organization would then deploy either covert tactical units or overt force where it is needed.
The best arrangement would be for the deployment of submarines that would remain at sea in international waters on a permanent basis. Repairs could be achieved either by a floating drydock or in a nation that agrees to allow operations within its territory. Crew changes and refueling could take place at sea.
In this way, the vessels would be unflagged and not subject to the laws of any one nation.
The law of Admiralty or Maritime Law is confined primarily to shipping and its jurisdiction is, in practice, relegated to the territoriality of the nation where the charges have been formulated. It is not applicable to the high seas.
There is a risk that the vessels may be designated as pirates and could be targeted as such. This would open an interesting ethical debate as to why conservation pirates would be targeted and corporate pirate would not.
It is precisely for this reason that I would advocate for a fleet of submarines manned by trained submariners. They would be difficult to locate and difficult to attack.
We have the communications technology to make this work. The internet gives us the freedom of instantaneous worldwide communications. We have concerned, skilled willing participants. All that is really needed is the organization to bring it all together to finance and deploy it.
What I envision is an independent naval force. Neptune’s Navy.
I have already laid the groundwork with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
In 1990 and 1992 I rammed and disabled Japanese drift net vessels in the North Pacific. We documented the ramming and challenged Japan to lay charges. They did not. They could not because they themselves were acting illegally.
After all our activities over the last twenty years, I have been called many things but I am not a convicted criminal. There is a big difference between being called a terrorist by an outlaw whaler and being a terrorist in the eyes of the law.
When Sea Shepherd purchased a submarine in 1994, a spokesperson for the Canadian Navy said that it was ridiculous for a conservation organization to have a submarine. He laughingly dismissed us as not knowing what to do with a submarine. “What sort of experience do these people have anyway?” he thundered.
I had to respond that since World War II, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has sunk more ships, boarded more ships, and rammed more ships than the Canadian Navy. Our level of in-the-field tactical experience exceeds that of the Canadian Navy.
The tactical forces that I have deployed to sink whalers are trained military special forces from various nations. We have lawyers, doctors, engineers, navigators, pilots, electricians and special ops people.
There is really no reason why we cannot stand up and enforce the law against international ecological piracy. We have the means under international law, we have the skills. We only require the will, the finances, and the courage to act.
It was not the Royal British or Spanish Navies that put an end to piracy on the Spanish Main in the 17th Century. God knows both navies spent considerable energies and resources in pursuit of that goal, but both failed miserably.
Piracy was instead vanquished by an individual -- a pirate himself, no less, in the person of Captain Henry Morgan, who was rewarded with the governorship of Jamaica for his valiant efforts.
Individuals and non-governmental organizations can triumph where state governments fail because bureaucracy can be dispensed with and expediency can be deployed. Whereas the bureaucratic state is shackled into non-action by the vested interests and conflicting political ambitions of its citizens, a non-governmental organization is fueled by the common interest and passionate desires of its members. A State must include all interests, many of which are in conflict. A non-governmental organization is driven by a common interest and seeks a common goal.
If the common goal is also one that nations agree with in principle, if not in practice, then an NGO that reflects this common concern should be at least tolerated, if not actively, supported by some nation states.
There were many in the British and Spanish Empires that profited directly or indirectly from piracy, including many in positions of influence. The advocates in government wishing to end piracy had to wade through the muck of political and corporate corruption, special interests, diplomatic dilemmas, conflicting ambitions, and just plain old bureaucratic red-tape.
Captain Morgan, on the other hand, only had his own ambitions to be concerned with and got on with the job, and effectively so.
Today, another form of piracy on the high seas exists. The ever-escalating demand for resources is pillaging the vast oceanic areas of the planet.
I think it is important to proceed against violations utilizing maximum restraint in deploying force. Every effort should be implemented to ensure against causing injuries to crew employed in illegal pursuits. For this reason, the primary enforcement tools should be non-lethal tactics and hardware. The objective is interference, intervention, disruption, and harassment utilizing vessels, electronics, intimidation, and most importantly, documentation.
The most important weapon that can be deployed is the camera ensuring that the plundering of the high seas does not take place out of sight and out of mind.
Information could be gathered from a variety of sources, but primarily from an international network of field representatives. We are presently doing this with Norwegian whaling. We have a network of dozens of Norwegian citizens who file reports on the movements of whaling vessels, their takes, and vulnerabilities. These informants can be both paid and volunteer. Field agents would also assist with special op agents when needed for support and cover.
Although covert operations would be deployed, all activities would be publicly acknowledged. It is important that the public be informed at all times that the actions are required to uphold existing laws and are not being taken against targets of political or philosophical protest.
If I thought that it would be practical to advocate for the United Nations or another body representative of nation states to create a similar force, I would not hesitate to support such a proposal. However since the record of international cooperation on this issue is non-existent and considering the duplicity of nation states in appeasing corporate or national interests above the spirit of international cooperation, I believe the solution must be non-governmental.
In summation, what I am advocating here is a non-governmental policing force that would operate in accordance with the instructions formulated by the United Nations World Charter for Nature to investigate and intervene against violations of international marine conservation law.
It was the pirate John Paul Jones who founded the United States Navy. Maybe it will take some pirates to save the oceans.
Sources: Legal: United Nations: Législation Nationale et Traités Concernant Le Droit da la Mer.
Birnie, Patricia. International Regulation of Whaling. © Oceana Pub.
Gilmore, Grant & Black, Charles L. The Law of Admiralty © 1975. Foundation Press.
Kiss, Alexandre & Skelton, Dinah: International Environmental Law. © 1991. Transnational Pub. Add. 1994 Supplement.
Nanda, Ved P. International Environmental Law & Policy © 1995. Transnational Pub.
Weiss, Edith Brown & Szasz. Paul C. International Environmental Law – Basic Instruments and References © 1992. Transnational Pub.
Watson, Captain Paul. On the Precedence of Natural Law. © 1988 Journal of Environmental Law & Litigation – University of Oregon School of Law.
Sources: Historical: Cruikshank, Brig-General E.A. The Life of Sir Henry Morgan. © 1935
Day, David. Vanished Species. ©1989.
Ellsberg, Commander Edward. Captain Paul © 1941.
Thomson, Valentine, Knight of the Sea The Life of John Paul Jones © 1939
Source: Captain Paul Watson