18 Apr 2011

Sea Shepherd takes a positive view of Japan's counter offer to Palau

7:38 pm on 18 April 2011

Sea Shepherd's president says a counter offer by Japan to help patrol Palau's waters instead of his conservation group could be a positive outcome.

The Palau government says it's reconsidering an agreement to have Sea Shepherd patrol its waters.

Palau's president Johnson Toribiong says that after hearing about that agreement, Japan offered to send its own patrol vessel, describing the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as a terrorist organisation.

Sea Shepherd's Paul Watson says Palau should take up Japan's offer if the patrol boat comes with funding and is independent of Japanese control.

He says illegal fishing is a huge problem in the Pacific.

"We've been stationed in the Galapagos (Islands) for twelve years now, working in partnership with the Galapagos Rangers and the Ecuadorian Federal Police but it's a losing battle. The poachers are winning... because you know, we have all the laws, rules and regulations but we just don't have any economic or political motivation to enforce these rules and regulations. The President of Palau is the first government leader that's had any initiative in this direction."

Sea Shepherd's Paul Watson.