Thursday, December 28, 2006

Protecting Whales: Man Joins Ship to Look for Japanese Whaling Fleet Violating International Law by Hunting Whales in Protected Waters

Their goal is to legally protect the whales, which include endangered fin and humpback whales.

Incredible story and incredible man.


Winnipeg man spends holiday saving whales
Among crew of animal-rights ship

Wed Dec 27 2006

By Kevin Rollason
WHILE Winnipeggers slogged through snow and carved their Christmas turkeys, Wolseley resident David Nickarz was trying to save the whales in the south Antarctic Ocean.

Nickarz is part of the crew of the Farley Mowat, a ship that is part of the U.S.-based Sea Shepherd Society, an animal-rights organization that left Australia on Friday bound for the Antarctic.

Nickarz and the crew are looking for six ships with the Japanese whaling fleet they claim are violating international law by hunting whales in protected waters. When the group finds the ships, they will try to protect the whales, which include endangered fin and humpback whales.

"I really admire what the group is all about," he said via satellite phone as the ship cruised through a calm ocean with few waves on Saturday morning.

"We're not a protest group. We follow international law to protect the ocean. We take action and we have international law on our side. This is not a vacation."

Nickarz is known to Winnipeggers for protesting against the city's fogging of mosquitoes.

Earlier this year, Nickarz, who is in remission from testicular cancer, formed the Cancer Brigade with Nick Ternette. He told a civic committee that the chemicals used in pesticides may have caused his disease.

Nickarz, a self-employed handyman, learned early in life to protest for what he believes is right.

His father was arrested last year after being charged with trying to stop civic trucks from spraying malathion in the Wolseley area.

Nickarz said he, himself, was arrested in 2004 after he refused to get out of the way of the city trucks as they tried to leave an East Kildonan compound.

"I've been involved in numerous causes through the years," he said, adding this is the fifth time he has been on a society ship trying to save sea life.

Nickarz knew that at the first part of his mission, which could last up to 50 days, his family and friends would be celebrating Christmas and the holidays while he works eight hours a day in the engine room of the ship.

But Nickarz said it's a worthy tradeoff.

"I'm trying to save the whales and save an endangered species," he said. "I won't be missing the holiday at all."

1 comment:

David said...

Thanks for the comment.

David Nickarz

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