I was ready to give the New Zealand Navy the benefit of the doubt. I thought they had the courage to actually take on a bunch of high seas poachers if not for the unsurprising timidity of politicians like New Zealand's Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully.
But the recent comment by HMNZS Wellington Commanding Officer Graham MacLean has made me reassess my opinion of the New Zealand Navy. According to MacLean the mission was "a resounding success despite the lack of arrests."
Commanding Officer MacLean says he does not have much respect for Sea Shepherd. Apparently he has made it clear, and I quote, that he "can't see the likes of Sea Shepherd and the Navy working together."
Captain Sid Chakravarty on the Sea Shepherd ship, Sam Simon responded that "a little bit of assistance from the Navy and the government would mean they could find illegal fishing boats lurking in the Southern Ocean far more quickly."
But that level of cooperation is unlikely.
Sea Shepherd Captain Chakravarty says that's been the story all along. "I can't say I'm surprised. I think it can be expected of the government to have that attitude. But regardless, Sea Shepherd will go ahead; we will confront these vessels and we will shut down their operations."