Watson's side of the story can be found at http://gcaptain.com/japanese-lose-temper-antarctic/The Sea Shepherd vessel, Bob Barker (front), and the Japanese tanker Sun Laurel in the Antarctic, taken and released by the Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) February 20, 2013. Credit REUTERS/The Institute of Cetacean Research/Handout
MELBOURNE, (Reuters) - Anti-whaling activists called on Wednesday for Australia to send a naval vessel to the Southern Ocean after a confrontation in which they said a Japanese whaling ship collided with two of their protest vessels, damaging their flagship.
"The Nisshin Maru has rammed the Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker, but both vessels continue to hold their positions," Paul Watson, the founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society which runs the protest boats, said in a statement.
Watson also accused Japanese coastguard personnel of throwing concussion grenades at their protest ships during a confrontation in the frigid waters near Antarctica and said the Bob Barker was taking on water in its engine room.
Japanese research vessel Nisshin Maru (R) collides with the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin in Mackenzie Bay, Antarctica in this handout picture taken on February 20, 2013. Image credit: REUTERS/Tim Watters/Sea Shepherd Australia/Handout
The Nisshin Maru blasting the Steve Irwin with water cannons.
© Sea Shepherd/ Glenn Lockitch 2013
The Nisshin Maru ramming the Bob Barker. ©Sea Shepherd / Marianna Baldo 2013
Australia said it was confirming the report of the incident. Neither the Japanese government nor its whaling authority immediately responded to the Sea Shepherd's account of the clash.
The Sea Shepherd group has clashed with the Japanese fleet for nine whaling seasons in the southern hemisphere summer, and has lot one of its ships, the high-speed trimaran Ady Gil which sank after a collision with a whaler in January 2010.
In the latest incident, the activists had been attempting to prevent an 8,000-tonne Japanese factory ship refuelling from a tanker when the collision occurred, Sea Shepherd director Bob Brown told journalists in the Australian city of Melbourne.
Brown, a former Australian Greens party leader before quitting politics, said the two Sea Shepherd ships had been repeatedly rammed and called on Australia's government to despatch a naval ship to the area to calm the tension.
"It is illegal to be ramming ships in any seas anywhere on the planet. It is illegal for a tanker to be carrying heavy fuel oil into Antarctic waters under international law," Brown said.
Australia sent an armed customs patrol ship to the Southern Ocean in 2008 to gather evidence of Japanese whaling methods for a legal challenge.
Australia has filed a complaint against Japan at the world court in the Hague to stop Southern Ocean scientific whaling. A decision could come this year.
"The government condemns so-called 'scientific' whaling in all waters and we urge everyone in the ocean to observe safety at sea," Australia's Environment Minister Tony Burke said in a statement.
Japan introduced scientific whaling to skirt a commercial whaling ban under a 1986 moratorium. It argues it has a right to monitor the whales' impact on its fishing industry.
A U.S. appeals court in December issued an injunction ordering Sea Shepherd and Paul Watson not to physically attack or endanger the five-ship Japanese whaling fleet. (Reporting by Rob Taylor; Editing by Robert Birsel)
(c) 2013 Thomson Reuters, Click For Restrictions
Not enough info from these videos to tell what the fuck is really going on, but I put no faith in Watson's Press Release. I'm willing to bet that things went down much differently than he "remembers" them, but what a Cluster Fuck.
Any one ever seen any regulation that says HFO can't be transferred between 2 vessels at sea? Also, the whaling ships are Gov't vessels, correct?
As long as the United Nations will sit back and let Watson doing the job of protecting the whales for them, he will keep going. What are we looking for, the extinction of the whales ?
A foreign captain react whereas a local pilot anticipate.
Watson and his crew are pirates. They have been trying to hurt Japanese fisherman for years and now they want to cry. I believe every Navy in the world should hunt Watson and his fleet down and sink them.
best I can tell from the video is that the stoopid STEVE IRWIN was alongside the refueling tanker and blocking the NISSIN MARU from coming alongside to bunker. Obviously the master of the NM saw he could gently persuade the SI to move. I don't see any damage here and much as I don't believe the Japanese NEED to take those whales for research, neither do I believe Watson's motives are at all pure. As I have said so many times here before, SSS has become nothing more than a monstrous cash generator for Watson and I imagine a very small inner circle of sycophants who are now laughing all the way to the bank.
FUCK THEM MY JAPANESE FRIENDS! SIC THE YAKUZA ON THEM...THEY'LL GET THE JOB DONE!
When one chooses to interfere with necessary underway replenishment in the remotest corner of the world, he should expect to get pushed out of the way. And should not be whining about a few little bumps. He should be thankful that he was not sunk.
Japanese government subsidized, completely unnecessary , and illegal whale harvesting for profit and intended solely to satisfy a bizarre food fetish, but falsely disguised as "research" should not be tolerated. When one chooses to be a poacher, he should expect to take his lumps and not whine about it.
Fortunately, the Japanese are losing their taste for whale meat, and not because of the interference of Herr Watson.
Committing crimes for political reasons is not piracy it's terrorism. When the Steve Irwin throws lines in the water to foul the prop of a vessel in the Antarctic it's an act of terrorism. Of course it's also bs that the Japanese can hunt the whales but that solution is economic sanctions not terrorism.