Institute of Cetacean Research sea shepherd

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

reuters logoMELBOURNE, (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’s side of the story can be found HERE

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

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

sea shepherd nisshin maru steve irwin

The Nisshin Maru blasting the Steve Irwin with water cannons.
© Sea Shepherd/ Glenn Lockitch 2013

Nisshin Maru bob barker sea shepherd

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

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    • Arthur Clark

      Agree completly the Japanese Whaling fleet is not breaking any laws.. sea ship sh!t stay clear

      There is absolutly nothing wrong with hunting whales so long as it is done legalaly…. just like hunting dear or bear here in the USA…In fact the dear here in Marlyland is nothing more than over grown rats… as the only hunter is the privately owned vechile

    • Wayne

      Agree with Rob, but don’t know if it could be classed as terrorism, piracy perhaps.
      The sea-shepard master(s) has a blatant disregard for Collision Regulations, by NOT taking action to avoid a collision in the first place, and from my sea-going perspective, seems they put themselves in a prime position to be hit. The authorities should suspend their certificates, as it’s making professional mariners look like idiots and a mockery of the IMO.
      Im anti-whaling %100, but the public is already aware of whats happening; let the courts finish it.

    • Ben Reid

      There are certain areas in the world where it is illegal to use HFO or use it to refuel or bunker

  • http://media-lead.net Haitham Ali

    Even if what the whaling ships is doing is illegal the activists have no right to prevent refuelling or any other vigilante type actions, just gives them a bad name. I may have sympathies with their cause but not their tactics.

  • Tim

    Jamie, Refueling isn’t illegal, but new MARPOL regulations in efffect as of last year make it illegal to burn or even have HFO/IFO aboard in the arctic region – which I believe is defined as south of 60 degrees South.

    • Jamie

      I understand that, what’s missing is any proof that they are hauling HFO/IFO.

  • Capt. Geest

    Boy, sure looks like a high speed collision…I think I can make out the trace of a wake from the Japanese ship. Danger danger!

  • Alex Divov

    Sheppard – terrorist for sure..

    • Jamie

      Racist much?

    • anders

      That the wqay of life of the Japs smile and stab you in the back.

    • http://bigpond.com kevin gustav wensemius brennan

      yes there is no need for whaling,the USA MISSED their chance they did not use enough bombs,and the japs stealing from aussies waters is a disgusting disregardful of aussie maritime laws,sink the thieves i ,i would ,i will donate more money to sea Shepard now,stuff the greedy japs.

  • http://wwkalammeri.blog.com latimeri

    What a hell. Is ther now that grup of hoodlum calling up a help, they wanted a warship in the scene to be protect them.Let e’m have a punch, real munisment by sending em’ dow into Davy Jones Locker

  • phil joyner

    Watson and his followers are blithering idiots!!

  • Stanislav Palapeshkov

    Japanies will not stop, that’s it

    HERE is a movie of the collision collision

    , but the truth is that this captain is crashing them few times and ..nobody’s telling him smth.

    • PAUL

      Time to go get our G.E.D. and then we can learn the finer points of grammar…like spelling…you clown

  • Stanislav Palapeshkov
  • PAUL

    …..ILLEGALLY KILLING HELPLESS WHALES…

    SPONSORED BY THOSE FINE FOLKS WHO BROUGHT US PEARL HARBOR.

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