Things are getting ugly in the Southern Ocean between the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) fleet… as if they weren’t already.

On Monday, the second clash in less than a week occurred between the two fleets in the Southern Ocean with multiple collisions being reported. What we know for sure is that the collisions occurred Sunday as the Nisshin Maru was attempting to refuel with their supply tanker, Sun Laurel. Sea Shepherd has previously vowed to sever the fuel supply to the Japanese whaling research fleet by blocking the supply ship’s access to the ICR ships. Last week, we reported that several collisions occurred under similar circumstances with both sides maintaining that the other is at fault.

Of course both sides are again down playing their roles in Sunday’s collisions in yet another wild (and confusing) game of “he said, she said”. Here’s a breakdown of what both are saying:

What the Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) is saying…

On February 25 around 1200JST until about 1500JST during refueling operations, the Antarctic whale research (JARPAII) mother ship Nisshin Maru (NM) and her supply tanker were again subject to sabotage by the Sea Shepherd (SS) ships Steve Irwin (SI), Bob Barker (BB) and Sam Simon (SmS). The SI and BB are sailing under the flag of the Netherlands while the SmS has Australian registry.

As the NM was about to come alongside her supply tanker for refueling, the SS vessels SI, BB and SmS repeatedly forced their way between the NM and her supply tanker. During their obstruction to refueling operations the SS vessels rammed into, at the least: BB three times; SmS two times, with the NM and the supply tanker. There were no injuries to the NM and supply tanker crews. Damage suffered by both the NM and the supply tanker is being checked. - Read More…

Photo: THE INSTITUTE OF CETACEAN RESEARCH,  TOKYO, JAPAN

Photo: THE INSTITUTE OF CETACEAN RESEARCH,
TOKYO, JAPAN

Photo: THE INSTITUTE OF CETACEAN RESEARCH,  TOKYO, JAPAN

Photo: THE INSTITUTE OF CETACEAN RESEARCH,
TOKYO, JAPAN

Photo: THE INSTITUTE OF CETACEAN RESEARCH,  TOKYO, JAPAN

Photo: THE INSTITUTE OF CETACEAN RESEARCH,
TOKYO, JAPAN

Photo: THE INSTITUTE OF CETACEAN RESEARCH,  TOKYO, JAPAN

Photo: THE INSTITUTE OF CETACEAN RESEARCH,
TOKYO, JAPAN

What Sea Shepherd is saying…

The Nisshin Maru has caused at least three collisions: twice with the Bob Barker, shoving the ship into the Sun Laurel at 1448 AEDT and 1516 AEDT, and ramming the Sam Simon at 1715 AEDT. The Bob Barker has sustained major damage from being sandwiched between the Nisshin Maru and the fuel tanker Sun Laurel. The engine room is now visible through a crack in the floor of the galley. The Sam Simon has massive scratches and dings along their hull, and a smashed satellite dome.

The three Yushin Maru harpoon ships crossed the bows of Sea Shepherd Ships trailing propeller-foulling lines. The Sam Simon, Steve Irwin, and Bob Barker have had flooding in their engine from the Nisshin Maru’s water cannons. The Nisshin Maru threw a flash bang grenade that exploded off the port stern of the Sun Laurel, leaving large black charred marks. - Read More…

Photo: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Photo: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Photo: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Photo: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Photo: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Photo: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Photo: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Photo: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

…and there you have it. Now given this information, who is at fault? 

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