Indybay Regions North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area California United States International Americas Haiti Iraq Palestine Afghanistan
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature

Japanese whaling ship and protest boat collide at sea

by UK Guardian (reposted)
An anti-whaling group's boat and a Japanese whale-spotting vessel collided twice in Antarctic waters today during clashes over a pod of whales, conservationists and Japanese officials said.
The anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society said a one-metre (three-foot) gash was torn in the hull of its ship, the Robert Hunter, by the Japanese ship Kaiko Maru during the clashes in iceberg-strewn waters far south of New Zealand.

Japanese officials accused the group of attacking the whaling ship like pirates.

The Kaiko Maru issued a distress signal during the clash to seek help from another Japanese whaling ship in the area, said Hideki Moronuki, a senior official at Japan's fisheries agency. No one aboard the Kaiko Maru was injured, and no serious damage to the ship was reported.

Mr Moronuki said two Sea Shepherd vessels attacked the Kaiko Maru this morning.

"The attack was like that of a pirate, with people on one boat throwing warning flares and a rope in an attempt to entangle our ship's propeller," Mr Moronuki said. The Kaiko Maru was forced to stop, he said.

Five other ships in the Japanese whaling fleet were far away from the Kaiko Maru at the time of the collision, Mr Moronuki said, declining to give their location.

Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson said the Robert Hunter was hit twice by the Kaiko Maru after the conservationists tried to stop the Japanese ship from reaching a pod of whales.

"Robert Hunter was struck in the stern. We have a three-foot gash in the hull above the waterline," he said by telephone from the Farley Mowat, a second Sea Shepherd ship in the area.

No injuries were reported aboard the Robert Hunter. Captain Watson said the Sea Shepherd ships offered to respond to the Japanese ship's distress call, but it had not answered.

The three ships were still near each other, while other Japanese whaling ships were about 20 miles (30km) away, Captain Watson said.

"The situation clearly is dangerous," he said.

New Zealand's Rescue Coordination Centre said it was aware of a distress call from a Japanese vessel, and that authorities were investigating.

The collision was the latest high-stakes clash between Japanese whaling ships and Sea Shepherd activists, whose self-stated aim is to "harass, block, obstruct, and intervene against" Japanese ships hunting whales in Antarctic waters.

Last Friday, two Sea Shepherd members went missing aboard a small inflatable boat for several hours during a confrontation with another Japanese whaling ship, the Nisshin Maru, before being found safe.

The conservationists had dumped a foul-smelling acid on the whaling ship, prompting Japanese officials to label them "terrorists" after two crew members were slightly injured.

The Japanese ships left port in November for a six-month whaling expedition in the Antarctic as part of a scientific whaling programme, conducted within the rules of the International Whaling Commission.

Tokyo is pushing for a limited resumption of commercial hunts, arguing that whale stocks have sufficiently recovered since 1986, when a global moratorium on commercial whaling was introduced.

Many other countries and conservation groups say Japan's scientific programme is a veil for commercial whaling.,,2011407,00.html?gusrc=ticker-103704
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!


$ 70.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.


Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network