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Sea Shepherd: Whaling Factory ship rams Korean Fuel Tanker and 3 activist ships

by Takver - Australia Indymedia
In the Southern Ocean tempers are fraying over whaling with Sea Shepherd hindering all attempts to slaughter whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sancturay in their Zero Tolerance campaign this year being run from the Australian Sea Shepherd Organisation. A Major confrontation erupted today north of the Australian Casey Antarctic Base when Sea Shepherd used it's vessels to prevent the Nisshin Maru Whaling Factory Ship coming alongside the Panama registered Korean fuel supply ship the Sun Laurel.

Image: Japanese whaling factory ship ramming the resupply ship Sun Laurel damaging both lifeboats. Image courtesy Sea Shepherd

The Sea Shepherd ships Sam Simon, Steve Irwin and Bob Barker were all rammed repeatedly by the Japanese factory ship with the Bob Barker sustaining damage to its stern and engine room and taking on water. No injuries were sustained in the collisions, and the situation on the Bob Barker has stabilised with power now restored. The Nisshin Maru also rammed the whaling fleet supply ship the Sun Laurel damaging both life boats. Read full Sea Shepherd breaking news account below.

Refuelling below 60 degrees South is illegal

Refuelling below 60 degrees south is illegal under the Antarctic Treaty, under Australian law and under international law (MARPOL), and the Japanese fleet is in blatant breach in all these jurisdictions. Japan is a signatory to the Antartic treaty.

The Sun Laurel has already spilt oil into the southern ocean below 60 degrees and inside the Australian Antarctic Territorial waters while attempting to refuel the Nisshin Maru with heavy fuel oil (HFO). Sea Shepherd Australia reported:

On the 17th of February at approximately 4:00 pm AEDT the Sam Simon recorded an audio transmission between the Captain and Bosun of the Sun Laurel - the Japanese whaling fleet's refuelling vessel. In this recording, the Captain of the Sun Laurel refers to the oil spill that the Sam Simon had documented and collected samples of hours earlier. The Sun Laurel Captain informed his Bosun to take care covering refuelling hoses, and that if oil dropped into the water there would be a "big problem", as the Sam Simon had caught the Sun Laurel leaking fuel into the wake behind them earlier that morning.

Sea Shepherd believes

"The Sun Laurel is in direct violation of international law. Marpol Regulation 15 Subpart B, Discharge in Special Areas Point 4 states: "In respect of the Antarctic area, any discharge into the sea of oil or oily mixtures from any ship shall be prohibited." In addition, The Sun Laurel has failed to issue a statement on their spill to AMSA, which puts them in breach of MARPOL'S Pollution Incident Reporting Regulations. Marpol 73/78 is the International Maritime Organisation's Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships, to which all sea-going vessels are bound."

It is believed the Sun Laurel has never navigated in the Antarctic ice pack before. But early this morning at about 2am, the Sun Laurel went into the ice, just 15 miles off the ice shelf, and was surrounded by pack ice and ice floes. The Steve Irwin and Sam Simon maintained their positions close to the sun Laurel while the Bob Barker stayed following the slipway of the Nisshin Maru, while the three Japanese harpoon ships circled firing their high powered water cannon.

The Whaling fleet departed Japan much later this year and Sea Shepherd found the whaling fleet on January 29th, before any whales were killed. The fleet was chased for 2500 nautical miles westward for 18 days. There was a two day period when the Nisshin Maru stopped with one harpoon vessel the Yushin Maru #2. That allowed the Bob Barker to catch up with whalers. Some whales may have been killed during that two-day period but not very many.

As the Bob Barker caught up with the Nisshin Maru on Friday 15 February they witnessed one whale being hit by an explosive harpoon and witnessed it's dying over several minutes. They were able to deter transfer of the whale in some brinksmanship behind the Nisshin Maru. With the arrival of the Steve Irwin on Saturday Whaling was shut down. Watch youtube video of SS Bob Barker hindering a whale transfer that took 7 hours to do.

On Sunday, after some dangerous seamanship by Japanese Captains, the Sam Simon withdrew from it's position near the Sun Laurel and witnessed the refuelling of the Yushin Maru and the Shonan Maru. Sam Simon Captain Luis Manho said: "At this point I realised that these poaching ships were determined to refuel regardless of any consequence, be it large scale oil pollution, property damage, or risk of life at sea. In order to protect my crew as well as the marine life of the Southern Ocean, I decided it was in the best interest of all concerned to back away and document this dangerous fuelling operation."

At 11:45 am AEDT at a position of 64° 30' degrees South, 84° 20' East, the Yushin Maru tied up along side the Sun Laurel and was refuelled. At 1:55 pm AEDT the Yushin Maru cast off the Sun Laurel, and was immediately replaced by the Shonan Maru No. 2, currently being refuelled.

Bad weather and sea ice moves in during mid March, so the Japanese whalers have about 23 days left before the whaling season will be over. It seems the Japanese Captains are taking great risks with the lives of their crews and the crews of the Sea Shepherd ships this year.

Sam Simon, Steve Irwin, Bob Barker and Sun Larel rammed by Nisshin Maru

Here is the full account by Sea Shepherd of the Nisshin Maru ramming 4 vessels in the Southern Ocean. It was posted to Facebook about 17:50 19 February 2013 (Melbourne Time):


Feb. 20, 2013 - MELBOURNE, Australia -- The SSS Bob Barker and SSS Steve Irwin have been rammed by the Japanese whaling fleet's massive factory vessel, the Nisshin Maru. The floating slaughter-house is eight times the mass of the Steve Irwin.

The Bob Barker and the Steve Irwin were behind Sun Laurel, Steve Irwin on portside, Bob Barker on starboard.

On load-speaker, the Shonan Maru No. 2 ordered Sea Shepherd's Australian flagged ship, the SSS Sam Simon, which is located in the Australian Antarctic Territory, to leave the area on the orders of the Government of Japan. Concussion grenades were thrown at the Bob Barker and the Steve Irwin by the crew of the Nissin Maru.

Captain Peter Hammarstedt radioed the whaling fleet's factory vessel, the Nisshin Maru, and told them that the Bob Barker intended to maintain course and speed, that the moral and legal obligation to avoid the collision was on the Nisshin Maru.

The Nisshin Maru, turned and was approaching from starboard. It nearly collided with Bob Barker, before it turned into Steve Irwin, and rammed the Sea Shepherd ship's stern.

The Nisshin Maru continued on its collision course, and rammed the portside of the Steve Irwin.

The Nisshin Maru then rammed the Bob Barker. The Steve Irwin increased its speed ahead to avoid the Nisshin Maru.

The Bob Barker took the Steve Irwin's position on the portside of the Sun Laurel.

The Steve Irwin circled back, and the Nisshin Maru pushed the Bob Barker into the Sun Laurel, sandwiching the Bob Barker between itself and the Sun Laurel. The Nisshin Maru then fell back behind the Bob Barker, and rammed full speed into the portside stern of the Sun Laurel, shattering their portside life-raft, and destroying the davit to launch the other life-raft. The Nisshin Maru then rammed the Bob Barker again from behind, destroying one of their radars, and all of their masts.

The Bob Barker completely lost power and issued a MayDay distress call. As this distress call was issued, the Nisshin Maru turned away and began fleeing north.

Sea Shepherd Australia Co-Campaign leader, former Senator Bob Brown, has informed the Australian Government of the Japanese multiple breaches of international law and called for Tokyo to be required to remove its ships from this region north of Australia's Casey Base and to desist from its gross violation of Australian and international laws. He says that the Australian Navy should be dispatched to restore the law.

Currently the Sun Laurel is being escorted north by the Sea Shepherd fleet, since they have no emergency life-saving devices in the potentially treacherous waters of the Southern Ocean. Director of Sea Shepherd Australia, Jeff Hansen said, "The Nisshin Maru has committed the maritime equivalent of a hit and run accident. They have rammed the Sun Laurel, putting them in perilous danger, and simply abandoned them."

All vessels are heading north with the illegal whale poachers from Japan two miles ahead of Sea Shepherds' fleet.

All three Sea Shepherd ships were rammed, with the Bob Barker sustaining the heaviest damage. Power has been restored to the Bob Barker. Fortunately no crewmembers sustained injuries. The crews completed the mission to block the refuelling and will continue to protect the whales in the sanctuary.

******** END *********
§Fleet Locations 17 February
by Takver - Australia Indymedia
Fleet locations: Group A - Sun Laurel, Yushin Maru, Shonan Maru No. 2, SSS Sam Simon Group B - Nishin Maru, Yushin Maru, Yushin Maru No. 3, SSS Steve Irwin & SSS Bob Barker
§Sun Laurel refuels Yushin Maru illegally
by Takver - Australia Indymedia
Add Your Comments

Comments (Hide Comments)
by Annmarie
Why can't our governments monitor and or stop this slaughter and violations of laws? Why can Japan and North Korea just ignore maritime laws and do what ever they want? Why can't be blow those mothers out of the water?
by sidewinder
What a blatant disrespectful Japanese whaling fleet. Absolute criminal behaviour
Article 9 Chapter 2 of the Japanese Constitution vows to the world, that it will never go to aggressive War again. That they wil not maintain navy, air, land forces or any other war potential (Nisshin Maru). Now we hear that Japan is again at aggressive unjust and illegal violence against the ecological Sea Shepherd Boats, and the tanker boat, smashing its safety lifeboats. What is it that the Japanese whalers don't understand by non-belligerence of state, also promised in their Japanese Constitution.

Yet the Cetacean Death Star and its crew is facilitating the throwing of percussion grenades at crew members of the conservation society, and the whole Japanese whaling fleet is using pressure spraying of their water canon hoses to harm the Sea Shepherd Boats, which is endangering the people as crews there on the high seas in the Sothern Ocean whale sanctury. War potential indeed.

The whaling crews of the whaling fleet were heard to issue orders they maintain from the Japanese government to make Sea shepherd leave the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctury. That is a 'Big Lie' against the Japanese Constitution as it is Japan that is disobeying the local, national, and international laws, not to mention universal unacceptable practice , by being in the Whale Sanctuary with a whaling fleet.

Sea Sheperd is doing its conservation duty to protect endangered Species as the United Nations in General Assembly has written into law--CITES-- that all nations must respect. Democracy as collective agree AND MUTUAL BENEFIT, is not Japan's long suit it appears.

Japan has been known to do the same disobeying of international laws when in the League of Nations it took the Path of quitting, and going to the path of unilateral aggressive war to re- conquer the world, and exploit the world's organic and inorganic resources. Once fooled twice shy. Now Japan is in breach of another United Nations set on bringing world law and peaceful co-existence to the planets nations.

The Whaling industry and the government of Japan should be taken to the ICC---International Criminal Court so due process of internaitonal law can be done to make sure that it ends its illegal violent behaviour in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctury for the good of the ecol;ogical organic balances of the planet's web-of-life can be upheld. The liberation fighters side of the second world war set liberation as against Militarization and Agressive war potential.

Workers of the world unite!! End pollution wars, not endless pollution destruction of the web-of-life. Yu yet have a world to win!!
Whaling industry of Japan looks complicated.
However, a conclusion is very simple.
Whaling of Japan of the Antarctic Ocean exists only in the act which "kills whales ".

It is the industry of only" killing whales".
1) A fishery prefecture has a 5000-ton stockpile.
2) It was reported by IFAW that Japanese people hardly consume whale meat.

The act which kills this whale gives a *2 billion yen economic effect to a fleet-of-whalers port of call.

A meaning will not be made, if this whaling is "research whaling" for the Fisheries Agency and it will be "commercial whaling."
Although the whale meat which is a by-product of the "research whaling" which they say will sell, it will not sell, but this does not have a meaning, either.
The Japanese government has continued claiming "Food culture" and "tradition" as an overseas-oriented announcement.
The act of this "whale murder" is just the truth that they want to continue. However, this cannot be announced to the world honestly.

The government of one country is making industry continue only the murder act of other races. (** A tax is used and revival money is appropriated for the budget. )
The Yamaguchi prefecture is the greatest whaling promotion prefecture. In order for Prime Minister expression Abe from Yamaguchi Prefecture to affirm this slaughter industry, the maximum tries hard. The Abe whaling Cabinet was supported by the powerful whaling lobby group, and was inaugurated.

Please note that the diplomacy of the future Japanese government is made for the purpose of whaling industrial continuation.

If it does not yield to the pressure from the world but whaling of the Japanese government continues to industrial continuation of only this slaughter, I will suspect "the Japanese government is a stockpile of the whale meat for the third World War."

This war preparation must be a threat to the world.

The Western countries which have not yielded to ODA money of Japan should examine to Japan.

*"charges for custody of a cold storage warehouse . Stay of the family of crew, such as an agency about the delivery charge to every place, and entry into port, the persons concerned, etc. etc. -- economic effect of presumption of about 2 billion yen .
Shimonoseki is aimed at as a lasting base of a whaling survey ship team."
By Shimonoseki-shi, Mayor Tomoaki Nakao ( Yamaguchi Prefecture ).

**It is an about 2,300 million yen subsidy as "revival of an area-devastated-by-an-earthquake region" to a research whaling enterprise.

Tradition ? food culture? Infanticide of a whale?
The Japanese government and the whaling industry cannot perform logical explanation justly to the world about this slaughter. Because, "there is whaling first". All reasons were attached later.

This act of the Japanese government for the purpose of slaughter should be judged by the world.

“Abe whaling Cabinet."

1, "Shinzo Abe ” (new prime minister ), comes from Yamaguchi- prefecture and Yamaguchi-prefecture is a huge whaling promotion prefecture.
( Shimonoseki is the city of the Yamaguchi prefecture. )
2, "Yoshimasa Hayashi " (as new minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries-the position responsible for whaling policy).He also comes Yamaguchi -Prefecture. 3, "Taro Aso " ( vice Prime Minister minister) is also powerful "pro-whaling lobby"
4, “Shigeru Ishiba

( Liberal Democratic Party whaling Diet members' league)

Now It is becoming famous that "Shinzo Abe " is the greatest whaling promoter.
His wife advertizes a whale meat hamburger and enjoys a dolphin show.

Abe ,himself commented to the press that the Yamaguchi prefecture is the prime minister's place of production. I think that this means taking the prime minister's post by support of powerful whaling Lobby group. That is, Abe who became the prime minister has the consciousness that whose whaling industry is protected it is a mission.
1) "The Japanese whalers are far more aggressive this year than in past campaigns."
2) Introduction of the tax fund and the tsunami relief funds to whaling industry

Present Cabinet began to move to "the mission of whaling industrial relief" certainly.

I say once again.
Slaughter of a whale which this Japan is performing is the most meaningless in the long history of the human being who kills other races.
This act of the Japanese government for the purpose of slaughter should be judged by the world.

Did major media of Japan tell the Japanese in IFAW`s precious information and the overseas report of a whaling issue?
It is this very manipulation of information to make thinking of a whaling issue stopped in japan
Why are Japanese people ignorance at a whaling issue?

“The Japanese whale research institute” uses every year on publicity work in 600 million yen.
There are very many differences of the whaling issue information in overseas and Japan by the manipulation of information of major media.
"The Japanese need to get to know nothing. Pay a tax silently. Whaling is nationalized."
This is the expectation of the Japanese government.

It is this very manipulation of information to make thinking of a whaling issue stopped.
The young generation in the Internet may smash this nostalgic whaling delusion generation.
This is the only hope in Japan.
The world should not accept industrial continuation of that the government of one state only murders other races on this earth. And the Japanese government and a fishery prefecture are going to nationalize this slaughter.

from tokyo
I'd be remiss if I didn't point out imperative major industrial society use of the Whale product spermaceti wax, which is used for cosmetics and as a precision machine shop lubricant. My understanding is it's use in certain specific machining applications is mandatory. There is no other known lubricant that would substitute. But I've been out of the precision machining industry for a couple of decades so that may have changed.

Dateline today but Sea Shepherd Conservation Society mentioned this a year or two ago:

TOKYO, Japan — Japan’s declining appetite for whale meat is nothing new; but is the country also losing patience with its whaling industry?

The answer is yes, according to a new report that highlights the huge cost to the Japanese taxpayer of sustaining its whaling fleet. Without government subsidies, the industry would collapse, it said.

“Whaling is an unprofitable business that can survive only with substantial subsidies and one that caters to an increasingly shrinking and aging market,” according to the report, released earlier this month by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

According to data provided for the first time by fisheries authorities, Japan’s government has approved subsidies totaling more than 30 billion yen ($320 million) between 1987 and last year.
by toshio yashiro
I was disappointed about the tanker nationality of this news.
South Korea was changed into the investigation which does not kill a whale without imitating unjust research whaling of Japan, and high evaluation was received from the world. I appreciated South Korean management from the bottom of my heart. It is a position in which South Korea educates Japan by a whaling issue. Will South Korea, from now on, continue support of Japanese whaling by the Antarctic Ocean? How do South Korean people feel? I am very regretful.
At Japanese major media, there is none of all statements about the nationality of this tanker.
By the way,Prime Minister Abe has visited the U.S. Doesn't President Obama make reference about whaling?
from tokyo
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