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Japanese whalers escalate dangerous attacks on Sea Shepherd in refueling attempt
by Takver - Australia Indymedia
Monday Feb 25th, 2013 8:57 PM
More ship collisions have ocurred in the Southern ocean with the Nisshin Maru ramming the Bob Barker up against the fuel tanker Sun Laurel while blasting the ship with water cannon to try and flood their engines and exploding concussion grenades on the decks of the Bob Barker and the Sun Laurel.

Using explosive weapons around fuel is always a dangerous idea, with a disaster just waiting to happen. All the Sea hepherd boats have ship and aviation fuel stored in 44 gallon drums on deck. It would not be inconceivable that an explosive grenade could cause a substantial explosion and fire. Secondly, these explosive grenades have also been landing on the fuel tanker, blackening the superstructure. How crazy is that? The crew on the fuel tanker is not allowed to smoke on deck, but Japanese security throw explosive grenades that land on the ship!!!

Watch a Youtube video of the Bob Barker being rammed up against the Sun Laurel and Japanese security landing an explosive grenade on the port stern deck of the Sun Laurel fuel tanker.

Sea Shepherd claims that the Sun Laurel and Nisshin Maru steamed south on Sunday night "through waters peppered with large growlers and icebergs". The Sun Laurel is not an ice class vessel and does not have searchlights to help in navigation in polar conditions.

The Nisshin Maru is attempting to refuel in the southern ocean whale sanctuary, a part of Australia's Antarctic Territory and search and rescue zone. The ships are located off Mackenzie bay near the Amery Ice Shelf, far south-west of Perth, a region of Antarctica rich in a wildlife, more than 400 miles south of 60 degrees. Sea Shepherd alledges the Sun Laurel carries an illegal cargo of heavy fuel oil, HFO.

Sea Shepherd reports the Nisshin Maru water cannon was aimed down the exhaust vents of the Steve Irwin, Bob Barker, and Sam Simon, attempting to flood their engines. All engine rooms suffered heavy flooding, but no mechanical failures.

After damaging the Bob Barker in squeezing it againt the hulls of the Nisshin Maru and Sun Laurel, the Nisshin Maru "turned into the Sam Simon, causing hull damage along most of the port side of the ship and smashing their satellite communications dome. After ramming the Sam Simon, the Nisshin Maru turned away from the Sun Laurel at 1720 AEDT, and the Sun Laurel packed up their crane and fenders for the day." said the Sea Shepherd report.

The ramming of the Bob Barker up against the Sun Laurel has caused structural damage. There is now a crack in the galley floor where they can see the engine room below. But it seems the Sea Sheopherd non violent blockade of refuelling the whaling factory ship has held for another day.

Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force Ice Breaker sent to assist whalers

The Japanese Government have now directed a military icebreaker operated by the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force, the 12,500 tonne Shirase. The ship is usually used for Antarctic scientific research and supply work. It's last port of call was Fremantle in Western Australia. It carries three Japan coast guard helicopters, one of which was used to hover over the Sun Laurel. The addition of the Shirase by the Government of Japan is purposefully escalating the conflict.

Paul Watson, a Sea Shepherd observer on board the Steve Irwin said ''It may not be here for us specifically but is likely getting involved now.'' according to a report in WA Today

Ian Campbel, a former Australian Environment Minister from the conservative Liberal party said, "This summer this vessel was in Freemantle, West Australia. Now it's assisting in the Japanese whaling fleet in its illegal operations. It should be banned from all Australian ports from now on."

Bob Brown, a director of Sea Shepherd Australia renewed calls for the Australian Government to get directly involved, "I am concerned," he said. "It may be just a show of strength by Tokyo but in the past we've never been able to assume that's all that's happening. It's obviously part of Japan's unfolding plan to take control, the Japanese have been moving their navy into position. March is the end of it. This mission by the Japanese whaling fleet has been a massive financial and public relations failure. But the third failure coming along with this is the inaction of the Australian Government." concluded Bob Bown as reported by the ABC.

Here is how the Sea Shepherd Australia described the incident on Monday 25 February on their Facebook page.

***UPDATE*** OPERATION ZERO TOLERANCE - ALL CREWS ARE SAFE TODAY AFTER NISSHIN MARU AGAIN CAUSES MULTIPLE COLLISIONS As of 1400 AEDT, the Nisshin Maru attempted another refuelling operation for the Japanese whale poachers in Australia's Antarctic Territory, with a massive Japanese Naval Ship, the Shirase, available for backup.

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.

The Sun Laurel has packed away their crane and fenders for the day, meaning that Sea Shepherd has now successfully blocked a third attempt to refuel a whaling fleet illegally operating in contravention of an Australian Federal Court ruling prohibiting whaling in Australian Antarctic Territory.

Legal proceedings

The Japanese Institute for Cetecean Research was able to get an injunction issued by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals against Sea Shepherd in the US legal jurisdiction on 17 December 2012. It is a very unusual injunction issued without any formal hearings and a chance for Sea Shepherd to rebutte arguments.

However the campaign against Japanese whaling is being conducted by Sea Shepherd Australia, a seperate legal entity, with the campaign being based in the Australian legal jurisdiction where whaling has been found to be illegal since 2008. It would be difficult to see how a US Injunction could be legally enforced on Netherlands and Australian flagged vessels operating out of waters claimed by Australia (but not enforced as all territorial claims in Antarctica are suspended as per the Antarctic Treaty), and in an internationally recognised whale sanctuary.

The Australian Government is proceeding with a long running case - Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v. Japan) - before the International Court of Justice about the international legality of Japan's whaling operation which is likely to commence formal hearings and arguments later this year.


§Nisshin Maru moving in to ram Bob Barker
by Takver - Australia Indymedia Monday Feb 25th, 2013 8:57 PM
Photo by Tim Watters - Sea Shepherd
§Ramming the Bob Barker
by Takver - Australia Indymedia Monday Feb 25th, 2013 8:57 PM
Photo by Tim Watters - Sea Shepherd
§Squeezing the Bob Barker
by Takver - Australia Indymedia Monday Feb 25th, 2013 8:57 PM
Photo by Tim Watters - Sea Shepherd
§Being rammed by Nisshin Maru
by Takver - Australia Indymedia Monday Feb 25th, 2013 8:57 PM
The view from the bridge of the Bob Barker
photo: Glenn Lockitch - Sea Shepherd

Comments  (Hide Comments)
“Japan will never stop whaling: minister”

His testimony broke its "research whaling" principle.
This is serious testimony.

His opinion is incoherent. This is just an insanity .
He is excited, forgetting completely the "research whaling" which is announced to the world.
The world is criticizing the Japanese government which is continuing whaling using loophole of "research whaling."
It has collapsed logically.
He himself knows collapse of this logic. The opinion of the Japanese government is realized on the lie. Although he substitutes a point of argument for "gastronomic culture" secretly skillfully, it has that it is only humorous.

The government is furthering a plan to use whale meat compulsorily by a school lunch.
The Japanese government is a trial which tries to lose a whale meat ingestion generation. They are going to make all the Japanese the complicity of this slaughter.

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)

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
“ Japan's Institute for Cetacean Research “ (ICR), 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 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.
by toshio yahsiro
Tuesday Feb 26th, 2013 6:22 PM
The Japanese government which is going to insist upon whaling that in insanity.
SHIRASE (icebreaker) belongs to the Japan Self-Defense Forces. The Japanese government sent to the Self-Defense Forces.
For me, this fact is very fear. If the Japanese government is continuing whaling for reasons of a war stockpile, I will suspect.
Someone should explain me about this insanity of one country. Please do not forget. There is a 5000~6000-t stockpile and people do not do whale meat consumption. The government is going to consume the stockpile by supply of school lunch etc. confusedly. It seems to be hiding of evidence.
by toshio yahsiro
Tuesday Feb 26th, 2013 10:43 PM
As a one Japanese, I am ashamed of Japan whaling performed by the Antarctic Ocean.
"Sea Shepherd pirates, court says" "The fishery minister wood asserted gastronomic culture and took an aggressive attitude."
The Japanese government bought the vote of the International Whaling Commission with ODA money, and filled this slaughter even with reconstruction assistance money.
Who made Sea Shepherd the pirate? This method was taken in order that they might save whales from a fake method.
Before Sea Shepherd did such an act, did the law in the world examine the act of Japan carefully? Where is international law? Where is justice? Isn't there any how to stop this meaningless slaughter on this earth?
It is too unfair. This is the fraudulent practice in which it engaged clearly. It is the fraudulent practice which deceives the world. Why isn't the act of this country punished by the world? 2013,Why aren't human beings made to stop the slaughter act of other races? It is meaningless
slaughter made by the lie. And this is not "research whaling."
*The fishery minister hayashi testified by interview.

from tokyo