In the wake of a dangerous stunt performed by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an animal activist group, when a Dutch-registered vessel came very close to two Japanese ships in the Atlantic Ocean last Friday, February 15, Japan asks Netherlands to take effective action against the group and require it to stop interfering with its annual whale hunt. This act marks one of the group’s first sabotage attempts against Japan’s so-called research whaling this season.
During a press conference, the agriculture, forestry and fisheries minister criticized the hardcore anti-whaling group, referring to what it did as “an unforgivable act that threatens legitimate whaling activities and the lives of crew members.” Sea Shepherd positioned itself between the two Japanese ships and, for a time, prevented the transfer of a recently harpooned whale to the fleet’s mothership.
Just recently in December, a United States appeals court issued an order restraining Sea Shepherd from further attacking the Japanese government-funded whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean or from approaching their ships on the open sea. With this latest incident, it is not surprising if the Tokyo-based Institute of Cetacean Research, which is in charge of the research whaling program, will file a complaint against the extremist group for being in contempt of court.