Eco-activist extremist group Sea Shepherd has claimed that the Japanese whaling fleet attacked them aggressively on Sunday in the Southern Ocean. This is the latest clash between the two groups as Sea Shepherd continually attempts to stop the whaling operations of Japan, who claims it is part of their “scientific research.”
Sea Shepherd spokesman Adam Burling said that the anti-whaling ship Bob Barker was attacked by two ships from the whaling fleet, the Yushin Maru and the Yushin Maru No. 3, on Sunday at around 5:15 PM (AEDT). The ships used steel cables across the bow of the ship so that its propeller and rudder would be disabled while another ship, the Nisshin Maru, was 40 nautical miles from the Bob Barker. The eco-activists then launched two small boats to cut the damaging steel cables. They claim that one of the whalers threw a spear at one of the boats, although there were no reports of any injuries.
Since the start of the whaling season this year, this has been the third clash between the two groups. Burling said that the two previous incidents lasted nine and six hours, respectively. Sea Shepherd has been trying to block the whaling fleet from reaching the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary while the Japanese fleet has been using the same tactics with the steel cables to get away from them. New Zealand Environment Minister Greg Hunt has initiated an investigation in the February 2 clash on allegations that the whalers “aggressively” rammed into the Sea Shepherd vessel inside New Zealand waters.
[ via ABC ]