Environmental extremist group Sea Shepherd is now trying to have criminal charges filed against Japanese whalers in the Netherlands. As two of the group's ships sail under Dutch flags, they the country's authorities to prosecute the Japanese for acts of piracy for intentionally ramming their ships during their recent scuffle in the Southern Ocean.
The fleet and crew of the extremist anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd arrived in Australia on Wednesday, claiming victory in this year's campaign against Japan's whalers, and calling for free passage for founder Paul Watson. Three of their four ships, the Steve Irwin, Bob Barker, and Sam Simon docked with an estimated $1.03 million in damages, while the fourth ship, the Brigitte Bardot, remains at an undisclosed location with Watson believed to be aboard, as he is still wanted by Interpol.
Anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd revealed that a Japanese whaling vessel is apparently returning to its hunting grounds in the Southern Ocean as shown by a tracking device placed on the ship. Earlier it had seemed that the Japanese fleet had closed its whaling season and was heading home but Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson says a tracker on the fuel tanker Sun Laurel shows that it has changed course and appears to be returning south.
After the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) released a video over the weekend countering the claims of Japan’s Institute of Cetecean Research (ICR) that it was the conservationist group that was to be faulted for the altercation that happened on February 25, the ICR has released today its own video and statement to support its earlier claim. In the statement, the ICR described the actions of the SSCS as “malicious and unacceptable.”
After a collision in the Southern Ocean between Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ships and a Japanese whaling vessel, the conservation group has made public new footage of the Nisshin Maru pushing the Bob Barker into a South Korean fuel tanker.
Paul Watson, the infamous leader of the environmental extremist group Sea Shepherd, is once again quick to point the finger at anyone and anything other than himself, has accused Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard of "green lighting" Japan's whale hunts with her failure to protect life and property within her nation's borders. Following the collisions between Japan's fleet and the activists' ships this week, Gillard responded to Watson's calls for naval assistance by questioning when Australia was given the role of policing the world's oceans.
Following Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson’s declaration that Japan will likely stop hunting for the remainder of the season after a clash between the two sides saw a temporary suspension in refueling, Japan made assurances that it will continue its whale hunt in the Southern Ocean. An official at Japan's Fisheries Agency told Agence France-Presse, “We are keeping our whaling program,” and denied that the collision with Sea Shepherd vessels permanently suspended the hunt for this season.
Following yesterday’s encounter with Japanese whaling vessel Nisshin Maru, wherein environmental activist group Sea Shepherd saw damages made to their ships the Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker, its captain Paul Watson told Australian Associated Press (AAP) that they expect the Southern Ocean whale-hunting season to be cut short. "The ICR (Japanese Institute for Cetacean Research) has announced a temporary halt in their whaling operations, which over the last few years usually means they're ending it for the season."
Paul Watson, the founder the of environmental activist group Sea Shepherd, has released a statement claiming that they have been rammed twice by the factory ship from Japan's whaling fleet, the Nisshin Maru, in the Southern Ocean waters. He adds that there have not been any injuries, and that everyone is ok, but the Steve Irwin vessel was hit in the stern, while the Bob Barker was also rammed and is taking on water in the engine compartment. Sea Shepherd also alleges that the Japan Coast Guard is throwing "concussion grenades" at the anti-whaling group.