Thursday, January 7, 2010

Japanese whaling ship rips Sea Shepherd boat

Updated (videos!)

ABC has a report on a rare collision in the Southern Ocean.   The Japanese whaling security ship Shonan Maru No. 2 has rammed and damaged the Ady Gil, a $2 million high-speed trimaran belonging to Paul Watson's anti-whaling Sea Shepherd Society.    The Andy Gil is believed to be sinking but the crew were rescued by the Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker.   The Sea Shepherd Society has asked Australia to send a naval vessel to "restore peace" and protect the 21 Australian citizens on board the Sea Shepherd and the whales from the Japanese.   According to ABC, the incident happened "outside Australia's economic zone but within Australia's search and rescue zone."

The Sea Shepherd website gives some background about the unprecedented resources the organization has sent into the cold waters off Antarctica this whaling season.
The objective of Sea Shepherd’s three-ship campaign is to bankrupt the illegal Japanese whaling fleet and to sink them economically.

“This year, I have three ships, four small boats, a jet ski, a helicopter, 77 crew, and a bagful of aggravation for the Japanese whale poachers,” said Captain Paul Watson. “We intend to make life miserable for the whale killers over the next month and a half.”

Included in the crew is the Animal Planet crew filming the third season of the hit television series “Whale Wars.”

The Sea Shepherd crew number 77 from 16 nationalities including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Jotman wishes Sea Shepherd every success against the whalers.

But it's important to recognize that whaling is just the tip of the iceberg -- the best known and most publicized -- of the various ways people are harming marine life.  The most important battles have yet to be won.
Pictured in my photo is a minke whale -- one variety that Japanese commercial whalers claim the right to hunt.   

UPDATE: Here's a video (h/t Omar Todd) -- taken by a person on the Japanese whaling ship -- showing the high-tech trimaran getting sliced by the bow of the whaler's "security ship."   

UPDATE 2: And here's a video of the incident shot from the Sea Shepherd's Bob Barker:

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