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Whale war between Japan and Sea Shepherd becomes increasingly confrontational

February 6, 2009 | 12:34 pm

Sea Shepherd's Steve Irwin collides with the stern of a Japanese harpoon whaling ship in the Antarctic

The war over killing whales between Japan and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, is turning increasingly violent, with the latter group acting as aggressor.

Click on this link and check out the latest video posted on Japan's Institute of Cetacean Research website. It shows the Steve Irwin and its crew of activists colliding with a whaling vessel, causing it to list, as a Japanese crewman yells and as water canons cascade.

This is occurring in the Ross Sea, a remote Antarctic region, so if a boat begins to sink or someone gets injured, help is a long way off. I'm against commercial whaling and am among a large number of people worldwide who question whether Japan's so-called research effort is worthwhile or necessary.

But judging from the video, Capt. Paul Watson is exercising questionable behavior in his attempt to disrupt the whaling effort. It leaves one to wonder whether his actions are truly on behalf of the whales, or merely to obtain dramatic footage for the Animal Planet series, "Whale Wars."

-- Pete Thomas

Videographer Jamie Holland braces for an evasive maneuver aboard an inflatable boat as a Japanese whaling ship bears down.

Photos: Sea Shepherd's Steve Irwin collides with the stern of a Japanese harpoon whaling ship in the Antarctic (top). In second photo, videographer Jamie Holland braces for an evasive maneuver aboard an inflatable boat as a Japanese whaling ship bears down. Credit: Sea Shepherd

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