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Sea Shepherd crew logs season's first clash with Japanese whalers

News_091214_1_3_BV_Shonan_Maru_1065 A prolonged game of cat-and-mouse between the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and a vessel from the Japanese whaling fleet today turned into the first clash this season between the adversaries, according to the group that is en route to Antarctic waters to try to disrupt the annual whale hunt.

Sea Shepherd posted on its website a short story stating its flagship vessel, Steve Irwin, after several days of being followed by the Shonan Maru 2, emerged from its hiding place behind an iceberg and crews on both vessels engaged in a brief fight with water cannons.

The Japanese harpoon vessel was placed on an evasive course and Capt. Paul Watson of the Steve Irwin kept up a pursuit for two hours before resuming a course toward Antarctica. Watson believes the harpoon vessel has been following the Steve Irwin in order to keep the rest of the whaling fleet aware of its whereabouts. Watson is hoping to use the thicker bergs ahead, and the shelter they provide, to lose the shadow vessel.

"We will use the icebergs and the ice floes to our advantage," Watson said. "I’ve observed today that I am a more experienced ice navigator than the Japanese captain chasing us. We need to get him to follow us into the ice fields and let the ice work for us."

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Sea Shepherd's anti-whaling vessel, Steve Irwin, with a Japanese whaling ship off its bow. Credit: Barbara Veiga/Sea Shepherd

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Comments (40)

The Japanese cull is in breach of several international laws and treaties, including the Antarctic Treaty System and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

They must stop or be taken to court and face huge humiliation. Up to you Nippon.

Extremists make me sad. Yet again, we have the audacity to foist our Western values and culture onto everyone else.

"The oceans are so contaminated with PCB's and Mercury at present that eating anything that comes from it is like eating out of a toilet; especially animals at the top of the food chain where the toxins bio-accumulate in the highest concentrations (whales, dolphins, blue-fin tuna, etc.)"

Agent blue, what an absolute generalization... way to take it to the extreme. You've really convinced me.

Remember when the Australian customs and fisheries vessel went down there to 'monitor' the whale slaughter? Remember how they discovered Japan was taking pregant whales, baby whales (calves) etc etc?

Their response was to get good data a range of ages and sexes was needed in their study.

Just like the banners they hold up "We're examining the stomach contents", "We're doing research"

What about the study that found they hasd been harpooning Blue, Sperm and Humpback whales?

Brutal savages. Boycott Japan

My name is Yukio Hatoyama and I'm the Prime Minister of Japan.

We are not backing down on whaling. We have to save face. We won't stop taking blue fin tuna either. No one will tell us what to do. In fact we are planning WW3 - another pacific takeover is on the agenda. This time we will actually wipe pearl harbor out properly.

Our largest corporations have invested heavily in extinction of the oceans resources. Why else are we taking all we can get and Freezing it? So we can eat fish/whales long after they are gone. In fact, we have 20 years worth in the freezer as I speak.

It is a smart move, because we can sell extinct blue fin tuna to the rest of the world for $195,000 a kilogram.


confucius might have been confused or buddha might have blown a fuse. I think you are confused and way out of league on this one.

Have you heard of the TOOL ACADEMY? There's a spot in it just for you and your toxic side kick Hideyoshi Toyotomi (February 2, 1536 – September 18, 1598) who seem to trawl around these sites posting trailer trash comments.

Go hug a tree or a whale? LOL wow - I'd expect something like that from my 5 year old. Would be pretty hard to hug a whale eh? unless it is lying on the flensing desk of the Nissin Maru (the death star of the ocean) and even then I'd need pretty big arms. Calling someone an eco-terrorist just shows how you have been conditioned by the corporation. ICR, Tokyo etc...

Timmy - it aint just show for TV. Did you know SSCS has been going down there before Whale Wars? Didn't think so. Another Post first, think later type.

Do you really believe that Japanese are the most hated people on earth? No, we are. We are hated by the world today because of people like you and the way you treat others. We tell everyone what they can and can not do because we believe that we are better than they are.

What would happen if the Indians came to America and told us to stop eating cows because the cows are sacred to them? We would give them the finger as we eat our burger, steak or prime rib.

Japanese tax payer may support killing of whales, but American tax payer supports the war which kills people. Which is the lesser evil? Why don't you stop crying over whales and help other people who are truly in need?

Go hug a tree or a whale and have a nice day.

Hideyoshi Toyotomi has toxic whale meat affect your ability to think? No torpedoes allowed in the Antarctic remember (also guns). How is it you want them dead? Could it be you are angry? Because one little band of people are going up against the might of Japan and Japan is losing face in front of the rest of the world.

I want to feel that rage and frustration and know there is not one thing you can do about. Just sit back a watch as a group of volunteers on one small ship take down the whole of the Japanese Whaling Fleet. Feel your shame and rage as your nation is about to be humiliated in the eyes of the world. Every one is watching and laughing.

"Japanese taxpayers money is being squandered on life-support for a whaling programme that produces virtually nothing of value," said Jun Hoshikawa, executive director of Greenpeace Japan.

"With well over 9,000 minke whales killed in 22 years and no useful data produced, Japan's so-called 'research' in the Antarctic is an international embarrassment."

Sure you might be a skilled navigator, eco-terrorist.

But I'd much rather see you try dodge a torpedo.

Funny how Japan signed the Antarctic agreement which outlines that no commerical activites can be conducted on or around the continent. No waste jumping, no refuelling etc.

Wow - what the hell, they are down there doing just that. Illegally whaling in a sanctuary, refuelling and dumping offal etc into the ocean.

There are just so many reasons for Japan to NOT be there. Plus, the international harm they are doing to their image??

Turn up the water pressure captain - illegal scum whalers ahead!

Paul Watson should take a leaf out of the French book of negotiation and give these whaling scum bags the Rainbow Warrior treatment. Either that or a well placed torpedo and put this fleet at the bottom of the Southern ocean. I'm sure they would save face and refuse to be rescued.

As long as Japanese whalers continue to slaughter whales, I will continue to boycott Japanese products...and Japanese companies.
Simple as that.
If the world at large would adapt this strategy, the Japanese government would bring whaling to a dramatic halt.
The Japanes make a HUGE effort to convince the world that they are environmentally engaged in a positive manner, but the truth is that they destroy more of the natural world than most any other nation.
They are shameless, and dishonorable, and should be made to pay economically.
The one thing Japanese like more than Whale, and tuna, etc is MONEY

The oceans are so contaminated with PCB's and Mercury at present that eating anything that comes from it is like eating out of a toilet; especially animals at the top of the food chain where the toxins bio-accumulate in the highest concentrations (whales, dolphins, blue-fin tuna, etc.)

It is a national disgrace that Japan foists meat that is basically toxic waste on its own populace in the form of school lunches and meals at public facilities such as old age homes and hospitals as a means of subsidizing its national policy on whaling. This is nothing less than a repeat of the Minamata disaster perpetrated by Chisso chemical and abetted by the national bureaucracy in Japan.

A couple of torpedoes will take the fleet down.

Let the fun begin.

Those poor whalers really have invested a lot of money into this whole thing. Do they actually make money from all the whale meat? No chance. Not since theres 5000T in the deep freeze. Or perhaps they are loading up on whales and tuna and freezing it all because they know the oceans will be depleted soon enough?

Try telling them they are illegally in a whale sanctuary without permission from Australia or New Zealand.

Japan, Norway and Iceland should be ashamed of themselves. Absolute disgrace...

Hopfully SS reduces their catch this year and they hurt financially again (Hasn't the country been hurting financially since late 80's?). A Disgrace that every Japanese should be shamed of (perhaps they dont even know about this?) No freedom of speech / free media?

It's just show for TV.



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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.