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Bob Barker speaks out on collision between Sea Shepherd vessel and Japanese whaling ship

Bob Barker Television game show host Bob Barker knew anti-whaling work could be dangerous even before his $5 million donation to a conservation group, but he was shocked to hear about Wednesday's violent crash between a Japanese whaling ship and one of the group's speedboats.

The collision off the coast of Antarctica sheared the bow off the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society speedboat and injured one crew member aboard. A new ship funded by Barker's donation, the 1,200-ton Bob Barker, rescued all six crew members from the speedboat.

"To think I had just become involved in it, then they had the worst accident that they've had," he said. "I thought, 'Barker, what have you brought on to these people?' "

The longtime animal activist said he was aware of Sea Shepherd's tactics before contributing to the organization.

"I knew that they get in there and try to get between the whalers and the whales," Barker said. "They are just doing wonderful things. Sea Shepherd operates under the UN World Charter for Nature to uphold international conservation laws and directly intervene against illegal activities on the high seas."

The conservation group sends boats to Antarctic waters each southern summer to try to stop the Japanese whaling fleet from killing whales under what Japan calls a scientific whaling program. Conservationists and many countries say the program is a front for commercial whaling.

Among Sea Shepherd's tactics: Dangling ropes into the water in an attempt to tangle up whaling boats' propellers and lobbing stink bombs at whalers. The group uses a synthetic form of butyric acid in the bombs that emit a putrid odor and can potentially spoil whale meat, Barker said.

Because the butyric acid is a vegan product, the attacks are "nontoxic, biodegradable, organic chemical warfare," he said.

The 86-year-old Barker said he was grateful the crew injuries weren't worse.

"This will probably get more notice for what they're trying to do out there than anything in a long time, so it has a bright side," Barker said. "I absolutely continue to support them, more so than ever, in good times and bad."

-- Associated Press

Photo: Bob Barker attends the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books in April 2009.  Credit: Katy Winn / Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (8)

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Barker has about as many brains as our VP

The whole world knows that Japan is engaging in commercial whaling in the Antarctic, not "scientific research". This is a complete violation of international law. And the Sea Shepherds are the only ones with the guts to do anything about it.

Bob, you rock for donating to the Sea Shepherd cause. And to Paul Watson and crew: "Give 'em Hell!" And then "Give 'em Hell again!"

Go Sea Shepherd..and thank you Bob Barker...

Bravo to Bob Barker for putting five million dollars of his money where his mouth is. Some celebrities are all talk, but clearly not Barker.

Japan need to stop killing whales and lying about its reasons for doing so. The Sea Shepherd Society's work is thankless and terrifying and thank God they're brave enough to be out there out there taking a stand. Good luck to them.

Why? Why? Why? Why? does Japan need to engage in whaling? What possible purpose could it serve?
They make great environmentally-friendly cars, but why why won't they outlaw whaling? That's the most archaic thing I've ever heard of! That's it . . . I'm not buying anything else Japanese.

BRAVO to Bob Barker for supporting this great cause! I think the work the Sea Shepherd is doing is very important and necessary in bringing the much needed awareness to these illegal acttions.

Thank you so much Bob!!You are a Bodhisattva in the truest sense.I live in Newfoundland where we have our own animal rights issues(the seal"hunt")That need to be ended for good.I kayak every summer with whales.These gentle intellegent beings have a right to be protected and feel safe.In fact science is showing that whale and dolphin intelligence is in the same ballpark as us "hairless Apes".What Japan is doing is evil plain and simple.Thank you Bob and thank you Sea Shepherd.Keep up the good work!

We would like to congratulate Sea Shepherd and Animal Planet on a fantastic staged event for television - perhaps one of the best staged disaster moments of 2010.

As production people ourselves we know the hazards and very real dangers of staging live disasters for television. It's a highly technical world only professionals can effectively operate in.

Multi-million dollar staged disasters are often canceled at the last minute due to OSHA compliance or studio fears of death and dismemberment. Sea Shepherd on the other hand have found a way to circumvent all of the requirements for staged disaster television by only allowing all volunteer crews and staging the event against non paid, non union, Japanese whalers.

By-passing all clean environmental requirements for television productions by producing this man made disaster in the Antarctic ocean was another master stroke. The clean up of several thousand gallons of bio diesel spilled by the Ady Gil and retrieval of the vessel from the sea floor would have cost Sea Shepherd and Whale Wars production millions if this disaster had been filmed in the USA.


Managing to move Sea Shepherds $2 million dollar vessel Ady Gil into the path of Japanese whalers was a stroke of nautical timing by a seasoned captain who knew his vessel, and the direction wind, waves, and engines were carrying it. Catching the whole thing on video from the Bob Barker at just the right angle was pure reality television.

We were doubly impressed with the witty and show branding quote from SSCS Paul Watson immediately after the stunt "Now we're in a Real Whale War!" reminding the global audience that this is, after all, Must See TV!

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society have proven to be much evolved from the earlier staged days of Paul Watson being shot by Japanese whalers. In terms of production quality and emotional leverage that staged event was not one of the top three of the 2007 reality television season.

Kudos again to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Animal Planet for once again leading the way to a new decade of reality television. The disaster staging keeps getting better and better, and your circumvention of all production norms and safety regulations allows your organization to literally shoot for the moon.

We're looking forward to more man made disasters in the coming months!


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