Japan Refuses to Give Up Whale Slaughter After Clash with Sea Shepherd

Japan has rejected claims that this year’s whale hunt is over following a clash with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in the Southern Ocean this week.

Sea Shepherd claims two of its vessels, the Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker, were rammed by the Japanese factory ship Nisshin Maru and that a Japanese escort vessel directed a water canon and launched concussion grenades at activists on Wednesday.

Sea Shepherd director Bob Brown said he has alerted authorities and wants immediate action against what he called “multiple breaches of international law,” in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He also said it the “worst incident” the group has seen since the Ady Gil sank in 2010 after a confrontation with whalers.

“They literally ran over the top of the Bob Barker. It looked like a tank crushing a car,” said Captain Paul Watson.

Australia’s Environmental Minister Tony Burke is threatening to take Japan to international court over the incident.

“What we are watching and what we’ve been seeing Japan do in that Southern Ocean year on year now is just disgusting. No other way of describing it. Now, as a government we don’t settle it in the car park, we settle in the court,” he said.

Last month, the Australian government lodged a complaint with the Japanese government after the Shonan Maru No 2 entered its exclusive economic zone near the Macquarie Island in pursuit of the Bob Barker. However, this time around Prime Minister Julia Gillard is refusing to intervene in the whaling conflict by sending in navy ships.

The Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) announced a temporary halt in their operations, but will not confirm that it is giving up this year even though there are less than 20 days left in the season.

“Our experience, Sea Shepherd Australia’s experience, is at this stage of the summer, with the days getting shorter and the winter closing in, whaling is fast drawing to the end as a possibility for the Japanese killer fleets,” said Brown.

The group estimates that so far this season only 12 whales were slaughtered.

An official for Japan’s Fisheries Agency told the AFP that Japan has every intention of keeping its whaling program. The ICR also said it’s considering filing a third claim in a U.S. court for Sea Shepherd’s “insults against the court authority,” reports CNN.

In December, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a ruling that prevents Captain Paul Watson and his group from coming within 500 yards of Japanese whaling vessels. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the decision this month after an appeal was filed by Sea Shepherd.

A case against whaling is now running in the International Court of Justice, where opponents are arguing that whaling in the Southern Ocean is illegal, but Sea Shepherd is still concerned that a ruling in their favor will just be ignored.


Related Stories:

Sea Shepherd Claims Early Victory Against Whalers

Sea Shepherd Aims to Send Whalers Home Empty-Handed This Year

Wikileaks Reveals U.S. Involvement in Plans to Weaken Sea Shepherd


Photo credit: Thinkstock


Charmaine Shannon

I was just asked by a Friend to Check In and Follow you....I have Shared and will try to get new persons that will Spread the Word and Follow !! Thank-You.... Prayers and Many Blessings for ALL that you do !!

Angela L.
Angela L4 years ago

That means the whales are so much smarter than the stupid, arrogance Japaneses. We should all ban Japanese and Chinese product because they all come from a shame action. Japan has been having so much earthquake and disaster for killing innocent lives and I don't feel sorry for them at all.

GGma Sheila D.
S Ann D4 years ago

Where's the petition - another one to Japan and one directly to the UN court?? One commending Australia for going after Japan?

Homer Elliott
Homer E4 years ago

Japan need to stop whaling and respect these beautiful, intelligent cetaceans. Thank all of you who have posted such thoughtful comments. Additionally, these attacks on the Sea Shepard crews need to cease immediately and permanently, they are intolerable.

Kathryn Terhune Cotton

Japan seems to be a study in contrast. A family member (U.S. service) was stationed there and invited my son to visit for a couple weeks one summer. He was treated very graciously everywhere and loved the people. On the flip side, their brutality seems to be extraordinarily cruel to anyone who gets in their way and they have almost zero regard for animals and even human life (witness the way the have run over/rammed the Sea Shepard's ships and opened fire with all manner of potentially deadly items... on national TV!)

Ling Y.
Ling Y.4 years ago

Let's get it straight - whaling is GENOCIDE of a highly intelligent species that just isn't us. Let's all start labeling commercial whaling for what it is. Judge Kowalski, who recently labeled Paul Watson as a criminal should be ashamed - his parents were holocaust survivors, and the genocide of commercial whaling is a holocaust of another highly intelligent species. He is known to be arrogant, but his meager legal mind is not large enough to understand there are other intelligent species on Planet Earth. Whales are at the top of the list. As a professional sea kayaker I've had several whale and dolphin conversations. None were arrogant and all were more intelligent than Kowalski.

The Japanese are no strangers to Genocide, so they just don't care. How many Japanese are even aware of their atrocities in World War II and the decade leading up to it - the Rape of Nanjing (and the invasion of China), Medical War Crimes, Kamikazi attacks, Banzai attacks, chemical warfare, and the list goes on. Whaling and dolphin kills are merely an extension of this society, which has difficulty in identifying these issues because they aren't even in Japan's textbooks. .

robin d.
robin d4 years ago

and they are the worst for all kinds of other pollutions out there and they want to be considered for the Olympics. We need to send a strong message to them that isn't going to happen unless they stop the WHALE SLAUGHTERS now and never resume. Watch the show "Whale wars" it is truely an eye opening show about these piggy people.

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Celine P.
CĂ©line P5 years ago

Go Sea Shepherd!!

Mark Donners
Mark Donner5 years ago

Japan: the worst country in the world