Japanese Whaling Vessel Rams Sea Shepherd Ship

(SEA SHEPHERD/WHALING) Yesterday, a Japanese whaling ship collided with Sea Shepherd vessel, the Bob Barker, in the Southern Ocean.

According to Sea Shepherd, the Yushin Maru No. 2 deliberately attacked the Bob Barker, causing damage to both ships.

The Yushin Maru before it collided with the Bob Barker on Sunday. Photo Credit: Reuters (SEA SHEPHERD/WHALING)
The Yushin Maru No. 2 crosses in front of the Sea Shepherd ship, the  Steve Irwin. Photo Credit: Reuters

Sea Shepherd has campaigned against the Japanese whaling fleet in the South Ocean Whale Sanctuary for years, and this season has been largely successful in blocking the fleet.

The Japanese are allowed to slaughter whales in the South Ocean under the guise of scientific research and Sea Shepherd’s mission is to prevent as much of the killing as possible.

According to Captain Hammarstedt of the Bob Barker, after successfully blocking the whaling vessel, the Nissin Maru, for eight days, the Japanese fleet responded by dragging steel ropes in front of the Sea Shepherd’s ships.

“The Sea Shepherd ships Steve Irwin and Bob Barker were both unprovokedly attacked by three harpoon ships belonging to the Japanese whale poaching fleet…These harpoon ships came in heavy and hard. They hit my bow with about 300 meters of steel cable with the express intent of causing damage to my rudder and propellers,” says Hammarstedt.

Damage done to the Steve Irwin from a collision with a Japanese whaling vessel. (SEA SHEPHERD/WHALING)
In 2009, a Japanese vessel collided with the Steve Irwin, leaving the damage pictured above. Photo Credit: hobartdaily.com

The Japanese government claims it was the Bob Barker that rammed into their ship after dragging ropes in front of the fleet.

“It’s an absolute lie,” said Sid Chakravarthi, a spokeman for Sea Shepherd.

Chakravarthi admits the Bob Barker was dragging ropes but maintains it was only in self defense after the Yushin Maru No. 2 aggressively attacked the Sea Shepherd fleet.

The Australian government is investigating the incident to see if either party broke any maritime laws.

— Elana Pisani, exclusive to Global Animal