Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Blood Spilt - And It Ain't Whale!

Three Sea Shepherd activists have been injured in the Southern Ocean by Japanese whalers.
The clash came yesterday morning off the Antarctic coast SE of Tasmania, where SS's Steve Irwin is being tailed by harpoon ship Yushin Maru 2. SI has been unable to shake off the pursuit that began on Christmas Day, which has prevented it from approaching the factory ship Nisshin Maru undetected.
Activists have repeatedly used fast, rigid inflatables to unfurl ropes under their pursuers' bows in attempts to foul the rudder and propellers. But this time, the YM2 crew dropped a heavy grappling hook onto the small zodiacs.
Animal Planet cameraman South African Russell Bergh, and French photographer Guillaume Collet were each struck on the arm and shoulder and suffered deep bruising.
SI crew member American Brian Race was jabbed twice in the face with a bamboo pole, receiving cuts above his right eye and on his nose. This SS photograph taken from a helicopter shows Japanese crew members holding a grappling hook over the bow of YM2.
A video released by the Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) surprisingly shows a whaling crewman sharply thrusting a pole near an activist in a dinghy - normally the two groups are hugely divergent in their accounts of incidents.
Glenn Inwood, ICR's NZ-turncoat mouthpiece, says the Japanese were merely retrieving a rope the activists had thrown to try and snag the whaler's propeller. He says if activists were injured, it's because they came too close. Riiiiight - so explain the bamboo pole, Glenn.
Sea Shepherd leader Paul Watson said YM2 was "aggressively tailing" SI. He said they were almost at the eastern boundary of this year's expected hunting area in pursuit of NM. As two of the three nasty Nippon harpoon vessels are tailing SS ships, there can't be much actual whalekilling going on...

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