When I heard the new about the anti-whaling boat having “catastrophic damage” I could not help thinking that they had brought it upon themselves and once it was clear that there was no loss of life I actually thought that the protestations from “Sea Shepard “, Bob Brown and Peter Garrett were actually like something form a high farce .
Sea Shepherd leader Paul Watson, en route to the area aboard the Steve Irwin last night, said the Ady Gil was worth $2 million. “We now have a real whale war on our hands and we have no intention of retreating,” Mr Watson said.
Another activist on the Steve Irwin, Laura Dakin, said the Australian government must send a naval vessel to the area to protect the whales and its citizens on board the protest vessels.
“This is Australian Antarctic territorial waters and I see the Japanese whalers doing whatever they want with impunity down here without a single Australian government vessel anywhere to be found,” Ms Dakin said.
The government respects the right of peaceful protest, including on the high seas, and it condemns any dangerous or any other violent activity that takes place on the high seas,” Mr Garrett said.The Tokyo-based Institute of Cetacean Research described the Sea Shepherd activists as violent extremists, insisting the Ady Gil was attempting to foul the Shonan Maru No 2’s propeller with ropes.Earlier yesterday the activists claimed the Japanese had chartered aircraft to spy on the movement of their vessels and report back the the whaling fleet. The Australian Greens pledged to propose legislation banning the whaling fleet from using Australian resources for air and sea surveillance and communications.
This from the Brisbane Times suggest that the activists are applying a great deal of spin to the story:
The crash came after a day of harassment of the whaling fleet in Australian Antarctic waters by Ady Gil and another Sea Shepherd ship, Bob Barker.
In the skirmishes, the Ady Gil’s crew tried to entangle the propeller of the factory ship Nisshin Maru but were pursued by Shonan Maru 2, which was there to protect the whaling fleet from the activists.
An Ady Gil crew member, Laurens de Groot, said the crash was no accident.
”They have no mercy those guys. They were trying to kill us, ramming us like that in one of the most hostile environments in the world. The only way to describe it is attempted murder.”
However, video footage released by Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research last night showed the Ady Gil gradually increasing speed into the path of the Shonan Maru 2, countering the Sea Shepherd account that the ship was not moving.
The six aboard were uninjured and left the floating rear section for the Bob Barker without trouble in the icy conditions
Of course once the nutters from Sea Shepard began to do more than peacefully protest as the sentence in bold above suggests then they must lose the protections usually expected to be given to “peaceful protesters” and really their actions then move in to the realms of piracy on the high seas and as I understand it the law of the sea authorises the use of deadly force by any ship under attack by pirates.
As for the aircraft being chartered to”spy” on them, oh come on! They themselves have a helicopter that they use to find the Japanese whalers so it seems like horses for courses to me.
That said, I am no fan of whaling but I am even less enamoured by militant vegetarians who think that when they play cat and mouse with the Japanese whalers that they should be immune from being smited by the cat that they have so consistently been provoking.