Thursday, January 12, 2006

Japanese Kill More Whales: Photos Here

Anyone who denies the existence of whaling just needs to take a moment to view the slide show pictures that accompany this story. It’s very disturbing to see how whaling is done. Totally unnecessary too. Barbaric. Truly barbaric.

Ships collide in high seas battle over whaling

Greenpeace, Japan accuse each other of deliberate ramming
MSNBC News Services
Updated: 7:55 p.m. ET Jan. 9, 2006

SYDNEY, Australia - A battle between Greenpeace and a Japanese whaling fleet in remote icy waters near Antarctica has escalated, with both sides accusing each other Monday of dangerously ramming their vessels.

Greenpeace has been chasing and disrupting the Japanese whalers for more than two weeks by deploying inflatable boats to harass Japanese “catcher boats,” positioning them between the whales and harpoon guns.

Shortly before Christmas, both sides accused each other of ramming their boats, but the confrontation escalated on Sunday with another collision in the Southern Ocean.

Greenpeace claimed a Japanese whaling ship deliberately rammed its ship Arctic Sunrise on Sunday, denting the ship’s bow but causing no injuries.

“No amount of bullying or intimidation will prevent us from defending the whales nor from broadcasting images of the kills to the world,” expedition leader Shane Rattenbury said in a message posted on the group’s Web site.

Japan, however, blamed Greenpeace for the crash.

Hiroshi Hatanaka, director-general of Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research, said the Arctic Sunrise’s bow hit the side of the whaling ship Nisshin Maru twice. He said no crew members were injured, but he called for the environmental group to stop its “dangerous and criminal actions.”

“Greenpeace knows which part of the ship is strongest and which part of any other vessel is the weakest — we believe they deliberately rammed our vessel to prevent it from transferring cargo,” Hatanaka said.

The Arctic Sunrise has been hampering the Japanese hunt for 850 minke whales and 10 fin whales as part of what Japan says is a scientific research program.

Another environmental group, Sea Shepherd, also is chasing the whalers.

The research whaling is permitted under the rules of the International Whaling Commission, but Australia and other anti-whaling countries say it is really commercial whaling in disguise. The ships sell the whale meat in Japan.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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