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Sea Shepherd boat collides with Japanese whaling vessel

7:00 AM on 01.07.2010 // Jon Snyder

Controversy time!

Sea Shepherd, the marine conservation organization that delights in harassing Japan's illegal whaling fleet, had a run of bad luck yesterday when their state-of-the-art "stealth" trimaran Ady Gil collided with the Shonen Maru No. 2, an escort vessel providing security to the whaling fleet. Reportedly, nobody was harmed in the collision, but Sea Shepherd claims that their vessel is slowly sinking and unsalvageable.

Thus far, both Sea Shepherd and the whalers are blaming each other for this incident. Two videos of the collision have been released, one by Sea Shepherd and the other by Japan's Institute of Cetacean Research. Each video supposedly proves that the other party was at fault. Both are embedded below the break, along with an AP news report.

Meanwhile, the Australian government (who frequently condemns Japan's whaling activities) is under heavy pressure to intervene. Specifically, they are being asked by conservationists to send a nonmilitary observation vessel to keep an eye on the Japanese whalers. Sea Shepherd is calling for stronger action: they want Australian navy vessels to "protect both the whales and the Australian citizens working to defend these whales." However, the Australian government has said they will not intervene.

Sounds like the whole issue of illegal whaling vs. eco-terrorism is coming to a head. What will be the ultimate outcome of this conflict? Only time will tell...

[Via the AP, The Japan Times, ABC Australia and Sea Shepherd]

Institute of Cetacean Research Video
Sea Shepherd Video
AP News Report

Jon Snyder,
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