Sea Shepherd attacks Japanese whaling ship
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Last Updated: Wednesday, January 05, 2011, 19:34
Tokyo: Japanese whalers have faced a fresh attack by militant activists from the international organisation Sea Shepherd during an Antarctic mission, a Japanese whaling body said on Wednesday.

Anti-whaling campaigners aboard the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's "Gojira" speedboat threw glass bottles at the Yushin Maru-2 and threw ropes aimed at its propeller, said the Institute of Cetacean Research, which organises Japan's whaling mission.

The Japanese ship issued warnings to the activists' boat and none of the Japanese whalers were hurt, the institute said.

The institute condemned the actions of the campaigners The clash followed an earlier attack by the Sea Shepherd's other ships Steve Irwin and Bob Barker against the Japanese whaling ship Yushin Maru-3 in Antarctic waters on New Year's Day.

Anti-whaling nations, led by Australia and New Zealand, and environmental groups have long criticised Japan for its whale hunts, describing them as cruel and unnecessary.

Japanese anti-whaling activists also argue that Japanese demand for whale meat has fallen significantly in recent decades.

However, Japanese officials and whalers have argued that whaling is an important part of Japanese culture.

Japan kills hundreds of whales a year under a loophole in the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling that allows "lethal research".

Loud and violent protests by Western activists have fuelled Japanese public opposition to the anti-whaling movement.


First Published: Wednesday, January 05, 2011, 19:34

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