“The Sea Shepherd extremism is becoming more violent…Their actions are nothing but felonious behavior,” said the Institute for Cetacean Research in a written statement that was heavy on the rhetoric.
“Contrary to its claims to be a marine wildlife conservation group in reality they are dedicated to fund-rising [sic] and to spread violence under pretext of protecting whales.”
The statement went on to take a rather ironic jab at the Sea Shepherds for abandoning prop-fouling ropes and “spoiling the Antarctic marine environment.”
Both the Sea Shepherds and the Japanese whaling fleet have stepped up their efforts this year. The Sea Shepherds, by sea; the Japanese whalers, by air.
The Sea Shepherds added two new vessels, the Ady Gil–which may have sailed for the last time–and the newly-added Bob Barker, named after the TV game show host and long-time patron of conservation’s $5 million donation to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. To counter the additions to the Sea Shepherd floatilla, the Japanese began conducting surveillance flights from Tasmanian airports to track the location of the protest ships. A move that has already triggered condemnation from the Tasmanian Greens.
“The Japanese whalers have now escalated this conflict very violently,” Sea Shepherd Capt. Watson in a statement after the incident.
“If they think that our remaining two ships will retreat from the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in the face of their extremism, they will be mistaken. We now have a real whale war on our hands now and we have no intention of retreating.”
Photo credits: 1. and 3. JoAnne McArthur/Sea Shepherd; all other images: Institute of Cetacean Research Other sources used in this story: Sydney Morning Herald; Herald Sun; Ecorazzi. Tim Hurst is the editor of ecopolitology, follow him on twitter.