Whalers Fend Off Sea Shepherd with Hi-Tech Acoustic Weapons

Sea Shepherd, the controversial direct-action anti-whaling group featured on Animal Planet’s Whale Wars, is currently facing retaliation from the Japanese whaling ships in the form of what Sea Shepherd calls a “military grade weapon system that sends out mid to high frequency sound waves designed to disorient and possibly incapacitate personnel.”


If their description is accurate, the Japanese are acting out of accordance with international law by deploying military weapons in the Antarctic Treaty Zone. But breaking international law wouldn’t be anything new for the whalers, who by some interpretations should not even be in the Antarctic at all.

Sea Shepherd found the Japanese whaling fleet for the second time this seaon earlier today. The group’s ship, called the Steve Irwin, had to return to dock for refueling and had not engaged with the Japanese in over a month.

“We are 7 miles from the fleet and approaching. We see the Nisshin Maru and two harpoon vessels the Yushin Maru #1 and the Yushin Maru #2,” said Captain Paul Watson earlier today. “They appear to be whaling and are not moving. If we don’t catch up with them before they begin to move, we are close enough now that we will not lose the Nisshin Maru.”

Sea Shepherd believes that three ships in the Japanese whaling fleet are equipped with Long Range Acoustical Devices (LRAD).

In adition to the acoustic attacks, Captain Paul Watson said that one Sea Shepherd crew member was injurred after being fired upon with a water cannon and that the Japanese had also been throwing solid lead weights into their inflatable boats, presumably in an attempt to sink them.

Photo Credit: Sea Shepherd

24 thoughts on “Whalers Fend Off Sea Shepherd with Hi-Tech Acoustic Weapons”

  1. With 14 yrs at sea under my belt, I say to disable a ship at sea and leaving is a act of piracy. The j whalers should arm their ships while on the high sea and fire upon the SS they are nuts.
    The Japanese has ships under the defense force but could not use them to guard or escort the whalers so arm the whalers with twin 50 cals and blow the SS crew to bits.

  2. TeaBagNutJobber

    So are the lasers dazzlers that the SS uses to disorient the whaling vessels "military grade"? Not that I'm not pro-whaling, but I am anti-hypocrisy. I wouldn't believe anything that those hig seas hippies say.

  3. I’m an Australian and am against Whaling. What the Sea Shepperd and Japanese vessels are doing on the high seas is moronic.

    The issue of Whaling will never be solved on the high seas of the Antartic.
    As far as i am concerned, all each side has been doing is blaming the other. I condemn actions of both Australia & Japan. Time they all grew up.

    By the way, some of you got your wish. One of the Japanese vessels sunk one of the Anti-Whaling vessels and now both sides are once again blaming the other. Sea Shepperd has lodged a piracy complaint in the Netherlands and expect their court to do something about it, which is pretty funny considering they themselves have acted like Pirates.

  4. Watson has no Captains License. He is a Captain only in his own mind. The “Steve Irwin” is classed as a “yacht” and the crew are his unpaid friends, so no License is required. It’s like this on all the vessels he has been “Master and Commander” of. (what a joke!)

  5. While I believe that the Japanese are in the wrong in their whaling, and there is no need for any whaling to continue, the comic antics of the 3 stooges + on the Sea Shepard are really quite entertaining.

    Cpt’n Watson is an obviously not much of a captain. He obviously has no leadership skills, command skills and can’t even drive a boat.

    Brown as 1st idiot is great at talking a great game but I have not yet seen him get into an inflatable.

    If these guys were serious about what they are doing their tactics would be a little more sofistacated and much better planned than driving around dropping rope in the water and throwing stink bombs.

    I would think that the ramming incident should require in inquiry into Watson’s ability to keep a Captain’s license and it should be revoked. It is quite obvious that he did cause the incident.

    These guys are a joke and do nothing to furhter the cause they think they are fighting for.

  6. The Sea Shepherd Society is a volunteer based group of people who protect the marine wildlife of this world. Their main ship the Steve Erwin was recently in Antartica trying to put an end to illegal and down right inhuman whaling by the Japanese. Pretty much the whaling industry represents what I hate most in life corporate greed, and the lack of respect for wildlife, and for life altogether. The horrible nature in which they kill these beautiful creatures purely for profit is sickening. The Sea Shepherd Society also has campaigns against the Canadian seal hunts and the dolphin hunts in Japan. I think it would be a rewarding and life changing experience to volunteer for them, especially on their mothership the Steve Erwin.

  7. I agree with the mission of the Steve Irwin. I do not agree with taking on inexperienced crew members and putting them in zodiacs in the middle of the ocean,allowing them to take the helm and doing ship to ship transfers of people. Too dangerous. Get experienced crew members instead of kids looking to spice up their summer vacations.

  8. Hey Kevin,

    Did you have too much coolaid this morning? Is the sugar rush getting to your brain?
    None of the comments I’ve read say they agree with the Japanese whaling. What we are saying is that the Morons on the Sea Shepherd boats are causing more problems than they prevent. The captain of the “Irwin” has boasted of sinking ships, ramming ships, and causing significant damage to ships on the open sea. In any of these cases, did he stop to render assistance to any of the vessels he damaged? Causing (or witnissing) an “incident” at sea, then leaving the vicinity is tantamount to murder. I’ve beeen aboard a vessel that collided with a submerged cargo container that fell off a freighter. The impact didn’t cause any immediate problem, it was a few hours later that the vessel opened a seam and started taking on water. Luckily the pumps kept ahead of it until repairs could be made. My point is that a collision at sea can have unexpected consequences. What would happen if the Sea Shepherd managed to damage the props on a whaler by rear-ending her. The bow bulb on the nose of a vessel like the Irwin could allow the bow to actually slide under the stern of the whaler. Once the whaler is disabled, she would be vulnerable to the prevailing conditions at that time.

  9. The whaling vessels should have the right to protect temselves againt the attacks of such morons as the Sea Shepherd ecoterrorists. I’m not for the senseless slaughter of whales, but I, as a sailor, have great respect for maritime law. If they aren’t careful, one of the whaling ships will start firing harpoons at the Sea Shepherd people, and I bet those whaling crews are deadly accurate with those things. 🙂

  10. watson was kicked out of greenpeace (eco-terrorists) and the idiot side kick brown are a pair of morons. The fake bullet in the vest, only watson was wearing one, imagine that. The misguided crew members have been injured needlessly. watson and brown state they would die for a whale, not likely. Has anyone seen those two do anything other than use oxegen, lie to the media or make dangerous situations? (ramming Japanese ships) The Dutch goverment can deregister the steve irwin and I hope they do. When the steve irwin is in port high moorage fees can and should be imposed and the crew ordered not to come ashore. The Maritime Association can close the loophole so the Japanese can no longer hide behind false reseach. When one whale is worth 250K to 1Mil it could encourage sone to call what they are doing any number of things. The bottom line is watson needs to be stopped, brown no longer matters since he is no longer part of the criminal enterprise watson has made in the name of activism.

  11. You are all a bunch of idiots! It is against international law to whale and the japanese ignore it. There is no one else in the world trying to enforce it except sea shepherd.

    At least someone is willing to do something instead of sitting on their ass watching tv and criticizing.

    Anyone who thinks that what the japanese does is ok should be shot with a harpoon gun and dragged onto a ship to die an agonizing death. Something tells me your perception might change.

    1. “You are all a bunch of idiots! It is against international law to whale and the japanese ignore it. There is no one else in the world trying to enforce it except sea shepherd.”

      Source: Planetsave (http://s.tt/12uzl)

      really? What international law are you referring to. Please attach a link to the law inforcement, with jurisdiction in the southern hemisphere (in international waters) that actually is a recognised institution, and not a bunch of water-cowboys, who, themselves, have broken the law in every country they have visited.
      You believe SS’s stories, becouse they fit your narrow minded perception of the world.
      The world is a diverse place. Deal with it.

  12. The most incompent morons, wilson and brown.These eco-terrorists are going to be responsibe for the injury or death of irwin crew or the people they are terrorizing. It seems there is always a loophole and the Japanase are explloiting it. If the people of the world feel so strongly about the laws being exploited by the Japanase then they should change the laws so the loopholes are no longer able to be exploited by the Japanase. Morons such as wilson who was kicked out of greenpeace (eco-terrorists) and his side kick brown are an extreme hazard to all involved. The crew of the irwin are young naiave idealists with the exception of the helicopter pilot and need to be protected from preadators like wilson and brown. The comment; i’ll die for a whale from wilson and brown is garbage however, they would let the crew. That is only one of the numerous reasons why the crew needs protection. Also I hope Australia raises the moorage fees to 10,000 per day and no more fuel. They shame the Dutch who has a long and hororable history sailing. I hope the Dutch deregister the steve irwin.

  13. Tony Pasquale

    Yeah, I have to agree that the Captain of the Sea Shepherd may be lying about being shot, but somewhere else, somebody brought up the point that at the time flash grenades were being used, and a piece of shrapnel may have been what hit the captain…
    All the same, the results of the Sea Shepherd is what matters, the Japanese whaling company brought in less than half of its quota, not THAT is an accomplishment.
    I am for what the Sea Shepherd is doing and applaud them.

  14. I can’t wait till the Japanese fleet actually sink those idiots. Then the rest of us sane persons will yell at top of our lungs, “Yea, another stupid activist dead!! WhooHooo.”
    I agree with you a 100% the Japanese should take legal action against these idiots and if they do not learn, than shut them down. They do NOT have ANY Right to interrupt with Japanese activities.

  15. I saw that CRAP, boring series of the “Sea Shepherd” on TV. I hope that these PIRATES will sink by one day. This is done for publicity only and their illegal activities should be stop legally or by the force.

  16. Experienced boater

    Captain Paul Wilson and 1st Mate Peter Brown are idiots. They endanger the lives of their foolishly misguided crew needlessly. Wilson almost sank his ship twice on one outing and Brown did sink a zodiak. I consider them to be pirates and would just as soon see the Japanese sink them. These idiots are a disgrace to the Steve Erwin name and any intelligent person. At least they have been exposed as the idiots that they are.

    The good thing about the show is it served as a clear signal not to donate to their “mission”.

  17. Middle of the road

    I found myself watching the discovery show regarding the group and their antics. While I really don’t see the need for whaling there are a couple million Indians that do not share my affinity for a good steak. They take people like me and push them to the side of the whalers. First mate Brown, I believe his name is, does nothing but talk about his willingness to die for the cause over and over again. Then , in the heat of “battle”, he breaks his thumb and and expects the whole ship to stop what they are doing to find him a doctor. I pray that this captain does not continue these actions, he is going to get one of these misled kids hurt or killed. The rag-tag group of stoners and misfits does not win in the end, unlike the movies. The captain went on the record as saying he “would like to put their mother ship on the bottom”. That would justify any and all defense measures for me if I were a Japanese Capt. Then he says he was shot in the chest but did not even feel it because of his flak jacket, come-on! Anyone who has been shot will tell you they still remember to this very day the moment of impact, even with a military grate thick jacket on. The sad part is that they are so blinded by the cause that they do not even think their lies through. Then, the Japanese vessel says that a crewman was injured by the glass bottles they were throwing, the captain dismisses this and say they saw all of the shots land….WTF! you should look at the tape before you make a that statement, it clearly shows bottles disappearing over the rail and onto the deck out of sight. When you lie you damage your credibility. I hope for the whales sake that their survival does not rest in these peoples hands. The biggest threat to the Sea shepards is themselves, the sea is unforgiving of any miscalculation or incompetence and that is all I saw on the several episodes I watched.

  18. Pyscho Girlfriend

    The Sea Shepherd extremists are like a nightmare relationship with a girl that constantly provokes, assaults and hits you … but if you finally fight back in defense, she is the “innocent little victim” and you’re the monster that just “randomly attacks innocent woman” because that’s how evil you are.

  19. I can’t wait till the Japanese fleet actually sink those idiots. Then the rest of us sane persons will yell at top of our lungs, “Yea, another stupid activist dead!! WhooHooo.”

  20. “….the Japanese had also been THROWING solid lead weights INTO their inflatable boats”.
    Wow! The Japanese must have some GREAT throwing arms!

  21. Gimmie a break!! I’m not pro-whaling by any means, in fact I don’t think whales should be hunted at all. That being said, these are the same idiots that sent two activists to jump on a Japanese whaler and once they illegally boarded the Japanese boat, sent press releases that the Japanese were holding the activists hostage. Their actions and out right lies makes me seriously doubt that Sea Shepard’s captain claims such as the one where he was shot in the chest by the Japanese but saved because he was wearing a bullet proof vest. Apparently the Japanese are great shots, I mean to fire a single shot from hundreds of yards, on moving ships, on open seas no less and hit their target right in the chest. Also does the captain always wear a bullet proof vest? If so why doesn’t the rest of the crew have bullet proof vest.
    Lies and propaganda works against their cause which is a good one. Unfortunately, International laws allows the Japanese fleet’s activities. Seems like the best way to go about this is by trying to change that laws. Until that happens, as noble as the crew of the Sea Shepard thinks they are, they don’t have the law on their side and quite frankly they’re endangering human lives regardless of whether it makes for a good TV show.

  22. Sea Shepherd must lodge a criminal complaint with the World Court against the whalers for attempting to sink their activist with intent to murder judging from the sea and weather conditions that makes survival in the seas to be minimal.

    Sea Shepherd must launch demonstrations/pickets at both the British and Japanese embassy for an indictment of the criminal complaint to be addressed and prosecuted in court.

    Sea Shepherd must gather all evidence and videos/photographs of the injuries and make duplicate copies to be kept under lock/safe to avoid sabotage by any person/authority that can and will be used to destroy the evidence.

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