Activists convert Japanese boat for whaling campaign
SYDNEY (AFP) - Activists aiming to halt Japan's whaling fleet on Tuesday revealed their new weapon for their latest Antarctic campaign - a US$2 million (S$2.4 million) ship once owned by the government in Tokyo.
Mr Lockhart MacLean, captain of the renamed Sam Simon, said the militant Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was able to buy the vessel after a US company, New Atlantis, purchased it when it was advertised for sale.
"It's a Japanese vessel," Mr MacLean told AFP, adding that it was ideal for chasing the harpoonists through the freezing and remote waters of Antarctica where they annually hunt for whales during the southern hemisphere summer.
Japan says the hunt does not breach an international moratorium on commercial whaling because it is done in the name of "scientific research" but the meat is later sold openly in shops and restaurants.