Anti-whaling group Sea Shepard claims 'aggressive' ramming by Japanese
SYDNEY (AFP) - Militant anti-whaling campaigners Sea Shepherd on Sunday said one of their ships was rammed during "aggressive" and "unprovoked" confrontations with the Japanese in the Southern Ocean.
Sea Shepherd said one of its vessels, the Bob Barker, was struck during a coordinated attack by the Japanese fleet's three harpoon ships as they attempt to drive the campaigners away from the factory ship Nisshin Maru.
"The Bob Barker was hit by the Japanese whaling fleet's harpoon vessel, the Yushin Maru No. 2, as the harpoon vessel crossed in front of the bow of the Sea Shepherd ship," the activist group said.
"The assault is an attempt to deter the Sea Shepherd ships from their current position, blocking the slipway of the Nisshin Maru, preventing the whalers from loading whales poached from the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary." The group has three ships out this season, the Bob Barker, Steve Irwin and Sam Simon.