My Sea Shepherd


 

Whalers Violently Defend Their Illegal Whaling Operations

February 1, 2009

Whalers Violently Defend Their Illegal Whaling Operations

flag_japan_tinyJapanese translation

A crewmember from the Steve Irwin was slightly injured after being struck by a high pressure water cannon fired from the Japanese whaling factory ship Nisshin Maru. One of the cameramen on one of the Steve Irwin's inflatable boats was cut and bruised above the eye when a high pressure blast of water knocked him off his feet while he was filming.

A second crew member was also injured in the confrontation with the whalers. Laurens De Groot of the Netherlands was slightly injured when struck in the face by a metal ball thrown by whalers. Whalers onboard the Yushin Maru #3 threw solid brass and lead balls at crewmembers on one of the Steve Irwin's inflatable boats.

The Sea Shepherd crew also discovered that the Japanese whaling fleet is deploying a new weapon in defence of their illegal whaling activities.

The factory ship the Nisshin Maru and the two harpoon vessels in the fleet are equipped with Long Range Acoustical Devices (LRAD). This is a military grade weapon system that sends out mid to high frequency sound waves designed to disorient and possibly incapacitate personnel. It is basically an anti-personnel weapons system.

The Steve Irwin has been chasing the Japanese whaling fleet for twenty-four hours at high speed through scattered ice fields and changing weather conditions for over three hundred miles westward across the top of the Ross Sea.

At 0500 Hours (Sydney Time) the Steve Irwin deployed two fast inflatable boats and a helicopter to harass the fleet and to hurry them along. Sea Shepherd's strategy is to keep the whaling fleet on the move. If they are running they are not killing whales and no whales have been killed during the last 24 hours. In fact the Steve Irwin crew were excited to see Fin whales swimming alongside the ship as they pursued the whaling fleet.

The Japanese harpoon vessels have been maneuvering very close to the Steve Irwin to intimidate and to try and lead the Sea Shepherd ship away from the Nisshin Maru. The confrontation that began in clear weather in dense ice and heavy swells became increasing treacherous as fog and blizzard conditions moved in around 0900 Hours.

The Steve Irwin crew retreated when within range of the acoustic weapons.

"All we need to do is to keep them running and to keep them from whaling and that is exactly what we are doing. It is proving to be a very successful day," said Captain Paul Watson.

Weather conditions are becoming increasing worse with heavy snow, fog, increasing swells and denser ice conditions.

 

news_090201_1_2_Sea_Shepherd_crew_in_a_Zodiac_inflatable_boat_race_alongside_Japanese_harpoon_whaling_vessel_the_Yushin_Maru_No_1
Sea Shepherd crew in a Zodiac inflatable boat race alongside
Japanese harpoon whaling vessel the Yushin Maru No. 1
(Photo by Adam Lau/Sea Shepherd Conservation Society)

 

news_090201_1_3_Sea_Shepherd_crew_pursue_Japanese_factory_whaling_ship_the_Nisshin_Maru
Sea Shepherd crew pursue Japanese factory whaling ship, the Nisshin Maru
(Photo by Stephen Roest/Sea Shepherd Conservation Society)

 

news_090201_1_1_Captain_Paul_Watson_watches_from_the_bridge_of_the_Steve_Irwin
Captain Paul Watson watches from the bridge of the Steve Irwin,
as it pursues Japanese factory whaling ship the Nisshin Maru.
(Photo by Adam Lau/Sea Shepherd Conservation Society)

 

2009年2月2日

捕鯨船団 暴力的に違法捕鯨活動を防御

スティーブ・アーウィン号の乗組員一人が日本捕鯨船団の工船日進丸が放つ高圧放水銃によって軽傷を負った。またスティーブ・アーウィン号の所有するゴムボートに乗船していたカメラマンの一人も撮影中に高圧放水銃よって打撲傷を負った。

シーシェパードの乗組員は日本捕鯨船団が違法捕鯨活動を防御するために新鋭の武器を配備しているのを発見した。

工船日進丸と二隻のハプーン船は「長距離聴覚装置(Long Range Acoustical Devices;LRAD)」を装備している。これは中~高周波数の音響を放つ軍用機器であり人間の方向感覚を狂わせ、時には健康に害を与える。地上兵士殺傷用の武器である。

スティーブ・アーウィン号は日本捕鯨船団を24時間に渡って全速力で追跡している。まばらに氷山が広がり天候の変りやすいロス海の先端から300マイル西方に向かって航海している。

シドニー時間午前5時、スティーブ・アーウィン号は捕鯨船団の違法行為を妨害するため高速ゴムボート二隻とヘリコプター一機を配備した。シーシェパードの戦略は捕鯨船団を長距離走らせることだ。捕鯨船が逃げている限り捕鯨が出来ず、現にこの24時間クジラは一頭も殺されていない。シーシェパードの乗組員は捕鯨船団を追跡する際にスティーブ・アーウィン号に平行して悠々と泳ぐナガスクジラを見て喜んだ。

日本捕鯨船団のハプーン船は日進丸をスティーブ・アーウィン号から引き離そうとスティーブ・アーウィン号の至近距離にいる。

捕鯨船団との対決は晴々とした天気、厚い氷山、高波で始まったが午前9時頃になると次第に霧が濃くなり暴風雪も続くようになった。

スティーブ・アーウィン号は聴覚武器の電波聴取可能距離から退いている。

「我々は捕鯨船団を追跡し続けていればいい。彼らが逃げる限り捕鯨を行うことが出来ない。今日は非常に実りのある一日だ」とキャプテンポール・ワトソンは述べた。


 

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