My Sea Shepherd


 

Japanese Whalers Playing Dangerous Games in the Ross Sea

February 3, 2009

Japanese Whalers Playing Dangerous Games in the Ross Sea

flag_japan_tinyJapanese translation

At 0500 Hours Sydney, Australia time on February 4th, the three harpoon vessels of the Japanese whaling fleet literally attacked the Steve Irwin.

The Yushin Maru #2 has rejoined the fleet after leaving the area on December 20th with propeller damage. All three harpoon ships moved in to flank the Steve Irwin as the Sea Shepherd ship continued to chase the factory ship Nisshin Maru.

The Yushin Maru #2 initiated the attack by cutting dangerously close across the bow of the Steve Irwin from port to starboard in seas that were far from calm. The other two harpoon vessels Yushin Maru #1 and Yushin Maru #3 made the same dangerous maneuvers

The movements of the Japanese vessels are especially dangerous in the choppy seas and dense fog conditions.

"It has given us some very dramatic footage for the next season of Whale Wars," said Captain Paul Watson. "But if their intention was to intimidate us, it did not work. When it comes to playing chicken on the high seas, we have much more experience than the whalers."

Today is day four of the Steve Irwin's pursuit of the Japanese whaling fleet and four days in which not a single whale has been killed.

"The crew is feeling very good, very happy and we are all enthusiastic about keeping the whales safe for as long as we can," said Amber Paarman of South Africa.

The whaling fleet is crisscrossing the Ross Sea erratically. The whalers appear to becoming increasingly frustrated and angry that Sea Shepherd has shut down their whaling operations.


news_090204_1_2_Steve_Irwin_engages_the_Japanese_harpoon_whaling_vessels
The Steve Irwin engages the Japanese harpoon whaling vessels,
the Yushin Maru's No. 1, 2, and 3.
Photo by Steve Roest/Sea Shepherd Conservation Society


news_090204_1_4_Yushin_Marus_No_1_2_and_3_emerge_from_fog
Japanese harpoon whaling vessels, the Yushin Maru's No. 1, 2, and 3
emerge from fog during an engagement with the Steve Irwin.
Photo by Steve Roest/Sea Shepherd Conservation Society


news_090204_1_1_Nisshin_Maru_fires_its_water_cannons
Japanese factory whaling vessel the Nisshin Maru fires its water cannons
as the Steve Irwin chases in Antarctica's Ross Sea. 
A harpoon whaling vessel sails nearby in the background.
Photo by Adam Lau/Sea Shepherd Conservation Society


news_090204_1_3_Yushin_Maru_No_3_crosses_paths_with_factory_ship_the_Nisshin_Maru
Japanese harpoon whaling vessel Yushin Maru No. 3, left, crosses paths
with factory ship the Nisshin Maru during an engagement with the Steve Irwin.
Photo by Adam Lau/Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

 

2009年2月4日

日本捕鯨船団 ロス海で危険行為

4日シドニー時間午前5時頃、日本捕鯨船団の三隻のハプーン船がスティーブ・アーウィン号を襲撃した。

第二勇新丸は昨年12月20日にスクリュー故障を起こし一時的に南極海を離れていたが、再び捕鯨船団に加わった。

ハプーン船は工船日新丸を追跡し続けるスティーブ・アーウィン号の両側から攻撃をするため、所定位置に移動した。攻撃を開始したのは第二勇新丸であった。スティーブ・アーウィン号の船首に異常接近し、左舷から右舷にもの凄い勢いで横切ったのだ。また勇新丸と第三勇新丸も同様にスティーブ・アーウィン号に異常接近した。

日本捕鯨船団のこういった行為は荒波が続き視界が濃霧で遮られた大海では非常に危険である。

「捕鯨船団の危険極まりない行為は次回のWhale Warに劇的なシーンを加えた」とキャプテンポール・ワトソンは述べた。「しかし、彼らが我々を脅かすためにこういった行動をおこしているとしたらそれは全く無意味である。我々の方が捕鯨船団よりも臆病者を脅かすという点では経験があるからだ。」

スティーブ・アーウィン号が捕鯨船団を追跡し始めたから四日が経った。その間クジラは一頭も殺されていない。

「スティーブ・アーウィン号の乗組員はみな幸せであり、クジラを出来る限り捕鯨船団から守れるということに興奮しています」と南アフリカ出身のアンバー・パーマンは答えた。

捕鯨船団はロス海をジグザグに交差しながら航海している。捕鯨船団はシーシェパードが捕鯨活動を停止させたことに大変苛立っているようだ。


 

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