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 user 2007-02-14 at 10:57:00 am Views: 41
  • #17562

    Whaling truce in high seas rescue
    Japanese whaling ship joined in the search for two anti-whaling
    activists who went missing during a confrontation in icy seas off
    A temporary truce was called during a
    joint, eight-hour search for the two members of the conservation group
    Sea Shepherd, who were later recovered.The pair became lost during a
    clash in which the activist group splashed acid onto the deck of the
    whaling ship.The Japanese government called the actions “piratical” and
    “dangerous”.The incident happened in the early hours of Friday, after
    the activist ship The Farley Mowat caught up with Japan’s Nisshin Maru
    whaling ship.The US-based Sea Shepherd group said its activists managed
    to douse the deck of the whaler with six litres of non-toxic but foul
    smelling butyric acid.

    ‘Extreme relief’
    the confrontation, US activist John Gravois and Australian activist
    Karl Neilsen became lost in the heavy fog and snow.Mr Gravois later
    told the Australian Associated Press that their inflatable dinghy was
    damaged after it collided with the whaling ship and they quickly fell
    behind the group.He said they managed to tie their boat to an iceberg
    to stop themselves from drifting, while they awaited rescue.”When they
    found us it was a feeling of the most extreme relief that you can
    image,” he said.They were eventually found by the Farley Mowat, but the
    activists had earlier asked for help in the search from the Nisshin
    Maru.”They were willing to do that – (it’s) nothing we wouldn’t do for
    them as well,” said Johnny Vasic, international director of the Sea
    Shepherd group.”It’s a kind of rule of the sea and sailors.”He said
    they had thanked the Japanese whalers for their help, but that they
    would continue to pursue them.

    Vasic also defended the tactic of pouring acid on to the ships, saying
    it had no harmful effects other than smelling bad and was aimed to
    disrupt the whalers’ work.”That’s one of our tactics, to wake them up
    to the smell of rotting flesh while is all over their ships,” he told
    the BBC from on board one of the activist ships.A spokesman for the
    Japanese Foreign Ministry told the BBC said he was outraged that
    Japan’s ships had been attacked in this way.He pointed out that all the
    members of the International Whaling Commission had agreed to try to
    prevent incidents like this taking place.Japan says it plans to cull
    850 minke whales this winter and 10 fin whales, as part of what it
    calls its programme of scientific research.Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace
    have vowed to do all they can to disrupt the hunt.