Whaling protesters want protection from navy

Matthew Franklin & Debbie Guest; 7/1/10

Anti-whale protesters have demanded protection from the Royal Australian Navy, claiming one of their vessels was holed yesterday after it was rammed by a Japanese whaling vessel in the Southern Ocean. But Environment Minister Peter Garrett dismissed the demand and urged the protesters and the whalers to exercise restraint in the name of safety. The incident happened about 1300 nautical miles south of Tasmania yesterday afternoon, sharply escalating tensions in the annual skirmish between Japanese whalers and vessels owned by environmental activist group Sea Shepherd. According to a Sea Shepherd statement, a Japanese vessel, the Shonan Maru No 2, “deliberately rammed” the Ady Gil while it was stationary, causing “catastrophic damage”. While no one was injured, the impact ripped more than 2m off the vessel’s bow, said Chuck Swift, who witnessed the incident from another Sea Shepherd vessel, the Bob Barker.

See: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/whaling-protesters-want-protection-from-navy/story-e6frg6nf-1225816768188; Garrett calls for calm after collision holes anti-whaling boat; Samantha Maiden; 7/1/10; http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/garrett-calls-for-calm-after-collision-holes-anti-whaling-boat/story-e6frg8y6-1225816693326; Whale protest boat Ady Gill holed in collision; 6/1/10; http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/whale-protest-boat-ady-gill-holed-in-collision/story-e6frg6nf-1225816673408; Japanese sailors accused of ramming anti-whaling vessell; Alison Rehn; 7/1/10; http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/japanese-sailors-accused-of-ramming-anti-whaling-vesse/story-fn3dxity-1225816799290; Protest boat destroyed; Andrew Darby; 7/1/10; http://www.theage.com.au/environment/whale-watch/protest-boat-destroyed-20100106-lubs.html; Sea Shepherd to weather the storm; Andrew Darby; 7/1/10; http://www.theage.com.au/environment/whale-watch/sea-shepherd-to-weather-the-storm-20100106-lubw.html