Environmental campaigners Sea Shepherd Australia say a collision on February 25 in Antarctic waters, between two vessels from a Japanese whaling fleet and one of their own ships, was not their fault.
It comes after Japanese whalers released their own video of the incident – along with statements saying the environmentalists’ boat Bob Barker rammed their fleet.
But Sea Shepherd claims that Bob Barker was squeezed by the bigger vessels and fired on with water canons as it tried to stop the whaling ship refuelling.
Bob Brown, Director of Sea Shepherd Australia said, “Tokyo is thumbing its nose at the Federal Court of Australia which has prohibited and injuncted this illegal whaling in our Antarctic whale sanctuary. The problem here is that the Gillard government is not backing up the Australian Federal Court with the necessary policing operation to prevent this ongoing illegal whale killing by the Japanese.”
The February 25 incident the latest in a series of clashes between Japanese whalers and Sea Shepherd. The protest group, led by Paul Watson, has filed a complaint against Japan at the world court in the Hague.
A US appeals court issued an injunction in December ordering Sea Shepherd and Watson not to physically endanger or attack the Japanese whaling fleet.