Environmental activists have released video, which they claim shows a Japanese harpoon ship colliding with one of their vessels.
This purportedly captures the moment of impact on board Sea Shepherd’s boat – The Bob Barker.
“Shortly after midnight this morning (Sunday), the three harpoon ships from the Japanese whaling fleet began circling The Bob Barker and The Steve Irwin,” said Kelly Higgins, a Sea Shepherd crew member.
“They were overtaking our vessels at extremely close proximity, sometimes coming within three to five metres of our bow.”
Sea Shepherd activists have been tracking a Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean – in a bid to disrupt an annual hunt.
Japanese media reported that three Japanese vessels, engaged in so-called research whaling, were obstructed by Sea Shepherd, with activists lowering several small boats to block them.
Australia and New Zealand are challenging the legality of Japan’s hunt at the Hague.
Australia says more than 10,000 whales have
been killed since the start of the international
moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986.