TCA (my initials)

February 16, 2007

high weirdness on the high seas

Filed under: Doodling — TCA @ 10:04 pm

Who let the Shepherd out?

This ongoing story has sea legs. It just gets weirder and weirder.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has described the Nisshin Maru as “the death star of whale kind.” I couldn’t do a better job of describing the Japanese whaling vessel. I tried. The fire breathing dragon of whaledom? The dog catcher of whaleville? See what I mean?

So our heroes had to do something about these villainous atrocities, right? An article by Australian reporter Andrew Darby is the best coverage of the clash at sea that I’ve been able to find so far. The Robert Hunter–named after the founder of Greenpeace and not the lyricist for the Grateful Dead–versus the Death Star.

The Robert Hunter–low on fuel and with a three inch gash in her hull–withdrew after the incident, bound for Melbourne, Australia. She has been stripped of registry and will possibly be declared a pirate vessel. However, authorities have so far declined to press criminal charges.

Meanwhile, the Nisshin Maru caught fire belowdecks in Antarctic waters. The cause of the fire has not been attributed to ramming by the Robert Hunter. A Japanese crewman is missing and the ship is partially evacuated.

But this story isn’t over yet. The New Zealand conservation minister warned that a castrophe could occur if the Nisshin Maru sank and spilled fuel oil into the water near penguin breeding grounds.

Enter Greenpeace. Their ship–the Esperanza–is ready to tow the stricken whaling ship. So far the Nisshin Maru has only requested that the Esperanza stand by and stay close to lend assistance if necessary.

Pertinent links:

Young Japanese lose interest in whaling
[Associated Press]
Greenpeace try eating whale to stop whaling
[Agence France-Presse]
Japan hosts pro-whaling meeting as clashes continue at sea
[Guardian Unlimited]
Japanese whaling ship and protest boat collide at sea
[Guardian Unlimited]
Activists rescued after clash with whalers
[Guardian Unlimited]

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