Japanese Whaling Ship Cuts Off Bow of Environmentalist Ship

Sea Shephard’s hi-tech anti-whaling speedboat Ady Gil was virtually cut in half by a Japanese ship running interference for whalers this week. The Japanese Shonan Maru hit the speedboat during one of the confrontations at sea. At video of the ship is found at the site below.

There were six crew members on the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society speedboat. The speedboat was launched in 2009, here.

The group routinely throws ropes in the water to try to disable the propellers and hits ships with stink bombs.

For the full story, click here.

18 thoughts on “Japanese Whaling Ship Cuts Off Bow of Environmentalist Ship”

  1. Well, these sea-going hippies was a’ spoilin fer a fight and I reckon they got themselves one.

    Now I s’pose they’s askin fer pity from the general populace.

    Durn fools oughta’d been arrested for piracy and their vessels sent to the bottom.

    You don’t mess around on the open sea.

  2. i find it hypocritical of sea shepherd to claim piracy in the sinking of the andy gil. at least three times in the past sea shepherd has intentionall rammed other vessals. just do a quick youtube search. they even have a thing called the “can opener” that they use to rake the side of the vessel being rammed in an attempt to rip a hole in it.

    were these ramming incidents by sea shepherd also acts of piracy? if not, then then the recent incident is not either. if so, then the sea shepherd is guilty of repeated and premeditated acts of piracy as well. you can’t have it both ways.

    as far as who had the right of way. i alwways thought that the vessel who was most restricted in it’s ability to maneuver had the right of way. the andy gil is a much smaller and definitetly more maneuverable vessel than the japanese vessel. seems the andy gil took no evasive action what so ever. unless they were dead in the water i would assume that the japanese vessel had the right of way.

  3. lottakatz, I disagree. The rule for such circumstances as 2 vessels in a crossing path is:

    Rile 15: When two power-driven vessels are crossing so as to involve risk of collision, the vessel which has the other on her starboard side shall keep out of the way and shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, avoid crossing ahead of the other vessel.

    As the video clearly shows, the Ady Gil held the Shonan Maru to her starboard, making it the skipper of the Ady Gil’s responsibility to turn to avoid collision.

    However, seeing as he failed in that aspect, the skipper of the Shonan maru should have moved, as per:

    Rule 17: (i) Where one of two vessels is to keep out of the way, the other shall keep her course and speed.
    (ii) The latter vessel may, however, take action to avoid collision by her maneuver alone, as soon as it becomes apparent to her that the vessel required to keep out of the way is not taking appropriate action in compliance with these Rules.

    BUT.. under no circumstance does that relive the skipper of the Ady Gil from his legal liability:

    Rule 17 (cont): (d) This rule does not relieve the give-way vessel of her obligation to keep out of the way.

    Between seconds 10 and 16, the clearly had headway from the left to the right if the screen.

    However, the biggest thing to be said here is: If your going to take a fast, maneuverable yacht and harass slower vessels not as maneuverable as you, any accident is your fault. I’m not going to pull out in front of a bus because I don’t like the transit authority, the outcome of that one seems obvious.

    From the safety standpoint, the Ady Gil was far too close to the Shonan Maru for a reasonable expectation of avoiding a collision. Looking at the video, it could have been intentional (on either party, I add), or it could have been the sea state. Given the tactics to disrupt the whaling operations, I’m honestly surprised this hasn’t happened sooner.

    If this had been a pleasure yacht and a Coast Guard schooner, those 6 people would have been hauled out and put in handcuffs for reckless endangerment.

  4. TomD.Arch, The Japanese ship was in violation of right-of-way in sea lanes crossing/passing according to this article:



    mr.ed, the Sea Shepherd is a boat, the Japanese craft appears to be more than 25′ longer so I called it a ship being familiar with the length rule (does not apply to subs though) but I don’t know its exact length.

  5. Sorry about being legalistic on a legal blog, but aren’t there rules of navigation? I’d be very interested to hear how those rules applied in this encounter and who had the right-of-way.

  6. I thought the larger craft always had the right of way. Presumably the smaller craft was the Sea Shepherd Society one. Eco-terrorism is only nihilism under a different name…

  7. Please don’t call a boat a ship. The difference comes from length, under over 100 feet. The Ady Gil is 24 meters, quite a bit short. Now, of course, it’s even shorter.

  8. The Japanese were hunting in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, an IWC designated no hunting site. This is SOP for the Japanese. The only thing that has ever caused my consternation regarding the ‘battles’ waged against Japanese whaling ships is that the conservationists were woefully outgunned. When the French government blew up the Rainbow Warrior (Different organization, same side.) while it was docked I changed my mind about the way to fight the conservation war. I have not since been persuaded to change it back.



  9. One more interesting aside. Historically the Japanese never ate whale meat. Its consumption was encouraged by Gen. MacArthur following the end of WWII as a readily available source of protein while Japan’s traditional food sources could be rebuilt.

    Of the whale meat harvested during the “scientific research” every year a minuscule amount is sold to the public, as they have no taste for it. The bulk of the meat is actually donated to school lunch programs, despite the fact that the meat contains dangerously high levels of mercury.

    In short, the whaling is neither scientific or necessary. It’s all a diversion, all for show. Whatever bad PR is generated by this practice is nothing compared to the negative feelings that would be generated if the focus were on Japan’s “other” fishing practices.

  10. Something to understand about Japanese whaling: The main reason the Japanese continue its “scientific research” is to draw attention away from the fact that they are strip mining the ocean of fish. Thus, the whaling is little more than a diversion. In fact, the Japanese’s worst fear is that attention be focused on the whole of its fishing practices, and that international pressure be brought to bear for enforcing limits, etc. Such fishing limits would, needless to say, send economic and cultural shock waves through Japan. At this very moment there is great international pressure building to shut down the Atlantic and Mediterranean blue fin tuna fisheries. These fisheries are on the verge of complete collapse, largely due to unquenchable Japanese demand for these fish.

    As with so many things, seemingly unrelated events in far-flung places are actually — dare I say conspiratorially? — interlinked. This is just another example.

  11. I personally reject the notion that humans are the only sentient beings inhabiting this planet. Whales, Dolphins, Elephants and Apes all probably meet the definition of sentience. If this is true then killing them for their byproducts is murder. The Japanese in their lust for whale products expose a basic flaw in their compassion and an egocentric belief in human superiority.

  12. Yeah, Hans, attempted murder is really cool. Are you still writing fan/love letters to Scott Roeder? You’re one fine cracker.

  13. That’s NOT a Greenpeace vessel. It’s owned and operated by Sea Shepard Conservation Society. There’s a huge difference between the two organizations’ tactics. In a nutshell, if someone is kicking a dog, Greenpeace will hold up a sign saying “Quit kicking the dog” while Sea Shepard will physically make the bastards stop kicking the dog. Huge difference. Sea Shepard, which was created by Paul Watson, one of the original founders of Greenpeace, is also the subject of the “Whale Wars” TV series and book.

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