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18 February 2007

Canadian leads "pirates" against Whalers

Protest ships Farley Mowat and the Robert Hunter have been harrassing Japanese whalers in the Ross Sea, south of New Zealand. Both vessels belong to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, led by Canadian activist Paul Watson. Farley Mowat crew attacked a whaling ship with butyric acid (not permanently damaging), hitting two in the face -- after the whalers had rescued two of Farley Mowat's crewmembers from an iceberg. Similarly, a week ago, protestors in dinghies confronted the Japanese whaler Nisshin Maru, and one Zodiac got lost. The Japanese whalers answered the distress call, helping with a grid search, and the two men were rescued. Crewmembers from the Farley Mowat resumed their antics, tossing butyric acid and a smoke bomb onto the Nisshin Maru's deck.

Officially, the Farley Mowat is a pirate ship since Transport Canada stripped its Canadian registration and it lost its Belize registration. Japan was to host a meeting of the International Whaling Commission, in an attempt to lift the international moratorium on commercial whaling. Twenty-six nations said they would boycott the meeting. Protesters in Toronto said in agreement, "Arrrrgh!" (The Toronto Star | Farley Mowat | Sea Shepherd Society)


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