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Harassment / Sabotage by Sea Shepherd vessel Bob Barker

3 March 2014

Harassment / Sabotage by Sea Shepherd vessel Bob Barker

On March 2 around 15:20JST until about 17:30JST the Antarctic whale research (JARPAII) research vessels Yushin Maru (YS1) and Yushin Maru No. 3 (YS3) were subject to sabotage by the Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker (BB).

During the Sea Shepherd attack the YS1 and the YS3 sent prior warnings to the BB requesting it not to close in due to danger of collision and, as a safety measure, started towing a warning buoy wire. Despite the warnings, two rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) sent from the BB came to the YS1 and YS3 crossing across the research vessel’s bow. Also, activists onboard the BB RIBs repeatedly attempted to sever thewarning buoy wire. Further, the BB abnormally approached to dangerously close distance from the YS1 and the YS3.

During the attack both research vessels broadcasted warning messages and made use of their water pump as a safety securing measure to make the activists desist from further approaching. There were neither injuries to the Japanese crews or damage to both the YS1 and the YS3 from the BB’s attack.

On 17 December 2012 the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an Injunction Order enjoining SSCS, Paul Watson and anyone acting in concert with them from physically attacking the Japanese research vessels or any person on them and from navigating in a manner that is likely to endanger the safe navigation at sea of any such vessel. The Injunction Order also prohibits them from approaching any vessel engaged by the Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) or Kyodo Senpaku (KS) any closer than 500 yards (about 457 meters) when the research vessels are navigating on the open sea. Since last year the ICR and KS filed a Motion for Contempt against SSCS in violation of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Injunction Order.

Japan’s research whaling in the Antarctic (JARPAII) is a perfectly legal activity carried out under the International Whaling Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW). Sea Shepherd actions threaten safety of our research ships and lives of crews on it and is therefore unacceptable. Once again, we strongly call on all related countries including the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand which are flag states and/or port State of SS vessels, and United States in which headquarter of SS is based to take every measure available to restrain them and deal with their criminal actions in a strict and objective manner.

ENDS

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