On Friday in the Sthrn Ocean Whale Sanctuary, the Japanese harpoon ship Yushin Maru 3 deliberately tried to run down Sea Shepherd’s Gojira: G avoided collision by only 3m! And one of the Delta boat crew narrowly avoided being injured when a whaler threw a bamboo spear down into the boat. SS has some of these dangerous bamboo spears (and video evidence of the spearthrowing is on its website).
G and the small boats from Bob Barker successfully ran interference, to break YM3's stalking of BB. BB is now free to hunt the Nisshin Maru factory ship.
|The sharp end of the business...|
+ ...meanwhile Steve Irwin is refueling in Wellington, NZ...
+ ...and in Tokyo, whalers called for greater govt.help to protect the fleet and stop falling sales of whale meat. Fisheries newspaper Minato Shinbun quoted the CEO of the fleet's management company as saying sales fell 30% in the first half of the financial year. Executives are now saying that covering "research" costs by selling whale meat as a by-product no longer works. They are struggling to find any consumer appetite, and are implying they want more subsidies. But it now seems the Fisheries Agency of Japan wants to distance itself from the whaling.
|Get you next time, grasshopper!|
Since the fake "under attack" distress calls from Yushin Maru 3 and Sea Shepherd's prompt answers (as monitored by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority), there has been no reply from the Japanese. However YM3 is now dead in the water and has not moved for 48 hours. In accordance with maritime law and protocol, Gojira stayed with YM3 to offer any help...but still no word from the nasty Nippons about the nature of their "distress".
Finally the Australian Maritime Safety Authority contacted G and said that YM3 was not in distress and did not require assistance, so G left to search for the whaling vessels. YM3 is no longer tailing Bob Barker, and is also not killing whales. Reason? The nasty Nippons are now claiming SS deployed ten wire rope "prop foulers" around the YM3 and that two tangled around its propellers.