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Posts Tagged ‘Shonan Maru’

Whale of a Story

Posted by feww on February 19, 2010

Submitted by a reader in Australia

As Sea Shepherd protester boards a Japanese whaling vessel to ‘arrest its captain,’ New Zealand govt agents quietly euthanize 28 Pilot whales

Pete Bethune, a Sea Shepherd protester from New Zealand, boarded a Japanese whaling vessel, Shonan Maru No. 2, to ‘arrest its captain’  for the ‘‘destruction of the Ady Gil and attempted murder of the six Ady Gil crew members,’ ‘A statement on the Sea Shepherd website said.

Ady Gil, Sea Shepherd’s ‘stealth vessel,’ collided with Shonan Maru No. 2 on Jan 6, and sank later.  Both parties have since blamed each other for the incident.

According to Sea Shepherd skipper Paul Watson Bethune traveled by jet ski from the Steve Irwin, the group’s flagship vessel to deliver a letter to the Shonan Maru No. 2 requesting he return with him to the Steve Irwin, to be transferred to New Zealand’s Maritime Safety Authority and police.

‘‘If you refuse to be arrested, then I am requesting that you deliver me to Wellington (New Zealand),’’ Bethune wrote in his letter to the Japanese captain.

‘‘Having sunk my vessel, and with our issuing of a mayday call, you have an obligation under maritime law to provide me with safe passage back to land,’’ he added.

‘‘I will only leave the Shonan Maru when you transfer with me to the Steve Irwin, or when we arrive on land, be it New Zealand or Australia.’‘

Bethune reportedly delivered an invoice for the cost of replacing Ady Gil, threatening the captain with criminal charges if payment was not received in four weeks.

‘‘We will be seeking punitive damages, in addition to the full replacement cost of the Ady Gil…further to this we will be laying criminal charges against the captain of the Shonan Maru (No. 2),’’ wrote Bethune.

Meanwhile, amid all the action on the high seas, New Zealand’s Department of Conservation quietly euthanized at least 19 pilot whales that were allegedly beached at West Ruggedy Beach on Stewart Island.

Department of Conservation (DOC) employees said they were forced to euthanize the whales, because the seas were rough.

“They were in reasonably good health when we got there but the weather conditions were so bad it would have been far too dangerous to try anything else,” an official said.

In December 2009, at least 150 whales died after they  became stranded on Coromandel peninsula, most probably due to noise pollution from NZ oil exploration, tourist boats and planes, as well as toxic pollution in New Zealand’s coastal waters.

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