TOKYO, Japan -- Japanese whalers have accused the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society of carrying weapons on the Ady Gil, rejecting claims by the protesters that their state-of-the-art speed-boat had sunk.
The Institute of Cetacean Research released photographs last night of four large arrows they claim were found floating near the Ady Gil, which collided on Wednesday with the Japanese vessel the Shonan Maru No 2.
The text of Japan's Institute of Cetacean Research press release follows:
The antiwhaling group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has apparently abandoned reported efforts to salvage or tow to port the disabled New Zealand watercraft Ady Gil. Japan’s research vessels monitoring the area have confirmed that an oily substance thought to be fuel is leaking from the Ady Gil and continues to spread over the sea surface, raising concerns that Sea Shepherd is willfully polluting the Antarctic environment.
The Shonan Maru No. 2 reported that the other antiwhaling ship which had been harassing the Japanese vessel with the New Zealand watercraft, the Bob Barker, initially seemed to be making efforts to tow the Ady Gil. However, the Bob Barker has left the scene abandoning the drifting Ady Gil by the early morning of December 8.
In addition, the Shonan Maru No. 2 retrieved today from the sea part of the severed Ady Gil hull as well as various drifting objects including several bowgun arrows. Bowgun arrows are weapons with the ability to produce casualties if used against a person or persons. The Sea Shepherd activists have been escalating the viciousness of their sabotage including hurling projectiles containing hazardous butyric acid and firing line-launch rockets against Japan’s research vessels. However, their carrying and possession onboard of a lethal-force weapon makes one ponder whether they would hesitate or not to produce casualties.
The Institute of Cetacean Research strongly condemns the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society actions.
The Institute of Cetacean Research urges again all related nations including Australia, the de facto home port country to the Steve Irwin, the Netherlands, the Steve Irwin’s flag state, and New Zealand, the now drifting and abandoned Ady Gil flag state, to take every means available to prevent the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society actions and strongly request that they observe their international obligations and deal with the Sea Shepherd in a strict and objective manner.
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