Dutch to probe Whale Wars collision

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The Dutch Directorate for the Inspection of Living environment and Transport will conduct an investigation into the collision between the Dutch vessel of Sea Shepherd and a Japanese whale hunter. The collision happened last Sunday. Environmentalists on board the Sea Shepherd ships “The Bob Barker” and “The Steve Irwin” were chasing three Japanese harpoon ships near the South Pole, when the Bob Barker crashed into the Yushin Maru no.3. Both vessels were damaged.

The environmentalists and the Japanese whalers are blaming each other for the incident. Japan maintains that the Bob Barker crashed into the whaling ship after activists on dinghies dropped ropes in front of the bow of the Yushin Maru, and the Bob Barker drew too close. But according to the environmentalists it’s the Japanese who had been trying to disable their ships on purpose. The Japanese Fisheries Agency said in a statement that the Japanese ships were carrying out whale research, in line with international declarations. “The violent sabotage by Sea Shepherd is endangering the lives of the Japanese crew and we cannot tolerate the damage that is being done to our ships and our equipment.” Japan wants the Netherlands to take action against Sea Shepherd as the organization is sailing under the Dutch flag. The ministry of Home Affairs said it has transferred all available information to the Directorate for the Inspection of Living environment and Transport and the Ministry of Safety and Justice. Inspectors will investigate whether Sea Shepherd followed the rules of maritime law.