back to article Japanese whalers lash protesters to mast

Two campaigners from anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd are "in custody" aboard Japanese whaling vessel the Yushin Maru 2 after boarding the ship in the Antarctic, the BBC reports. The pair were allegedly assaulted and tied to a radar mast during the action, Sea Shepherd claims. The pair - Australian Benjamin Potts and Briton Giles …

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Boarding?

Just how did they board a ship at sea? Its pretty much impossible to do this from another ship (let alone the sort of inflatables Greenpeace and co usually use) without the assistance of the crew.

Since I assume the protesters didnt point guns at the crew, and demand to be let on board, they would have been allowed on by permission. In which case, unless they actually comitted a crime (under maritime law) on board, holding them is kidnapping. Interesting...

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Pirate

Kidnapping?

Ignoring completely the charge of lashing them to the mast (you know how these greenie-types like to exaggerate...) - these 2 men illegally (without permission) boarded another vessel on high seas because they personally disagreed with the activities that the vessel was engaged in, and were attempting to interfere with these activities. They weren't acting on behalf of a government to protect territorial waters or enforce a court decision, they were acting as private citizens to interfere with a mission sanctioned by the government owning the vessel. Sorry guys, but you had no right to do that, and your detention is perfectly justified until the appropriate authorities come to sort you out.

Just be thankful you're not being forced to take part in Japanese TV in the meantime...

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To (mis) quite Douglas Adams

The scientific research they are conducting is something along the lines of "how many whales can a fleet of ships with rocket powered harpoons kill in one season."

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Thumb Down

yeah right

"will target 900 minke whales and 50 fin whales between now and mid-April in the name of "scientific research","

so they don't eat them then?

this "scientific research" bol**x is a sick joke IMHO......

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Pirate

Here's how

Sea Shepard is slightly more militant in it's approach to protesting than Greenpeace, and have been known to give Japanese whalers a friendly nudge with their own ship. It wouldn't be hard to imagine a pirate-esque boarding involing swinging on ropes.

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Anonymous Coward

Trespassing?

In Australia aren't you allowed to shoot trespassers? Or have I just been watching too many films.

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Bronze badge
Boffin

Ignoring

Can ignoring be considered a response? It's easy to mix it up with not having noticed.........

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JP
Flame

re: Boarding

Wouldn't the old grappling hooks and climbing up the side work? I can't see a whaling ship being particularly nimble or nippy. Pull up alongside, and climb onboard. Once onboard, try to vandalise the board, get beaten up, strapped to the mast while they clear a room to be used as a cell, and then thrown in.

Edit story above depending on which side is telling.

"We pulled up beside the boat, got onboard, and then got assaulted, and tied to the radio mast!"

"They boarded the boat without permission via grapples, and attempted to tear down the radar mast. So we restrained them while we were organising a containment area for them."

Depends on who you listen to.

Actually, just read another news article.

Stuff.co.nz:

"

"The two boarded the Yushin Maru No 2 after they made attempts to entangle the screw of the vessel using ropes and throwing bottles of acid on to the decks."

But Watson said as the two boarded Yushin Maru the Japanese attacked them.

"

So, no provocation other than trying to damage the ship then...

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Serves them right

While I fully condemn the actions of the Japanese whaling fleet, ignoring international bans and court orders, The crew of the Sea Shepard, are well known to be little more than environmental thugs, who are quite happy physically attacking the japanese fleet, and on more than one occassion, ramming them. So this time they get the tables turned on them and they call foul?

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Happy

Ooh

Arr

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Flame

Why is it...

... that "White" nations (consisting of people of Western European decent) insist on telling the "non-white" nations how to run their lives?

Why can't they just leave everyone else alone.

If the Japanese (or Icelanders) want to eat Whales; let 'em! Just cos YOU (and I for that matter) don't like it, doesn't mean that our opinion counts out there.

If the Whales become extinct, then they won't be able to eat them anymore - hence, it isn't in their interests to do that, anyway - sensible farming is required.

The hypocrisy is what annoys me more. It was all fine when various "White-nations" went and killed and colonized everything in their path - all in the name of the greater good; But that was all in the past wasn't it - now, they are just so much more enlightened (Iraq, Afghanistan etc are just blips...).

Inshort then: Stop telling everyone else how to run their lives in your self-righteous and santimonious tones - and don't complain if you get bitchslapped for the effort.

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actually..

"Sea Shepard is slightly more militant in it's approach to protesting than Greenpeace, and have been known to give Japanese whalers a friendly nudge with their own ship"

actually, last year it was the Japanese that rammed the Sea Shepherd ship.

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IT Angle

The master has soverign control of the vessel.

The Master of a seagoing vessel has almost absolute soverignty on a vessel in international waters. That is why they are allowed to perform weddings and funerals and also act as judge in cases of piracy and mutiny. A person or persons boarding a ship without authority can be considered pirates and hung from the yardarm.

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Paris Hilton

re: Boarding?

Well if it was me on the Steve Irwin and I wanted to get on to another ship at sea I'd probably use the helicopter...http://www.shippingtimes.co.uk/item998_steve_irwin.htm

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Anonymous Coward

Piracy.

Can't you still be hanged for that?

>Just how did they board a ship at sea? Its pretty much impossible to do this

You mean like this:-

http://www.haaba.com/news-story/2007/12/02/somali-pirates-release-comoran-freighter-us-navy.html

or this:-

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/506828-heavily-armed-pirates-spark-regional-shipping-alert

It seems it is possible after all..

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Good

Even if they were assaulted and lashed to the mast, they invaded private property. This is no different from knocking out a burglar and tying him up until the police arrive. Wankers.

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Pirate

A Good idea

"a pirate-esque boarding involing swinging on ropes."

Actually that's not a bad idea, except with them swinging from ropes - hang these two and it'll make the others stop and consider their actions.

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Pirate

Keelhaul

Yes that right, keelhaul them. Lashing them to a radar mast is too good for them. Instead tie them to a couple of concrete blocks (or similar) measure out some lengths of rope and keelhaul them! Twice. Naked.

This is the very reason why Greenpeace and most of the other groups avoid these lot!

And so what if they say it is for scientific research and then some of it gets eaten, means they are not wasting it then!

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Pirate

avast!

Surely in international waters, if someone you're boarding in a piracy style fashion decides to strap you to the mast there's pretty much bugger all you can do about it.

Even though I don't agree with whaling, I would have made them walk the plank, just for the laughs!

Piracy isn't what it used to be.

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Anonymous Coward

A better strategy

Will someone please PLEASE PLEASE sell Sea Shepard some decent torpedoes.

I cannot imagine even Japan would build/buy a new fleet of whalers for scientifc research if the current one stragnely disapeared.

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Flame

Possible solution

Pretty much every country in the world agrees that sinking foreign owned ships is usually an act of war.

However I propose an annual exemption to be dispensed by Parliament allowing "Scientific Research" to be conducted on Japanese Whaling boats

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Anonymous Coward

Leave everyone alone

"...hypocrisy is what annoys me more. It was all fine when various "White-nations" went and killed and colonized..."

And slaughtered thousands of whales a year to provide lighting oil.

Maybe we've just grown up a bit. Unlike the barbarians who machete their neighbours to death because an election didn't go their way. Or riot and kill thousands of ordinary citizens because a couple of score idiots killed one or two people they identified with. Or the people who whimper and cleave to "strong man" politics and think that a milirtary dictatoship is the only route to personal security because the able or at least incumbent people see the path to self-enrichment over the improvement of their nation.

I don't care what colour they are. It's not about race. It's about fucking growing up as a polity.

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Happy

Sweet!

That is all....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why is it...

>telling the "non-white" nations how to run their lives?

What's non-white about Iceland or Norway?

It's not a race thing.

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@ Anonymous Coward

Shame you decided to keep your name hidden, as yours is the most relevant post so far.

I don't really have anything against whaling, so long as levels are maintained, and the dead animals are used correctly, I couldn't really care.

If we do get to the real point of extinction, and someone who controls the waters deems it illegal, then yes, they need to stop. Until then, it's not very different to any of the other animals we kill globally.

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Pirate

wtf?

Wow.. what a load of twats this post has brought out.

No matter how pure your motives are, damaging someone's property (be it through acid, ramming or torpedoes (!?)) is criminal vandalism. Why do the greenies think that just because they're protecting some random creature they can put others at risk?

Don't get me wrong, whaling is disgracing the Japanese but these protesters deserve everything they get.

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Pirate

re: leave everyone alone

"Unlike the barbarians who machete their neighbours to death because an election didn't go their way" You're right, y'know. In the civilised world we can afford guns and petrol and fertiliser and the courts and commerce to kill each other.

As for the whales - the 'experiments' tend to lead to a lot of spare meat.

And Sea shepherd's logo is a pirate -they believe in direct action but not enough to match the violence done to the whales.

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Oh my

Reminds me of an old Rugrats episode (yes I watched that as a teenager)

Angelica - "Prepare to be board!"

Phil - "Oh no, she's gonna bore us!"

But seriously, it is to my understanding that in international waters anything goes? Don't get me wrong I don’t condone these actions and throwing the pirates in the ocean would be a better response than tying them to the mass... I just fail to see how this action is illegal (this is all based on a Simpson’s episode where Homer steals Mr. Burns’ boat).

@anon coward - Again, I don't pretend to be clued up on anything special but it’s to my understanding Whales play a vital part of the food chain within the oceans eating plentiful plankton which as far as I'm aware are carbon sinks on their own. Taking Whales out of the equation, aside from being an inhumane way of doing so pretty much fucks up the whole eco cycle...

But I say, that’s not a for sure answer, just what im sure I read some where.

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Sam

Anyone got any Veras?

Whale meat again, don't know how, don't know when...

Military Airstrike scientific research sounds good to me...if they can't adapt, lose 'em!

I read somewhere they are fucked anyway, gene pool size..

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Big Bucks

Always amazes me how much expensive gear these pure soul do-gooders have access to. Sea-going ships? Somebody is making a lot of money.

Always remind me of tele-evangelists - "Dig deep, folks. Dig deep for the true faith/Christ/whales etc."

Not that they would ever use any of it for their own comfort, oh no. Not a penny. Well other than not having to get a real job.

Oh sorry, saving the planet is the only job that counts and justifies everything. Your 40 virgins await.

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Stop

@Chris Taylor

"Pretty much every country in the world agrees that sinking foreign owned ships is usually an act of war."

Try telling that to the French government, who sank a foreign-owned ship (Rainbow Warrior) in a port of a foreign power (New Zealand), murdering a crew member in the process (and then weaseled out of enforcing the prison sentences imposed on those who carried out the attack).

Or perhaps you could tell it to the governments of the USA and United Kingdom, who refused (among many others) to condemn it at the time?

So, what you really mean is :

"Pretty much every country in the world, EXCEPT France, the US, the UK and many others who refused to condemn the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior, agrees that sinking foreign owned ships is usually an act of war."

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cor
Pirate

Damn Japanese ..

Must be some kind of weird penis envy thing going on there.

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Silver badge

Science

I think we should genetically modify the whales (and all the other exotic/endangered animals that the Yellow People eat) so that they are poisonous to humans.

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Also left out...

"The most recent injury report was made by two Japanese crewmen [!!!] who claim being splashed with foul-smelling butyric acid during Sea Shepherd's recent action in the Ross Sea. The Sea Shepherds admitted to throwing six one-litre bottles of butyric acid onto the deck of the Nisshin Maru although Paul Watson denied that any Japanese crew could have been harmed, saying that butyric acid is "a simple non-toxic butter acid, basically rancid butter". However, safety data sheets warn of the corrosive properties of the acid, which can burn skin and eyes, and harm aquatic organisms."

( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Shepherd )

A quick Google reveals that this acid is NOT something that you would want splashed on you, especially if it got in your eyes.

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Alert

Some information that was left out...

"On Tuesday, the Federal Court in Australia ruled that Japan's hunting and killing of whales near the Australian coastline or off Australian Antarctic Territory is illegal.

However, the court noted that unless the Japanese whalers entered Australian jurisdiction where they could be seized, there was no practical way the order could be enforced.

Japan considers the sanctuary's waters to be the high seas. Only New Zealand, France, Norway and the United Kingdom recognise [sic] Australia's claim."

( http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/latest/200801160703/sea_shepherd_activists_held_on_whaling_ship )

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Jim

Pirates

Priates have been tossed overboard

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Act of war?

One country sinking the ships of another country might be considered an act of war but not a global group of eco heroes/nutters (delete as appropriate) sinking ships. I think that would be considered an act of piracy, aarrrrhhh!

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wow - de ja vu

Not exactly breaking news this story - I read this exact story sometime in 2007!!

I am sure that the Japanese have some well though out motives for firing rocket propelled harpoons at innocent and defensive mammals (NOT!!)

What really worries me about this is the fact that they do this under the "research" umbrella. So there you go - Anyone fancy taking pot shots at people and claiming your right to do so under "Research"

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Paris Hilton

I'm an Australian...

... and i favour improving the average IQ.

Don't tie them to the mast.

Hang them from it.

// Paris because she knows sincerity doesn't make one immune to consequences.

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Anonymous Coward

HAHA

I hope they drown the ----ing f----ts

Why the hell shouldn't the Japanese eat whales, we eat pigs, sheep, cows, goats, ducks, pheasents, and well lots of other animals. We keep dairy cows in a perpetualy pregnent state for milk and cheese.

But O no it's a whale you can't eat it... screw that, it's an animal and if it's edible - eat it.

Much like the crazy mexican in from dusk till dawn "if you can find p---y cheaper anywhere else, f---k iiiiitttttt!"

Also before gettting all "whales save teh planets" eco warrior crap, why don't people start making a bit more noise about rainforests (not just the Amazon one).

We have to remember that the Japanese have a vested interest in maintain stocks of Whales becouse - they eat them.

And have you met most fishermen? A good flogging is getting off lightly if you f--k up their boats, that's their lively hood. Whilst some greasy hippy on retainer to some shady westerner can just go home to ma and pa.

We don't see people boarding other fishing boats (well not counting the English/French scuffles of awhile back), and I bet if people dared they wouldn't be heard from again.

How about I come down your offices start shouting at you for burning carbon maaan, smashing up your office tools and slashing your car tyres.

I recon you wouldn't be best pleased.

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Coat

@ImaGnuber

"Oh sorry, saving the planet is the only job that counts and justifies everything"

in know this was meant to be sarcastic, Ima, but try saying it out loud slowly to yourself, and LISTEN TO THE WORDS. Now try comparing it to the following phrase:

"Oh sorry, keeping the Japanese hoi polloi well stocked with whalemeat is the only job that counts, and justified everything"

Hmm...

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Black Helicopters

@Coward about Rainbow Warrior

"Or perhaps you could tell it to the governments of the USA..."

If it was an act of war, it was against this very same government. See that with them.

Anyway, according to nowadays UK and US standards, it would appear as a totally legitimate pre-emptive anti-terrorist strike. Not that these standards should be praised of course.

And most countries don't actually declare war for an isolated act of this kind (see how the US "inadvertently" rocketed the ambassy of China in Yugoslvavia, for example).

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Pirate

Sea Shepherd misses the obvious

Instead of boarding and protesting, they ought to get their own harpoon gun, and follow the whalers around. Every time the whalers shoot at a whale, the greenies shoot at the whalers.

It's International waters, so fly a Panamaniam flag (or Swiss, would be even better).

Yarrgh! Heave to, matey, or we'll be forced ta eat the cabin boy!

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EJ
Go

They'll likely be used for "research"

As I learned on the Institute of Cetacean Research's web site (http://www.icrwhale.org/eng-index.htm), the best way to show your love for a species is to slaughter a thousand of said species. These 2 will be used to show the institute's love for protesters, no doubt.

Do visit the institute's web site - it is beyond belief.

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Greenpeace

Although not the Sea Shepherds, I recently saw a TV show with Greenpeace following a whaling ship. One Greenpeace'r commented on how it was 'ironic' that their own kitchens and freezers were filled with various meats.

Admittedly I'm completly ignorant on whaling, but to me this is blatant hypocrisy, not irony.

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A lot of morons

For all of you ranting about this and that... Why shouldn't they eat whales.. we eat pigs/cows/sheep and so forth. For all those bringing racism into it (although you actually prove your own racism by doing so)... There are very few good points being made amongst all the moronic rants.

This is not about them eating meat, it's not about culture, race, colour or anything else. It's about an entire species that was almost made extinct and is still at risk of extinction. It's about money, lots of it... if they weren't making a lot of money from this it wouldn't be happening. Same thing applies to things like fish stocks in our own waters. The average size of cod has dropped by 60% in recent decades due to over fishing and stocks not having time to recover. Yet because of business interests we don't do enough to ensure that there are future stocks... Same applies to whaling, there simply aren't enough to allow them to be caught.

Whilst the Japanese are basically saying "fuck you" to the rest of the world on this issue, action has to be taken... I just don't know what that action should be... Providing no one gets hurt in the process I'm all for a little positive action.

And no, I'm not a whale loving, card carrying member of Greenpeace or any other environmental group... I rarely recycle, waste energy and drive everywhere in my big engined sports car... I just have a brain and some common sense... Shame so many morons lack both of those and are allowed to use computers. :)

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Pirate

Idiot Stampede.

For example,

> Why the hell shouldn't the Japanese eat whales, we eat pigs, sheep, cows,

> goats, ducks, pheasents, and well lots of other animals.

Whales are rare, wild animals with fidgety reproductive habits who go about their business... until and unless a whaling ship impales them with a hundred pounds of steel harpoon or so, inflicting traumatic injuries which lead to eventual death from blood loss, organ failure, drowning or - if they're reeled onto the processing ship quick enough - vivisection... a process which takes anything from minutes to hours.

Pigs, sheep, cows, goats, ducks and pheasants are farm animals with fecund reproductive habits, cultivated by human beings for the express purpose of becoming food. They are fed, kept (relatively) healthy and warm, and eventually despatched by methods designed to be (relatively) quick.

The Japanese like to use the non sequitur about Australians beong hypocrites about whaling because they eat kangaroo meat (and emu; the other animal on the only fully edible national coat of arms on Earth). Funny how that narrative stops short of mentioning that the kangaroo meat on sale in Australia comes from *farmed* 'roos (too high a risk of parasites in meat from wild 'roos, apparently), or that kangaroos can reproduce at a rate of four to six young per female per year.

If people can't see the difference between the protracted kiling of rare wild animals and the (relatively) clinical killing of abundant farmed animals, then they're too pigshit-stupid for me to really try to change their mind...

> We keep dairy cows in a perpetualy pregnent state for milk and cheese.

Well, there you go... see why people turn vego?

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Pirate

Tying them to the mast is an *excellent* idea

"Don't get me wrong I don’t condone these actions and throwing the pirates in the ocean would be a better response than tying them to the mast"

Actually, tying them to the radar mast is better. a) it isn't illegal; b) with a bit of luck the radiation will make them sterile and stop that particular set of DNA from procreating.

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Anonymous Coward

Not piracy, no

I dont know of any non-suicidal way of boarding a ship underway. I think you will find any successful pirates do one of 2 things; either they sneak at night onto a ship NOT under way, or they threaten the crew with weapons to let them on board. So I find it unliekly in the extreme that if Greenpeace were on the ship, that they were not invited on.

A captain does not, any longer, have some sort of godlike power on his ship. In fact, fiction apart, even in the old days there were restrictions. However, tying someone to the mast, as long as not done in a manner to deliberately injure, but to restrain, would be legal as a ship usually does not come with trained police and restraint & holding facilities.

The thing I'm finding it difficult to reconcile is the 'attack' of smelly stuff. did they toss this on board from another boat? This isnt an act of piracy, not attempt was made to take over the whaling ship (I assume). Or did they get invited on board and then do it? The legally allowable responses are different depending on how it was being done. If the captain, after having stuff thrown at him, invited them on board (presumably to talk), and then restrained them, he is guilty of a crime - he isnt allowed to go around arresting people who no longer cause a danger to his ship. However if they carried teh stuff on with them, and threatened to use it, he IS justified.

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Flame

What is really impressive,

is a country calling itself civilized, and not taking custody of the KNOWN CRIMINAL Paul Watson, who under international law is wanted on several accounts of ship sinking AND OTHER activities covered by the INTERNATIONAL LAWS recognized as Piracy.

Not to mention that Austrailian court has _ZERO_ influence over japanese or international waters.

As for the suggestion of torpedoes, I totally agree. Give the Sea Shepard atleast one torpedo. Preferrably amidships and far enough from land that the lunatics has less than 10% chance of getting dry land under their feet again. Pirates like that SHOULD be sunk with torpedoes.

//Svein

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