Australia urges calm in southern whale protests
Australia urged Japanese whalers and environmental group Greenpeace to calm down on Monday following life-threatening confrontations between them in the icy Southern Ocean.india Updated: Jan 17, 2006 12:20 IST
Australia urged Japanese whalers and environmental group Greenpeace to calm down on Monday following life-threatening confrontations between them in the icy Southern Ocean. In the latest incident on Saturday, a harpoon fired at a minke whale narrowly missed a protest boat.
“I don’t think people are going to have respect for tactics that are going to put human life at risk,” Australian Environment Minister Ian Campbell told Australian Broadcasting Corp radio. In Tokyo, the top government spokesman defended Japan’s research whaling activities.
The Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise has been shadowing the Japanese whaling fleet for several weeks in a bid to disrupt Japan’s annual whale hunt, prompting a heated exchange on January 8 when the Greenpeace ship and a Japanese factory ship collided.
On Saturday, a Greenpeace activist was flung into the freezing sea when the line attached to the harpoon fell across his inflatable boat. He was later picked up uninjured after spending several minutes in the water.
Greenpeace and Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research blame each other for the incident.