Russia holds Japan whale poaching ship – ‘This is the ship that in 2011 deliberately rammed and destroyed the vessel Ady Gil’Posted by Jim at Friday, August 22, 2014
22 August 2014 (AFP) – A Japanese whaling vessel and its crew were being held in Russia on Friday after the ship entered Russian territorial waters without permission, Tokyo said.
The 712-tonne Shonan Maru No. 2 was ordered into a Russian port on August 15 after sailing through the Sea of Okhotsk off Sakhalin island, an official from Japan's Fisheries Agency said.
The vessel, which does not catch whales itself but monitors the oceans for signs of the creatures [i.e., hunts them], had 19 Japanese crew and one Russian observer on board.
Tokyo has admitted the vessel changed its initial course and entered Russian waters without going through the proper procedures.
"The crew members have been voluntarily questioned," the official said, adding that Tokyo was asking for their early release through diplomatic channels. [more]
Some absolutely excellent news this morning.
The Shonan Maru No. 2 has been seized by Russia.
The Shonan Maru No. 2 has a history of law-breaking especially for illegal entry into foreign waters without permission.
Just last year the Shonan Maru No. 2 was rebuked for unlawful entry into New Zealand waters and the year prior to that for unlawful entry into Australian waters.
This was the ship that in 2011 deliberately rammed and destroyed the vessel Ady Gil.
The operators of the Shonan Maru No. 2 have behaved as if they have a license to go wherever they wish and do whatever they wish to do. The Captain and the officers even refused to be questioned by New Zealand authorities after the destruction of the Ady Gil and never had to answer for that crime, protected by the Japanese government from investigation and charges.
The Shonan Maru No. 2 has been the security vessel for the illegal activities of the Japanese whaling fleet. The Japanese whaling fleet was found to be guilty of illegal whaling under the guise of “scientific research” by the International Court of Justice earlier this year.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation ships have had numerous confrontations with this pirate whaler in the Southern Ocean off the coast of Antarctic and within the territorial waters of Australia over the last 8 years.
Apparently the Shonan Maru No. 2 was looking for whales in Russian waters. Hopefully the Russians will detain the ship to prevent it returning to the Southern Ocean in December 2014 but if not they have set a precedent and both New Zealand and Australia can and should arrest the ship if it returns with the rest of the whaling fleet in violation of the verdict of the International Court of Justice to resume their illegal whaling activities in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
Russia which was once also a notorious whaling nation, appears to not take to kindly to a Japanese whaling vessel prowling their seas for whales.