Written By: - Date published: 11:55 am, February 4th, 2014 - 30 comments
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I blogged about this previously. Whaling is back in the news. The Japanese continue in the scientific research of the number of whales remaining by slaughtering them and offering them up as food. The Sea Shepherd is fighting the good fight or engaging in terrorist activities, depending on your world view.
Claims and counterclaims about sabotage and intentional damage have recently been raised by the parties. The Institute for Cetacean Research’s spokesperson Glenn Inwood has entered into the fray.
He is one of those really annoying PR types who maintain that his client is completely innocent and the other side is totally in the wrong. There are absolutely no shades of grey for Glenn.
Two days ago he was quoted as saying that Sea Shepherd has a history of making up stories and he very much doubts the veracity of the Sea Shepherd claims. At the time he had not heard from either of the Japanese ships. It is interesting that he should accuse an organisation of lying when he did not have any information to base this on.
Inwood was interviewed yesterday morning on Radio New Zealand. He made some more startling claims.
He first said that everyone can be very clear that nothing said by the Bob Barker Skipper Peter Hammerstead was true. Wow nothing at all. That is some feat. Hammerstead had claimed that three Japanese harpoon vehicles had attacked its ships the Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker, dragged steel cables across the bow of the ships in an attempt to damage the propeller and/or rudder, turned water cannon on the ships and that the Yushan Maru had deliberately rammed the bow of the Bob Barker. And there was film showing Japanese boats towing metal cable and cutting in front of the Bob Barker so you would think that Inwood would have to concede that at least this claim was true.
Inwood claimed that the release of the unedited footage of the incident clearly demonstrates the falsehood of Sea Shepherd’s claim and that the Bob Barker clearly steered into the Yushin Maru. Well an expert has looked at it and said that the collision was probably unintentional. And when you look at both videos you do wonder about who steered into who.
Inwood also said that an examination by Maritime New Zealand clearly showed that four years ago another Sea Shepherd boat, the Ady Gil, steered itself into the path of the Japanese vessel. Well I call bullshit on this claim.
This is the map from the Maritime NZ Report on the sinking of Ady Gil.
The closer the dots, the slower the boat. The Ady Gil’s course is in green, the Shonan Maru’s course is in purple and the Sea Shepherd’s course is in red.
Inwood at the time said at the time that “The Shonan Maru steams to port to avoid a collision. I guess they, the Ady Gil, miscalculated.” Clearly he is wrong. The diagram clearly shows the Shonan Maru turning starboard and approaching an almost stationary Ady Gil at speed.
There is this comment in the body of the report:
93. The information available suggests that, when Shonan Maru No. 2 was approximately 130 metres away from Ady Gil, Shonan Maru No. 2 steered so as to alter her track line some 13o degrees starboard (that is, from about 350o(T) to 014o(T). This alteration of course by Shonan Maru No. 2 rendered a close quarters situation inevitable in the absence of either a further change of course by Shonan Maru No. 2 or a change of course by Ady Gil.
Get that Glenn? The report said that it was the alteration of course by the Shonan Maru No 2 that “rendered a close quarters situation inevitable” barring a change of course by either of the boats. If you want to see video of the collision it is here.
In the recent interview Inwood claimed that the trailing of the ropes is apparently to stop the Bob Barker from approaching it. He could not confirm the number of times that the Japanese ship passed in front of the Bob Barker. If the lines were merely defensive it makes you wonder why the Japanese ship had to sail past the Bob Barker at all. And if he did not know the number of times the Japanese ship passed in front of the Bob Barker you have to wonder at his claim that Hammerstead could not be believed when he said this was 41 times.
Finally when asked when the scientific research into whales would be finished Inwood said that it is a long term research project and there is not an end date.
When the final whale is killed I wonder if the Japanese will then agree that they have conducted enough research.