An illegal Japanese whaling ship and a boat owned by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an anti-whaling group, collided twice in Antarctic waters during clashes over a pod of whales, conservationists and Japanese officials said.
The Sea Shepherd vessel said it suffered a three-foot gash in its hull, while the Japanese boat issued a distress signal during the clash to seek help from another Japanese whaling ship in the area.
The Sea Shepher vessels, Robert Hunter and Farley Mowat, caught the Japanese whaling vessel Kaiko Maru bearing down on a pod of whales. The conservation vessels moved in and chased the whaler into the ice.
Japanese officials accused the anti-whaling group of attacking the whaling ship like pirates, however, the whaling ship was operating illegally in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary.
For up to date information on the battle against Japanese illegal whaling in the antarctic, go to the Sea Shepherd web site.
Southern Right Whale breaching