The Japanese whaling fleet continues its activities in the Antartic in a supposed effort to round up whales for “scientific purposes.” Anti-whaling activists continue to shadow the fleet and engage in activities in order to try halting further slaughter of whales. In the latest episode, anti-whaling activists threw rotten butter and bottles containing an unidentified liquid at a Japanese whaling vessel. They threw bags of white powder at the Nisshin Maru which asked Japanese Coast Guard escorts on board to respond. At this point accounts of what transpired differ. The Japanese claim they fired sound-emitting “warning balls” back at the anti-whaling group, but Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd, claims they fired bullets. he insists he felt an impact in his chest when a bullet allegedly hit his bullet proof vest.
Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith issues two statements. His initial comment said he was informed by the Japanese government that warning shots had been fired, but the second Japanese statement merely said “warning balls” had been fired. His government would like all parties to desist but as long as Japan sends whaling vessels to kill whales, there will be protests.