U.S. Government Backing Pirate Whalers in Antarctica

According to the Japanese Institute for Cetacean Research (The bogus front company for Japanese commercial whaling), the United States government is providing logistical support for the criminal whaling operations being conducted by Japan in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary.

The link is:     http://www.icrwhale.org/eng/060105Release.pdf

And it reads:

Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace's movements are being monitored by the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence Civil Maritime Analysis Department's worldwide piracy report, which provides information on threat to and criminal action against merchant shipping worldwide. http://pollux.nss.nima.mil/onit/onit_j_main.html

The following was found on the NIMA site at http://www.nga.mil/MSISiteContent/StaticFiles/MISC/wwtts/wwtts_20070228100000.txt

After reviewing a list of pirate activities the reference is given to the confrontation with the Japanese in February 2007 as a threat to merchant shipping.

What this means is that the United States regards the so called research activities of the Japanese whaling fleet as "merchant shipping activity" and regards any interference with this activity as piracy.

So on one hand, the United States is condemning Japan 's illegal whaling activities and at the same time providing military monitoring of activist groups that are opposing this illegal activity.

From the NIMA files:

1. This message provides information on threats to, and criminal action against merchant shipping worldwide in the last 30 days.
2. Designation of a high threat area is based on an assessment of all source information relating to the existence of, or potential for piracy and other crime, terrorism, civil unrest or low intensity conflict. Every effort is made to ensure that incidents are not double-counted. In the event double counting is detected or an event is later learned not to be as initially reported, an explanation of the cancellation of the inaccurate report will be made in at least one message prior to dropping the erroneous report. Specific incidents will be reported for one month.
3. This week's highlights:
A. Tanker boarded, robbed 3 Feb, Lagos Roads, Nigeria ( Para 5.G.1.).
B. Gunmen kidnapped two Italians 25 Feb, near Port Harcourt , Nigeria ( Para 5.G.2.).
C. UN-chartered aid cargo ship hijacked 25 Feb, off the northeastern coast near Bargal , Somalia ( Para 5.H.1.).
D. Sri Lankan Navy destroys LTTE rebel boats, killing 15 27 Feb, evening timeframe 360km Northeast of the capital in the Pulmoddai area, Sri Lanka ( Para 5.H.9.).
E. Sri Lankan Navy destroys suspicious boat 28 Feb, 180nm off Dondra Point, Sri Lanka ( Para 5.G.10.).
F. US soldiers engaged gunmen attempting to smuggle weapons by boat, 23 Feb, Tigris River , Iraq ( Para 5.J.1.).
G. Tanker boarded 18 Feb, SM Balongan , Indonesia ( Para 5.K.1.).
1. Sea Shepherd vessel (ROBERT HUNTER) and Japanese whaling vessel (KAIKO MARU) collide 12 Feb, Ross Sea .
2. Whaling vessel (NISSHIN MARU) harassed by Sea Shepherd vessels (FARLEY MOWAT) and (ROBERT HUNTER) 09 Feb, Southern Ocean.
3. Bulk carrier (MACIEJ RATAJ) blocked by protesters from entering port of Amsterdam 31 Jan, Netherlands .

The week before NIMA posted the following:
(ROBERT HUNTER) and Japanese whaling vessel (KAIKO MARU) collide 12 Feb, Ross Sea . A Japanese fisheries spokesman reported the (KAIKO MARU)'s propeller was damaged and forced to send a distress signal. Thefounder of Sea Shepherd claimed the (ROBERT HUNTER) had been deliberately side-swiped by the Japanese vessel, leaving a gash in the hull in two places and damaging the ship beneath the water line. On 14 Feb,Sea Shepherd announced it was departing the area due to fuel constraints but would return to the Southern Ocean unless they are delayed in port by international registration requirements. On 15 Feb, the factory whaling vessel (NISSHIN MARU) reported a fire emergency due to an accident unrelated to protest activity. As of 16 Feb, the stricken vessel was latched to two other Japanese vessels while they clear out the smoke, look for a missing crewmember, and assess repair options (REUTERS, AP, Sea Shepherd News, RTTNews).
(NISSHIN MARU) harassed by Sea Shepherd vessels (FARLEY MOWAT) and (ROBERT HUNTER) 09 Feb, starting at 0530 local time approximately 100 NM ENE of Sturge Island , Southern Ocean. According to Sea Shepherd news releases, six liters of butyric acid was "successfully delivered" onto the flensing deck of the (NISSHIN MARU) and plates have been nailed over the vessel's scuppers with the use of Hilt nail guns. Japan expressed outrage, terming these activities as "piratical, terrorist acts". Two Japanese crewmen were reportedly injured, one when he was hit in the face by an empty container of acid, and the other when acid was squirted into one of his eyes. According to Sea Shepherd, two crewmembers from the (FARLEY MOWAT) went missing for eight hours after their Zodiac sustained damage when it struck the side the whaling vessel in heavy seas. After the (FARLEY MOWAT) issued an official maritime distress callfor the missing crewmembers, all vessels, including the whaling vessels, worked together to find the missing protesters. After finding the two crewmembers, the master of the (FARLEY MOWAT) thanked the whaling vessels for their assistance then declared they were recommencing their harassment efforts. In a 09 Feb news release,
Sea Shepherd reported they were pursuing the whaling fleet in position 66:46S-169:52E, 122 NM ENE of
Sturge Island and has requested the Greenpeace vessel (ESPERANZA), believed to be in the area, to join them in their harassment efforts (Sea Shepherd News, REUTERS, AFP).