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World Briefing / Antarctica

Activists' vessel, whalers' collide

February 06, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A ship carrying a group of radical anti-whaling activists collided with a Japanese whaling vessel in the Southern Ocean off Antarctica today in a clash Japan's Fisheries Agency called unforgivable. No one was injured.

Activist Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society said his ship was trying to prevent a Japanese ship from dragging a whale on board when another Japanese vessel shot in front of Watson's, causing a collision.

In a statement, the Institute of Cetacean Research -- the Japanese government-affiliated organization that oversees the hunt -- condemned the protesters' actions, characterizing the collision as a "deliberate ramming."

Japan plans to harvest up to 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales this season.

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