January 9th, 2012
12:55 AM ET

Japan holds 3 Australian anti-whaling activists who boarded ship

Three Australian activists are being held aboard a Japanese ship Monday after illegally boarding the vessel to protest Japan's annual whale hunt in Antarctic waters.

The three men are not yet under arrest, but are being questioned by Japan's Coast Guard, a spokesman for Japan's Fisheries Agency said Monday, declining to be identified as is customary in Japan.

The Australian attorney-general, Nicola Roxon, said that her government was working to secure the release of the men, but that she believed they could face criminal charges in Japan.

Video footage released by the anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd shows the three men, from the environmental group Forest Rescue Australia, approaching the Japanese vessel on a small boat on Sunday.

The video shows their boat pull up next to Japan's Shonan Maru #2, a patrol vessel supporting Japan's whaling mission in the Antarctic waters. A voice from the small boat calls out, "Go, go, go!" as the men slip onto the Japanese ship. In the background, voices in Japanese scream in alarm, saying "They're boarding!"

Sea Shepherd described the three activists - Geoffrey Owen Tuxworth, 47, Simon Peterffy, 44, and Glen Pendlebury, 27 - as "prisoners." The organization said the men boarded the vessel to force Japan's fleet to stop hunting whales.

Japan annually hunts whales despite a worldwide moratorium, utilizing a loophole in the law that allows for killing the mammals for scientific research.

Each year, environmental groups like Sea Shepherd face off with Japan's hunters in a high seas drama that has led to collisions of ships, the detaining of activists and smoke bombs fired back and forth between the groups.

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Filed under: Japan • Whales • World
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. haveuforgotten

    We should change the law that allows them to hunt whales for scientific research. Seriously, what exactly are they researching? Its time to change so much in this world. One step at a time and we all can make a positive differnce.

    January 9, 2012 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
  2. Bob Barkers

    The Coast Guard needs to watch that stupid TV show and arrest those idiots. No matter how you feel about whaling, what these jerks do in their vain attempts to "end whaling" is nothing short of criminal. It's like the ocean ersion of a wealthy man driving around in a Toyota Prius smugmobile. (you know, the car that runs off of burning coal) But it all boils down to a rich mans simple excersize in vanity. I'm surprised they haven't tried to spay and neuter those whales. What? Their ratings would go up if they did..

    January 9, 2012 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. Saoirse

    Good for them. Save the whales! They are not researching. I agree with haveuforgotten, the laws need to be amended to stop them from doing this.

    January 9, 2012 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. gung hoe

    The whalers are heathens its them and their brothers that are out to elimanate every fish in the sea!Go sea sheperd the keeper of the seas!

    January 9, 2012 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  5. gung hoe

    Hey bob barker how about we go deer huntin the same way they whale,it be a we bit cruel

    January 9, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  6. gung hoe

    @ jazzzy read the article. Im thinking your a troll

    January 9, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |