EDIT: Since this report was written, there are new reports that the Sea Shepherd boat has in fact sunk. These reports are as yet uncomfirmed, and if they turn out to be true they still come two days after the ABC reported unconfirmed facts as if they were confirmed, and after Sea Shepherd attempted to salvage the still-afloat boat.
Yesterday, the Australian ABC reported that the Sea Shepherd boat Adi Gil was “sunk” by a Japanese whaling vessel.
The headline of the story reads “Whalers sink Sea Shepherd boat”, and a caption of a file picture of the Adi Gil in the story reads “The Ady Gil was at a standstill in Australian waters when the Japanese whaling ship rammed into it”.
The article contains five quotes or assertions attributed to Sea Shepherd, including this statement from Sea Shepherd spokesman Chris Aultman:
“The vessel was dead in the water. It was completely and absolutely a wilful act,” he said.
and one statement from the Japanese Fisheries Agency. The article contains not a single word of the statement made by the Institute of Cetacean Research (pdf file), a pro-whaling organisation, which claims that the Adi Gil attacked the Japanese whaling vessel the Nisshin Maru for two hours today:
In a manner similar to their 23 December attack on the Shonan Maru No. 2, at about 0300JST [Japanese Standard Time, 2 hours behind Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time and 9 hours ahead of Universal Time] the Ady Gil came to collision distance directly in front of the Nisshin Maru bow repeatedly deploying and towing a rope from its stern with the intent to entangle the Japanese vessel’s rudder and propeller. Further, the activists onboard the Ady Gil recurrently shoot a green laser device aiming at the Nisshin Maru crew and fired butyric acid-containing ball-like projectiles with a launching device. One of these projectiles landed in the Nisshin Maru’s deck.
The Sea Shepherd statement says the alleged sinking took place at 64 degrees 3 minutes South and 143 degrees 9 Minutes East – click here for a Google Map.
This video, also released by the Institute for Cetacean Research, shows the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin colliding with a Japanese whaling vessel in February 2009:
It’s clear that the ABC has failed to report both sides of this story and is acting in this case as Sea Shepherd’s propaganda arm, rather than seeking out the statements presented in this post and giving people the information they need to start making their own conclusions.