BREAKING: Video of collision between Sea Shepherd’s Adi Gil and Japanese whaling boat

The Australian ABC has reported, as fact, allegations by the anti-whaling organisation Sea Shepherd that a Japanese whaling boat, the Shonan Maru 2, today deliberately sunk the Sea Shepherd vessel the Adi Gil.

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.

Links to the Institute of Cetacean Research’s videos and media releases about alleged attacks on it by Sea Shepherd vessels can be seen here.

A far more balanced report is on the SBS News website, although it still appears to report the sinking of the Adi Gil as fact without independent verification.

A statement on the Sea Shepherd website claims that the Japanese boat’s attack on them was unprovoked and captured on film. As of the time of writing no video substantiating this claim was present on the Sea Shepherd site’s main video page, or on the video page documenting their current operations against Japanese whaling vessels in 2009-10. Such video will be posted here or linked to if it is later posted on the Sea Shepherd site.

UPDATE: This video, provided by Sea Shepherd and shot from the Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker, shows the collision:


The next two videos were released by the Institute of Cetacean Research. The first video shows the Adi Gil trailing a rope:

The second video shows a collision between a whaling ship and the Adi Gil:

EDIT – You can read the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea here. The rules have come up in comments on this video. – END EDIT

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.

UPDATE: The Ambit Gambit blog also criticises the media coverage of the story, while anti-whaler Andrew Bartlett blogs about the history of Australian public and government attitudes towards whaling.


A screenshot of the ABC story, taken at 1747 hrs, Australian Eastern Standard Time on January 6 2010 can be seen here.

17 Responses to “BREAKING: Video of collision between Sea Shepherd’s Adi Gil and Japanese whaling boat”

  1. 1 Marsupilami62

    Watching the second video, one can see that the Ady Gil is stopped and still. It starts its engines only to avoid collision.

    For me the video shows that the Japanese boat deliberately headed towards Sea Shepherd’s boat. Exactly what has been told by the media…

    Let’s wait and see if Sea Shepherd posts a video of what happened

  2. 2 youngmarxist

    This video was only released (by the Japanese) AFTER the ABC reported the Sea Shepherd’s account as fact. It came online on the Japanese site while I was writing this story.

    Sea Shepherd have claimed that the alleged attack on their boat was unprovoked. However the other two videos show behaviour by Sea Shepherd boats which are at best reckless and possible provocative.

    In any case, why is the ABC so heavily biased towards Sea Shepherd? Why did they not publish the claims I’ve published here? They were easy enough to find – SBS managed to do it.

  3. 3 Sweetwater Tom

    I think ABC may not have been propagandizing, but just lazy. They reported their source without bothering to investigate.

  4. 4 informally yours

    Ordinarily one ought to look for the f***up, but unquestioningly green positive stories etc., are so relentless from the ABC that for myself I can no longer give the benefit of the doubt. Surely if human errors laziness etc., was the problem then standards may have somehow been kick started by now.

  5. 5 rowan

    I have too agree. The ABC is usually very good but the reporting on this was an absolute disgrace. It is geat to be reporting news as soon as possible on the web, but it needs to be qualified wherever necessary to ensure that people are aware that these are not necessarily confirmed, or are are only reports from one of the parties involved and will likely have bias.

    It will be interesting to see if media watch (another ABC program) will pick up on this at all.

  6. 6 whale wars?

    We would like to congratulate Sea Shepherd and Animal Planet on a fantastic staged event for television – perhaps one of the best staged disaster moments of 2010.

    As production people ourselves we know the hazards and very real dangers of staging live disasters for television. It’s a highly technical world only professionals can effectively operate in.

    Multi-million dollar staged disasters are often canceled at the last minute due to OSHA compliance or studio fears of death and dismemberment. Sea Shepherd on the other hand have found a way to circumvent all of the requirements for staged disaster television by only allowing all volunteer crews and staging the event against non paid, non union, Japanese whalers.

    By-passing all clean environmental requirements for television productions by producing this man made disaster in the Antarctic ocean was another master stroke. The clean up of several thousand gallons of bio diesel spilled by the Ady Gil and retrieval of the vessel from the sea floor would have cost Sea Shepherd and Whale Wars production millions if this disaster had been filmed in the USA.


    Managing to move Sea Shepherds $2 million dollar vessel Ady Gil into the path of Japanese whalers was a stroke of nautical timing by a seasoned captain who knew his vessel, and the direction wind, waves, and engines were carrying it. Catching the whole thing on video from the Bob Barker at just the right angle was pure reality television.

    We were doubly impressed with the witty and show branding quote from SSCS Paul Watson immediately after the stunt “Now we’re in a Real Whale War!” reminding the global audience that this is, after all, Must See TV!

    Sea Shepherd Conservation Society have proven to be much evolved from the earlier staged days of Paul Watson being shot by Japanese whalers. In terms of production quality and emotional leverage that staged event was not one of the top three of the 2007 reality television season.

    Kudos again to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Animal Planet for once again leading the way to a new decade of reality television. The disaster staging keeps getting better and better, and your circumvention of all production norms and safety regulations allows your organization to literally shoot for the moon.

    We’re looking forward to more man made disasters in the coming months!

  7. 7 pingpaul

    The shot from the whaler is pretty clear: the Ady Gil engaged its props and maneuvered into the path of the whaler. It appears that the long bow section was sacrificed without much danger to the Ady Gil crew. It broke off cleanly rather than being shreded. Most glass fiber boats shred at the point of impact.

  8. 8 Sweetwater Tom

    I believe the Ady Gil was made of carbon fiber. It is stronger and lighter than fiberglass but very brittle. That may be why it shattered.

    I am sure that the Ady Gil had several water-tight bulkheads for safety and strength. It may have broken at one of those reinforcement areas.

    I wonder if they (Sea Shepherd management and crew) discussed the possibility of sacrificing the Ady Gil in such a manner.

  9. 9 Rick in NH

    The Ady Gill only enganged its engines once the Whaling ship was dangerously close. There is no way that the Ady Gil or SSCS staged this event. Granted it makes for great TV. I hate reality shows that are so scripted and staged. It insults the educated viewers’ intelegence. The event could not have taken place without the Japanese ship turning into the Ady Gil. The part is clear from all of the videos.

    I am sure the Japanese captain and his crew where steaming and wanted nothing more but to disable the Ady Gil. This incident took place after many attempts by the Ady Gil to deliver a prop fouling line and bombarding them with butaric acid.

    The Whalers where #%$#ing mad and rammed the Ady Gil period.

  10. 10 TAMMY


  11. 11 Rob

    The idea that the Sea Shepherd Crew is liable for this crime is completely preposterous! The Ady Gil was the fastest boat in the Sea Shepherds Inventory, and while it makes great T.V. to see a collision, it would have made better T.V. to see the Ady Gil agitate the Japanese for multiple seasons. I do however blame the Captain of the Ady Gil as much as I blame the Japanese. Making someone mad then offering yourself on a silver plate is not very smart. The Ady Gil team should have been on high alert considering the number of Japanese boats in the water! If this is as smart as Paul Watson can find, the operation is a bust. Anyone else would have known better given the track record of the Japanese through out history! They often like taking advantage of situations that are dishonorable yet effective. – US Citizen

  12. 12 Ches

    Tho I dont think whaleing is a good thing ecoterrorism is what it is if you park a small boat in front od a large ship that you have been terrorising they will hit you Sea sheppard crew’s once again prove there lack of thought.
    way to polute in the name of saving whales.

  13. 13 robs

    the sea shepherds pumped out all the fluids form the ady gil they are not eco terrorist they are hero’s go sea shepherd

  14. 14 Ryker

    Whales are gay. Shut the fuck up about trying to save them.

  15. 15 Ryker

    Japanese FTW!

  16. 16 Colton (Makah tribal member)

    The Japanese did us a favor. fuck the whale huggers.

  17. 17 Joanny

    I <3 Whale jerky.

  1. 1 Sea Shepherd boat NOT sunk – ABC covers up its wrong report at STRANGE TIMES
  2. 2 Global Voices Online » Australia: Whaling War of Words
  3. 3 Australia: Whaling War of Words :: Elites TV
  4. 4 Global Voices in het Nederlands » Australië: Woordenwisseling over Walvisvaart

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