Japanese target Steve Irwin

Steve Irwin captain Paul Watson
Steve Irwin captain Paul Watson
THE Japanese have targeted the whale conservation vessel Steve Irwin with water cannons and demanded the vessel stop its 'aggressive action'.

 A statement from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society said the the Japanese harpoon vessel Shonan Maru No. 2 was engaging in some very bizarre activities while chasing the Steve Irwin.

"At 1300 Hours, the Japanese vessel moved in with water cannons blazing,'' captain Paul Watson said.

"As they came closer, they turned on their LRAD's and surprisingly they began to broadcast the following message over their loudspeaker: "Steve Irwin, cease your aggressive action. Stop your aggressive action. We have the authority to repel you."

This was followed by, "Warning, warning. This is Shonan Maru No. 2's Captain. Stop your destructive actions immediately or we will have to hold you to Federal law."

"It is ridiculous to accuse the Steve Irwin of attacking the Shonan Maru No. 2.

"The Japanese vessel is much faster. The crew of the Steve Irwin has been trying to get the Shonan Maru No. 2 off their trail for eleven days.

"The Shonan Maru No. 2 set off the collision alert system fourteen times as it chased and circled the Steve Irwin.

"The crew of the Steve Irwin managed to deploy a stern protection line. The Shonan Maru No. 2 ran over the 100-meter long line and snapped it and then backed off. Water cannons from both ships made the crew on both ships very wet but there were no direct hits causing any injuries.

After nearly two hours of harassment, the Shonan Maru No. 2 backed off. There was no visible indication that the vessel suffered prop damage.

Captain Watson said the Shonan Maru No. 2 gave false information to Australian authorities in Fremantle when they stopped in the Australian port for fuel and provisions.

 The Shonan Maru No. 2 reported they were not part the Japanese whaling fleet.

In fact, the Shonan Maru No. 2 is specifically permitted this year to engage in whaling activities and is currently assisting in protecting the main body of the whaling fleet.

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