The Japanese Fisheries Agency has announced the suspension of their whaling activities in Southern ocean as the US-based anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd claimed two of its boats, the Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker, were attacked by a Japanese ship in Australian Antarctic waters. Reports say that the attacks occurred after the Sea Shepherds ordered the Japanese fleets to leave the area.
The Japanese coast guard is said to have attacked the activists in the ship as it went too close to the Japanese ship which had been refueling. But Japan denied these reports though they did confirm that one of their ships Nissin Maru damaged two boats belonging to Sea Shepherd.
Japan also claims that it conducts vital scientific research in the Antarctic Ocean. But detractors claim that it actually it conducts hunts for whales in the name of research because of the international ban on whaling.
Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research announced that it has stopped research for the time being because it is too difficult to refuel.
Sea Shepherd says it has successfully put a stop to Japanese whaling operations in the Southern Ocean by opposing the whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary for the past nine years.