Weekly Media FAQ

March 7, 2008

Whaling Issue: Sea Shepherd Protest

Q: What happened between Japan's Nisshin Maru (research vessel for Japan's whaling fleet) and the Sea Shepherd group?

A: No bullets were fired and no gunfire was exchanged. The Coast Guard officers on board the Nissin Maru lobbed seven sound balls towards the Sea Shepherd vessel. A sound ball is a bit bigger than a baseball and is thrown by hand.

The ball ruptures in mid-course, emitting a tremendous sound. Seven of these sound balls were thrown against the assaulting Sea Shepherd ship.

For about 80 minutes shortly after noon on Friday, March 7, Japan time, the Sea Shepherd vessel had staged four waves of assault against the Nisshin Maru by throwing bottles of butyric acid.

To deter the attack, the Nisshin Maru retaliated by using the sound balls. Consequently there was no harm done and no injury could have possibly been caused.

Q: Captain Paul Watson claims that he had been shot by the Japanese Coast Guard officers?

A: The Japanese Government unequivocally denies the accusations of Sea Shepherd Captain Paul Watson who claims he was shot by a Japanese Coast Guard (JCG) on board the Nisshin Maru.

At no time during all these, was there any possibility that a lethal form of firearm was used.

The claims by Paul Watson are absolutely false and are further proof of the tactics they are using to disrupt Japan's legal research activities.

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