Anti-Whaling Protesters Claim They Were Attacked
The anti-whaling protest group Seas Shepherd claimed Friday its ship was fired on in a clash with the Japanese harpoon fleet in Antarctica. Captain Paul Watson said he felt a thud and discovered a bullet lodged in the bulletproof vest he was wearing.
Protest vessels have dogged the Nisshin Maru since December, when Japan began its annual hunt for whales in the Southern Ocean.
Japan intends to kill almost 1,000 whales this hunting season under the guise of a research programme. The meat ends up in supermarkets.
Australia and New Zealand have led international protests against the killing of whales, but have tried to avoid confrontation.
Sea Shepherd, in contrast, has said it will stop at nothing to disrupt the hunt.
In January two Sea Shepherd activists boarded a Japanese harpoon ship and were taken hostage. Australia eventually brokered their release.