Sea Shepherd’s latest brazen act of piracy involved the illegal boarding of a Japanese whaling vessel, with the captain being presented with an order to surrender to Sea Shepherd to face trial for attempted murder and to pay the group millions in restitution for supposedly sinking the Ady Gil.


The former skipper of the Ady Gil apparently approached the whalers on a jet-ski, hacked his way through safety netting and then clambered aboard the ship, intent on presenting the ship’s captain with a $3,000,000 bill for sinking his last ship, and demanding that the ship surrender to Sea Shepherd to face impartial Australian justice for the attempted murder of 6 Sea Shepherd pirates.

The Japanese ignored these theatrics and detained the intruder.

The boring Japanese version of events:

The Captain of the Shonan Maru No.2, a vessel in the Japanese Antarctic Research Program (JARPA II), gave notice today to the skipper of the former Ady Gil, Mr Peter Bethune, a New Zealand national, that in line with the Japanese Mariners Act he was taking necessary measures and restrained Mr Bethune.

Mr Bethune illegally boarded the Shonan Maru No.2 at 09:00 JST February 15 after using a knife to cut the vessel’s protection net. At that time, Mr Bethune cut his left thumb and has since received medical treatment from the Japanese crew. The Ady Gil skipper told the crew that, after boarding the Shonan Maru No.2, he had thrown the knife into the sea.

Mr Bethune is being held in custody on board the Shonan Maru No. 2. Besides the protective net tearing there is no damage to the Japanese vessel nor are there any injuries to the crew.

Doubtless Sea Shepherd’s version will include the hapless skipper being plucked from water by wicked whalers, injuring his thumb as he dodged a harpoon, only to be captured and forced to eat mercury laced whale meat by a gloating Japanese captain.

The ICR states in its Japanese press releases that it “cannot deny that we or another government agency may undertake legal measures in response to this illegal boarding of a Japanese ship,” however its English press release states only that the intruder is “in custody” aboard the vessel.

The Japanese foreign ministry issued the usual spineless platitudes, saying the incident was “regrettable”:

“We yet have not clarified his intention. Once we confirm the fact and nationality of the ship he belongs to, we would post strong protest and urge them to take an appropriate action.”

In previous incidents intruders were simply handed back to Sea Shepherd to continue raiding, so it seems they simply intend to ask Sea Shepherd to “take action” against one of their own.

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    Comment by Anonymous
    02:39 17/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I saw the video, they definitely wrecked his boat intentionally. They turned well out of their way to ram into it. If they wrecked my boat I'd want them to pay for it too.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:46 17/02/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    If you mean the captain of the Ady Gil wrecked his boat intentionally, then I agree with you. Google "ady gil video destroyed" its a nice video taken from the SS's "BoB Barker".

    Imo, there is no way though that it proves deliberate action by either vessel, yes the whaler was turning towards them, but its on the smaller vessel to keep out of their way. The fact that no attempt at avoidance was made suggests both sides are guilty.

    2x540hp in a boat of that type says they had more than enough accelation potential to outmanuver any attempts at ramming by the whalling vessel. The fact they lost it just makes them incompetent, it doesn't make the whalers "more guilty" than they are.

    Comments posted above are my opinion and are far from an expert view, I do have reasonable experience piloting a few smaller ocean going vessels, so I'd at least like to think I have a fair idea of whats happening.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:45 17/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Fwiw, the Maru's actually got less engine power than the SS (1x1000hp Diesel engine), and weighs 500 tonnes unladen.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:52 17/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    to add to this, SS weren't releasing videos of the incident en mass like the japanese were directly following said incidence

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:33 17/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    There suposed intentions are good, bu this is just more proof that they are a bunch of idiots in their execution of trying to sort whaling problems out.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:49 17/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    they should go stop whaling in Somalia.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:09 17/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Again a counter argument to the original article with respect to the whole illegal entry aspect.

    "However, Donald Rothwell, a professor of international and maritime law at the Australian National University, said Bethune's boarding was not illegal under international law, unless he planned to do harm to the crew or imperil the safety of the Shonan Maru 2. Merely making a demand or presenting a letter and a bill did not constitute terrorism or piracy."


    Comment by Anonymous
    14:14 20/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Cutting their safety netting would be endangering the crew of the ship.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:37 17/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    not illegal?

    you cut people safety net and boarded their ship them without autorisation is not illegal? Impersonating autority of australian and serving them a order is not illegal?

    What the different with breaking down others door to enter people house.

    and do that Professor, does he even know what does safety nets do? breaking people safety nets to what? endanger their safety.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:23 17/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    making an example of him is what should be done i would just strap him to the front of the boat for all to see this is going to get out of had if nothing is done about those mercs(because that is the only reason they are there).

    Avatar of Ota-Kool
    Comment by Ota-Kool
    04:23 17/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think his finger(left thumb)might be inside the Tuna thinking its a worm

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:24 17/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    LOL - LEGAL actions

    #1) the minke whale is NOT endangered and legal to fish and Study. for Science. And Tastebuds.

    #2) Purposfully interfferring with a business like a store is illegal. You can't throw stink bombs into a Walmart because you Hate Walmart and want to stop people from shopping where they CHOOSE.

    #3) cutting the protective net is unwonton destruction of private property. Tresspassing is also a crime. As is attacking with CHEMICAL WEAPONS deemed illegal by the Treaty of Versaille, France.

    #4) the Douchebag law - GTFO my SHIP *kick into ice water - and tell his Whale Fucker friends - "OH he lost his grip and fell overboard. Gomennasai, Sayonara, Sayonara ^_^

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:49 17/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The Sea Shepherds had better knock off the escalation. At some point, someone is going to be killed because of their antics, and if the SS are unlucky and the victim is Japanese, there will be harsh measures imposed against the group. Any SS casualties will just show the dangers of attempting to invade private property.

    Also, trying board a ship that does not want to be boarded is best done with helicopters, MP5 submachineguns, tactical armor, and a destroyer on standby. If the Japanese had been serious, they could have use water hoses to flush the miscreants from their deck, as well as having bringing out various tools used in the engine room (As well as the actually whaling.) to stop them cold.

    I predict the Sea Shepherds - who are stupid enough to try to get oil tankers and liquidified natural gas carriers (i.e. floating bombs.) to beach themselves around ports, will eventually and mistakenly mess with a French vessel, at which time the Japanese can let the French take care of business.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:57 17/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    What will the French do? Surrender to the Sea Shepherd pirates?

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:49 17/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Let the FRENCH take care of it??? Are you flipping kidding me??? Since when have the French taken care of ANYTHING but a bottle of wine! They depend on the US to take care of their dirty business! If it wasn't for the US, the French would be speaking German now.
    Grow a brain and use it for something besides a hat rack!
    God Bless The Sea Shepards for doing something to stop an attrocity!

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:59 16/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Who are the morons giving Sea Shepherd money to continue these dangerous stunts? They aren't really saving whales. They are just a bunch of attention whores out to get money, so they can buy some multi-million dollar speedboat to get rammed by a slow ass fishing vessel. There are 5 ships in the whale fishing fleet and all Sea Shepherd had done is harass just one bloody ship.

    Even Equality Now got much better results kicking the balls of eroge game companies without throwing away multi-million dollar equipment. Goes to show women are the ones with brains.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:50 16/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Protesting the seal hunt is so profitable that Sea Shepherd can finance a year's worth of antics in the Pacific plus being a general nuisance around the world.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:54 16/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    And yet Japan continues to hunt whales illegally in Australian waters and against the wishes of the IWC….how can you be concerned with a man boarding a ship when you country continues to undertake illegal activities.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:45 16/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    As people have said, the boundary for territorial waters is shady at best. The only people I have heard claim the whalers are actually fishing in Australian waters, not just passing through is Sea Shepherd.

    I have no proof of this, so your just gonna have to take my word (if someone finds the media report, please post it): A while ago the Australian navy was "convinced" (read activist/media influence) into scouting out the whalers for suspected illegal fishing in our waters. After a number of survailence flights over a fair period their report found no evidence that the vessel had been conducting any sort of fishing activity in our territorial waters, all whaling was carried out in international waters.

    The reason they found nothing might be that the whalers knew and purposefully didn't fish for a while, but both sides have accused each other of chartering tourist flights to keep an eye on each other's ships, so i doubt the occasional flyby would cause too much suspicion. Besides, you'd expect the navy to be capable of at least a base level of subtlty

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:15 17/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, that must be it. The whaling fleet is so clever that they'll know when the Australian navy will come checking. It's like, they're psychic, man.

    There's no way the whaling fleet could actually be innocent of illegal fishing. Even if nothing is found or proven, the whaling fleet is still guilty, because they are evil men killing whales!

    Now I know why Australia is run by retards.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:28 13/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    holy FUCK what a bunch of sensationalist bullshit in this entire thread. The bottom line is that they are killing whales ILLEGALLY, I cant believe how many of you are supporting this.

    Fuck them! the SSC are heroes and this thread (along with the story) are making them out to be some kind of crazy terrorists.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:09 17/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm guessing your not an Aussie, there was an absolute media storm before and during the operation (going off the dates posted on the SS site). The point is, there is a very small chance the whalers didn't know about it while it was happening... In case the point was a tad too complex for you, I was making points from bother sides of the arguement.

    I never said they're completely innocent, i'm just saying there has been no proof that they're illegally fishing on a large sca...

    Wait a sec: "because they are evil men killing whales"... *facepalm*
    Thankyou for discrediting everything you said for me with your blatant generalisation.

    As for Australia being run by retards, i couldnt agree more, just in the future don't make the mistake of thinking those running this country represent the majority of people living in it. There's a reason we hide them away in Canbera.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:01 16/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Quick, just decalre war or something, I want to watch some Gundam action!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:34 16/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    It wasn't attempted murder, they're pirates after all. It's allowed to kill pirates.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:47 16/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    They should just hire Somali pirates

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    23:19 16/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Lol Dante, go back to DMC.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:03 16/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hahaha if this thing keeps on going I can see an anime coming up

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:08 16/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Where is Captain Planet?

    Avatar of Ben
    Comment by Ben
    04:01 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    *raises ring* EARTH!

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:04 17/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    You can't win hearts by fighting stupid.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:25 08/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Japan over-fishes and over-whales. Maybe they should take a hint. You may think this guy's a nut case, but I respect him. He's trying to make a difference. I don't see Japan taking any definitive measures towards limiting the fishing and whaling quotas.

    One way or another, this is going to escalate. If six people have already died because of this, things need to be settled at the table post-haste.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:42 17/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    All I can say is the illegal Japanese Whaling fleet better pray I never win the lottery.....I'll buy the Sea Shepherds a nuclear destroyer! Two if I can afford it!!
    By the way, to say the Sea Shepherds are racist is just plain stupid! They don't care what country you come from as long as you leave the whales alone. If they are biased against anyone it's stupid people that can't see the simple value of a life....that, incidentally, has a brain the size of a Volkswagon! Wake up people!!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:47 08/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    You know that hunting wales in OUR seas is ilegal (and so that wales are in extinction) so Shepherd's team should blow the shit out of those japanese whales killers boat.

    Avatar of 国之常 さくら
    Comment by 国之常 さくら
    16:21 24/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:42 02/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yep And the whalers are just Doing it for Reserch Ya Right!

    Go Sea Shepherd!

    Lucky Whalers They get to use Real Ammo were the Shepherd crew uses only NON-Lethal stuff I Think the Sea Shepherd Crew should buy themselfs some Paitball Guns and use the pepper balls on them wankers.

    Avatar of 国之常 さくら
    Comment by 国之常 さくら
    10:42 07/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:22 25/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Whaling is ok with me, as long as Japanese people are doing it. Or French. Or Russian.
    Because I think those are cool people.
    And I don't really like whales anyway.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:50 12/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I wish I could aid the Japanese by hunting these terrorists in a U-boat

    Avatar of Ben
    Comment by Ben
    03:41 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    ... Okay, the Japanese have become pussies since they started relying on US military, these guys need their army back.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:23 23/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Whatever the theories or opinion someone may have... we should go back to the original problem. Peter Bethune illegally boarded another countries vessel. That is considered PIRACY. When he goes to trial, he will be charged for it. His reasons because of his protest on commercial whaling is 'moot'.

    Other countries ships would have shot him for piracy and legally it is their right. Imagine you are on you own ship and someone does not agree with your opinions and in the middle of the night they came on board to confront you?

    They claim themselves to be vigilantes, let them be treated the same way!

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:57 17/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'd really like to see what would happen if they tried some of that stuff off of the Somalian Coast......

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:38 16/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I bet if kraken was released, the japanese whalers would just fish it out and eat it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:07 17/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The Faeroese islanders take more whales each year than the Japanese, and and make no bones about the fact that they do it to eat them. The Chinese take almost as many. The reason the Sea Sheep don't go after those people is because they'd get their asses shot off. The Japanese are an easy target, unfortunately, because they won't open up on them with a .50cal, which is sure as hell what I'd do if someone was fucking with my ship in the most dangerous ocean in the world.
    Whales like the Minke are not even remotely endangered. The only reason people snivel about them is because they are "charismatic megafauna." However, even 100 years after major whaling stopped, we probably need to be cautious with the larger species like the bowhead, sperm, right, and blue.
    (I had whale meat in Japan a few years ago. It was delicious.)

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:14 08/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hair loss, tooth loss since then?

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:57 17/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    exactly - ths is the same reason Equality now will protect 2d girl's rights but forget there are attrocities like honor killings of unvirgin islam girls or general sexism in half the world. Cause if they went to Iran and mouthed off they would be arrested and stoned to death.

    same here - the japanese wont shoot back. I like the "Kick him in the water" idea - his friends weren't around to save him he was on a jetski so yeah. Freezing in water would be a "GREAT idea"

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:41 18/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    What is with the corporate mouthpiece stance Sankaku takes on these stories?

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:22 18/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I come here expecting news, not to have your opinion forced down my throat. If you're going to provide news coverage, I expect news, not a pedestal for you to ramble your biased opinions.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:12 17/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    the fish are just for their excuse, I bet they eat fish, and love it soo much too.

    Avatar of Adiroth
    Comment by Adiroth
    18:31 17/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yo, buddy.

    #1) the minke whale is NOT endangered and legal to fish and Study. for Science. And Tastebuds.

    I am not defending the Kiwi who purposely let himself get caught to launch the drama into the international court theatre. I mah let you finish, but I have to correct some stuff here.

    While Minke whales are not endangered, they are not legal to be fished commercially. The 1982 IWC moratorium banned commercial whaling from 1986 onwards and the ban have not been lifted since.

    The Japanese government could withdraw from the IWC, thus not subjecting themselves from the ban, but they choose not to. Instead, they let the whaling companies whale under the pretense of conducting scientific research.

    The scientific research is a sham, scientists everywhere have denouced it and criticized it for failing to meet the minimum standards for credible science.

    Also, if you like Japan and the Japanese people, you should not encourage whaling and especially the consumption of whale meat because the meat contains dangerously high level of mercury. They've tried to sell the meat in schools too, so if you love your lolis, then you should protect them.

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