From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]


Sea Shepherd News Releases   /   02/17/2007

How We Destroyed the Nisshin Maru

Conspiracy Theories on How Sea Shepherd Destroyed the Nisshin Maru

The Sea Shepherd crews did not cause the fire that destroyed the
mother ship of the Japanese whaling fleet. The last thing we would
have wanted to do was sink a floating factory full of oil and
chemicals in the pristine waters of the Antarctic ecosystem.

Yes, we intimidated them and harassed them and disrupted their whaling
activities, but we did not damage them. The whaler Kaiko Maru did ram
the Robert Hunter and did cause damage to the Sea Shepherd ship.

Sea Shepherd has never deployed a tactic that has had the potential to
cause injury or death to another human being and this campaign was no

Of course, it was just a matter of time before Sea Shepherd would be
blamed for the fire that destroyed the Nisshin Maru and put an end to
Japanese whaling operations in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary this

The Sea Shepherd ships were about 1,000 miles from the Japanese
whaling fleet when the fire erupted in the factory area of the Nisshin
Maru. Despite this there are already accusatory rumors that it was Sea
Shepherd activists who destroyed the ship.

It makes for good drama, but there is no truth to the rumors.

However, this has not stopped the conspiracy theorists from creating
the scenarios that demonstrate how Sea Shepherd attacked and destroyed
the Nisshin Maru.

Conspiracy Theory #1 – Sea Shepherd High Seas Ninjas

This was the theory actually voiced by a senior Australian policy
expert to someone who relayed the conversation to Sea Shepherd.

[ninja] According to this theory the Sea Shepherd flagship Farley
Mowat issued a maritime distress alert on February 9 to request
assistance to search for two missing crewmembers. The crewmembers were
not actually missing. They were in a small fast boat that crept up on
the Nisshin Maru in dense fog. They scaled the slipway onto the deck
of the factory ship. The deck was clear of Japanese crew due to the
tossing of stink and smoke bombs by an earlier attack by Sea Shepherd
crew. The crew were dressed in ninja black and made their way down an
air vent into the whale meat processing room below. There they place a
time delayed explosive device in a hidden place. The device could be
triggered by a sat-radio signal from Sea Shepherd when the Sea
Shepherd ships were well away from the area thus removing Sea Shepherd
as a suspect in the attacks.

Sea Shepherd Response: This theory gives Sea Shepherd more credit for
skill and technological inventiveness than we could possibly have.
This theory would have us believe that two of our crew entered the
compartment space of the ship after coming up the slipway and were not
detected by any of the 156 crewmembers onboard the Japanese ship. This
scenario would make for a good movie ending.

Conspiracy Theory #2 – Exploding Whale Theory

Founder and President of Sea Shepherd Captain Paul Watson was asked to
comment on this theory by a reporter.

In this theory, Sea Shepherd crew planted an explosive device in the
body of a dead whale. The whale was brought up onto the flensing deck
and cut into pieces to be sent below to the factory deck for
processing. The explosive devise was detonated in the factory deck
area by a timing or remote device which caused the fire.

Sea Shepherd Response: This tactic was actually utilized in the plot
of the fictional book Leviathan published by in the mid 1970’s. It is
dramatic. However, the Sea Shepherd crew did not encounter any dead
whales in which to place such a device.

Conspiracy Theory #3 -The Rotten Butter Sabotage

The Japanese public relations firm hired to depict anti-whalers as
terrorists has tried to exaggerate the stink bombs Sea Shepherd crew
tossed onto the deck of the Nisshin Maru. The Japanese always refer to
it as “acid” tossed on the deck. This conveys an image of sulphuric
acid eating its way through metal and thus the acid ate its way
through the steel deck and onto machinery thus starting the fire.

Sea Shepherd Response: The stink bombs were made from diluted butyric
acid which is, in fact, less acidic than citric acid. Butyric acid is
butter acid and has the smell of rancid butter. It does not eat
through metal. It just smells bad.

Conspiracy Theory #4 – God Did It

This theory has it that the destruction of the Nisshin Maru was caused
by an act of God. In other words, the fire was caused by bad karma.
This theory is backed up by evidence that it has happened before. In
1998, the Nisshin Maru suffered a fire on the way down to Antarctica
and was severely damaged. The ship may be prone to accidents, or God
just might possibly be a whale.

The Japanese public relations firms have been parroting the accusation
that Sea Shepherd is an eco-terrorist organization. The strategy is
that if they yell “terrorist” enough people will begin to believe it.

Terrorism is as Terrorism Does

Sea Shepherd was established in 1977, and in the entire time between
then and now has never injured or killed anyone. If Sea Shepherd was
in fact a terrorist organization there would have been plenty of
opportunities in the last few weeks to kill and injure whalers and to
destroy whaling ships. Strangely, Sea Shepherd crew did not injure or
kill anyone nor did they destroy any whaling ships. As a terrorist
organization, Sea Shepherd has been very inept in operation having not
committed a single terrorist act ever.

Yet, the Japanese whaling operations are targeting endangered species
in a whale sanctuary, and thus are terrorizing the whales and the
environment. The burning Nisshin Maru is now terrorizing the penguin’s
colonies with the threat of a major oil and chemical spill. The
whalers by their actions of killing and exploitation of a protected
ecosystem can be legitimately labeled as eco-terrorists.

In the world of propaganda and counter propaganda, otherwise known as
public relations, money talks and bullshit reigns supreme. Thus
corporations and governments that plunder and kill can label those who
protest killing and diminishment as “eco-terrorists.”

By this reasoning, tuna fleets engaged in wiping out an entire
species, like the bluefin tuna, defend their rapacity by labeling
their opposition “eco- terrorists” for calling for a boycott of tuna
fish sandwiches.

It is a strange Orwellian world we live in.

Boycott spikes whaling guns

14th February 2007

Japan has threatened to ignore international protocols and start
whaling commercially after an Australian-led group of nations
torpedoed a meeting aimed at ending the ban on hunting whales for

Fewer than half of the 72-member nations of the International Whaling
Commission accepted Japan’s invitation to discuss reforms to the
governing body, which meant Japan was denied the 75 per cent majority
needed to end the moratorium.

In response, Tokyo threatened to leave the commission and pursue its
own whaling activities outside international regulations, accusing
Australia of gagging debate by snubbing this week’s meeting in the
Japanese capital.

The conference came amid increasingly violent clashes in Antarctic
waters between anti-whaling activists and the Japanese whaling fleet.

The Japanese whaler Kaiko Maru and the Sea Shepherd Conservation
Society’s 1100-tonne Robert Hunter were damaged in a collision on
Monday. The anti-whalers vowed to give the factory ship Nisshin Maru a
“steel enema” by ramming it with the 657-tonne ship Farley Mowat.

In turn, Japan accused the activists of throwing shards of glass, acid
and rubbish at its ships and using ropes to jam propellers.

Yesterday, the Japanese fleet gave Sea Shepherd activists the slip in
windy, rough conditions in the Southern Ocean. But Sea Shepherd
founder and Farley Mowat captain Paul Watson said they were still
pursuing the whalers, who claim they target whales for science.

“The Japanese whalers are running at full speed to get away from the
Sea Shepherd ships and when they are running they are not killing
whales,” Capt. Watson said.

Five days of escalating violence, which nearly cost the lives of two
activists, came to a halt yesterday when New Zealand Conservation
Minister Chris Carter called on the conservationists to stop their
aggressive tactics, saying Auckland would pursue a diplomatic

“We will take Mr Carter at his word and in return we have given him
assurances that we will not damage the Japanese whalers this year,”
Capt. Watson said. “If Japan starts killing the highly endangered
humpback whales in December we will make an aggressive move again.”

Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research called Sea Shepherd “madmen”
and said their actions were far more dangerous than previous protests
in Antarctica.

“Sea Shepherd have very clearly violated international law,” spokesman
Glenn Inwood said. “They are pirate vessels, they are not flagged to
any nation in the world and how they are conducting themselves in the
Antarctic is a threat, not only to maritime safety but it’s a threat
to people’s lives.”

Japan’s deputy whaling commissioner Joji Morishita said this week’s
meeting was designed to encourage debate about the IWC’s future.

“Everyone at the IWC knows there are serious problems with the
organisation, but to ignore those problems and refuse good faith
dialogue is not the answer,” he said.

Australian Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he boycotted the
Tokyo meeting to ensure Japan’s whaling plans did not gain currency.

“Australia remains implacably opposed to a resumption of commercial
whaling and we will do all we can to ensure Japan does not get the
necessary three-quarter majority vote at the IWC to lift the
moratorium,” he said.