Activists with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society led an attack on Japanese whalers on a mission in Antarctica, whaling authorities said Wednesday.
The Institute of Cetacean Research, which organizes the whaling program, says militant activists aboard the international organization’s “Gojira” speedboat threw glass bottles at the Yushin Maru-2 harpoon ship and threw ropes at its propeller, in the second clash between the two groups this week.
Two of the Sea Shepherd’s ships engaged in a similar confrontation against the Japanese whaling ship Yushin Maru-3 on New Year’s Day, AFP reports.
The Institute of Cetacean Research denounced the attacks, insisting on the legality of the whaling mission.
A loophole in the country’s 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling allows Japan to kill hundreds of whales each year for “lethal research,” AFP reports.
Environmental organizations and anti-whaling nations like Australia and New Zealand condemn the practice as cruel and unnecessary.