Senator Brown also said it was outrageous that American naval intelligence was monitoring the actions of Greenpeace and its fellow organisation Sea Shepherd in the Southern Ocean by satellite, in an apparent attempt to determine if the environmentalists were committing acts of piracy against the whaling fleet.

http://www.themercury.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,17750420%255E3462,00.html

Protest fails to halt carnage
By SUE NEALES
Chief reporter
January 7, 2006

THE whaling battle between six Japanese ships and two Greenpeace protest vessels in the icy waters of Australia's Antarctic Territory has resumed with more than six minke whales harpooned before lunch yesterday.

Greenpeace protesters in small fast "rubber duckies" dodged high-pressure water cannons to position themselves between the Japanese harpoon shooters and the pods of whales that are common in this part of the Southern Ocean.

The latest whale hunt came as the leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Bob Brown, called on Prime Minister John Howard to send Royal Australian Navy boats to the Antarctic to monitor the Japanese actions.

Senator Brown also said it was outrageous that American naval intelligence was monitoring the actions of Greenpeace and its fellow organisation Sea Shepherd in the Southern Ocean by satellite, in an apparent attempt to determine if the environmentalists were committing acts of piracy against the whaling fleet.

"It is the Japanese who are pirates down there; they are eco-criminals and what they are doing is illegal," said Senator Brown.

Senator Brown said the monitoring by the US Office of Naval Intelligence of Greenpeace's anti-whaling actions in the Southern Oceans was being seen by the Japanese as a sign the Americans were on their side.

"If that is the case, the American people need to be told," Senator Brown said.

"But I know thousands of American citizens who would be appalled to learn that US Government Navy facilities were being dragooned into protecting the Japanese whaling fleet."

Senator Brown said the Japanese whale hunt was based on the lie of scientific investigations when clearly it was for commercial reasons.

The Japanese whaling mission in the Antarctic is conducted under the auspices of its own Institute for Cetacean Research, which authorises its self-imposed "quota" of 935 minke and 10 fin whales killed for 2006 in the name of whale population research.

The Japanese whale hunt has been condemned by Australia and most other nations, who do not recognise Japan's right to kill whales that are protected all around the world.

In Japan, whale meat is regarded as a delicacy and fetches extremely high prices at its top restaurants.

"Thank God for Greenpeace and its people who are acting as the police on behalf of the citizens of the planet down there in the Antarctic when it should be the Australian Government that is keeping watch," Senator Brown said.

Senator Brown fears that aggression by the Japanese is increasing as its fleet only has until late March to catch its quota of whales and has been delayed for two weeks from any killing by bad weather and Greenpeace protesters.

Greenpeace expedition leader in the Antarctic, Shane Rattenbury, said by satellite phone that his group's efforts to prevent and delay whale killing were inherently risky just by the nature of the high-powered harpoons being shot and the icy waters.

He said Greenpeace had used several tactics yesterday to stop whales being killed by the three catcher vessels in the Japanese fleet, and to prevent dead whales being transferred to the Nisshan Maru factory ship for processing.