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Whale Wars - Bob Barker - Ady Gil - Jan 2010

A look inside the Ady Gil:

Captain Paul Watson

Bob Barker helps stop whaling with namesake ship
By SANDY COHEN AP Entertainment Writer

Five million dollars for an anti-whaling ship? Bob Barker says the price is right.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Five million dollars for an anti-whaling ship? Bob Barker says the price is right.

Barker donated that amount to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which named its new 1,200-ton anti-whaling ship The Bob Barker.

The ship had its first confrontation with whalers on Tuesday when it joined two other Sea Shepherd vessels aiming to stop a Japanese whaling mission near Antarctica.

"Whaling was shut down today," Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson said via satellite phone from aboard a nearby ship. "There's no whaling now and hopefully no whaling after this."

The Bob Barker is a high-speed former whaling ship that can cut through ice, Watson said, adding that the vessel "makes it a lot easier for us to shut down these whaling operations."

Sea Shepherd, which Watson describes as an "anti-poaching organization," aims to enforce the United Nations World Charter for Nature by physically intervening in illegal whaling missions.

"They're targeting endangered and protected whales," he said.

Barker, a longtime animal activist, stepped up his efforts even more after retiring from his 35-year gig hosting "The Price Is Right." He met Watson through a fellow animal activist and was instantly impressed.

"He said he thought he could put the Japanese whaling fleet out of business if he had $5 million," Barker recalled. "I said, 'I think you do have the skills to do that, and I have $5 million, so let's get it on,' so that's what we did."

Barker, 86, said he was "genuinely proud" to be associated with Sea Shepherd. And while the TV studio where "The Price Is Right" is filmed is officially called the Bob Barker Studio, the veteran broadcaster said he's never had a ship named after him.

"It was our idea to name it the Bob Barker. He's a little too humble for that," Watson said. "I thought it was the least we could do."


Another anti-whaling ship arrived in the Southern Ocean today, unexpected and right on time: the Bob Barker.

The 1,200-ton Norwegian built Antarctic harpoon vessel caught up with the Japanese whaling fleet at 0300 Hours on Wednesday, January 6th, in the area of Commonwealth Bay off the Adelie Coast at 143 Degrees 17 Minutes East and 66 Degrees 43 Minutes South. The Norwegian flag cracked in the chill Antarctic air as the silhouette of the whaler gave every indication that the ship was sent to support the Japanese whalers.

The Japanese could be forgiven for thinking that the pro-whaling Norwegians had sent a ship to support their illegal whaling activities in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. But any excitement turned to disappointment quickly as the Norwegian flag was hauled down and the black and white skull with crossed Trident and Shepherd�s crook was raised to announce the arrival of the Bob Barker, the latest ship acquired for the Sea Shepherd ocean defense fleet.

Thanks to a $5,000,000 contribution from American television personality and icon Bob Barker, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was able to quietly purchase and refit the former Norwegian whaler in Africa. The ice strengthened fast chaser boat quietly departed from Mauritius on December 18th to join up with the Sea Shepherd ships Steve Irwin and Ady Gil in the Southern Ocean.

Barker has also funded the cost of a helicopter that will accompany the society�s ships. The aircraft is named The Nancy Burnet after the president of United Activists for Animal Rights, an organization Barker also supports. This new helicopter will participate in future campaigns.

�I�m delighted to be able to help the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in its mission to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world�s oceans,� said Barker. �There is lot of talk about preserving our ecosystems and species, but this is one organization that puts these words into action.�

For the first time ever, Sea Shepherd has three ships on the Japanese fleet and each ship gives the campaign unique abilities. The long range fast ice class Bob Barker will take the lead in harassing the Japanese fleet and will be able to stay on station for three solid months without refueling. The Steve Irwin will be carrying the campaign helicopter and will coordinate all flight activities in addition to blocking loading operations on the Nisshin Maru, the factory ship. The Ady Gil, with twice the speed of the Japanese harpoon vessels, will concentrate on intercepting the fast chaser vessels to block their hunting activities.

The objective of the Sea Shepherd fleet is to sink the Japanese whaling fleet economically � to bankrupt the whaling industry by cutting whale kill quotas in half and costing the whaling fleet their annual profits.

This year�s campaign has been named Operation Waltzing Matilda to reflect the Sea Shepherd�s gratitude to the people of Australia for their incredible support since 2005 for our activities.

Thanks to the generous support of Bob Barker, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has been given the means to seriously impact the profits of the whaling industry this season. Now more than ever, we are confident that we will be able to drive the outlaw whalers from the waters of the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary.

The Japanese whalers are discovering that the price is no longer right. With Sea Shepherd cutting their kill quotas in half and canceling their profits for a fourth year in a row, the heavily subsidized whaling industry is on the ropes financially.

�We intend to bankrupt the whalers,� said Captain Paul Watson.

Take Action Today:

You can do your part to help Sea Shepherd defend the whales. Give generously to Sea Shepherd:

http://www.seasheph us/

You can also contact the Embassy of Japan and their New York City Consulate Office during business hours, ask them to stop their illegal whale hunting activities in the Southern Ocean:

Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki
Embassy of Japan in the USA
2520 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
Phone: or 6900
Fax: 202.328.2187
e-mail: jicc@embjapan. org

Ambassador Shinichi Nishimiya
Japanese Consulate General
299 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10171
Phone: 1.212.371.8222
Fax: 1.212. 371.1294
e-mail: inquiry@ny.cgj. org

If you do not live in the United States, go to the following link to find your closest Embassy or Consulate office:

http://www.embassyw embassy/Japan/ Japan.html

Breaking News:

Japanese Sink the SSCS Ady Gil
All Crew Members Safe

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Japanese ship sinks whale protest boat Ady Gil
Jan 06, 2010 4:15pm

Anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd's stealth boat Ady Gil has been cut in half by a Japanese security vessel in the Antarctic today, the group's leader Paul Watson said.
The high-tech stealth boat Ady Gil was cut in half and sunk by a Japanese security vessel in Antarctic waters today, dramatically upping the stakes in the annual struggle between whalers and protesters.
Sea Shepherd group leader Paul Watson told Fairfax Media the $1.5 million Ady Gil was sinking, but its six-man crew had been rescued and was uninjured.
Captain Watson said the Ady Gil was idling in waters near Commonwealth Bay,south of Hobart, when it was suddenly approached and rammed by the Japanese ship Shonan Maru, which has been detailed to provide security to the fleet.
Earlier today, the fleet was contacted for the first time by the Ady Gil and Sea Shepherd's "secret" third vessel, the Bob Barker.
Captain Watson, aboard the Steve Irwin, said he was still 500 nautical miles from the scene.
"This seriously escalates the whole situation," Captain Watson said of the collision.
Video footage released by the Institute of Cetacean Research shows the Ady Gil stalking the Japanese ship, towing ropes from its stern.
The ICR said the Ady Gil came "within collision distance" directly in front of the Nisshin Maru bow and repeatedly deployed a rope from its stern "to entangle the Japanese vessel's rudder and propeller".
The statement accused the activists of shining a laser device at the Nisshin Maru crew and launching acid-filled projectiles, one of which landed on the vessel's deck.
After broadcasting a warning message, the Nisshin Maru sprayed the Ady Gil with water cannons to prevent it from coming closer, the ICR said.
Captain Watson told Fairfax in November the Ady Gil would be used to intercept the whaling fleet's chaser boats.
"What I think we can do is latch onto at least one of the three harpoon vessels and keep them out of the picture," he said.
Looking more like Batman's spacecraft than a boat, the biodiesel-powered trimaran Ady Gil arrived at the Southern Ocean stand-off between Japanese whalers and activists yesterday.
It was reported this morning to be about 50 nautical miles away from the whaling fleet.
Japan's Fisheries Minister Hirotaka Akamatsu had earlier warned two security ships would be used to protect the whaling fleet, intervening when Sea Shepherd tried to block the transfer of harpooned whales to the factory ship Nisshin Maru.
Captain Watson this morning announced the existence of a secret third ship in the Sea Shepherd flotilla.
He said he was confident that with three ships, Sea Shepherd would be able to cause maximum disruption to the whaling, which has been underway for around a month.
Japanese whalers have stepped up security this year, sending spy flights from Australian airports to track protest ships.
The Hobart flights were paid for by Wellington-based Omeka Communications, air industry sources told Fairfax.
Omeka is a public relations firm retained by Japan's Institute of Cetacean Research. The Hobart flights carried Omeka's principal, Glenn Inwood, who is an institute spokesman, and another man, the sources said.
The operation started in December when the Steve Irwin left Fremantle to intercept the whaling fleet, which this year is targeting 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales.
WA pilots said surveillance flights continued out of Albany for somedays, costing a ''truckload'' of money. Two men aboard the flights toldlocals they were ''looking for people who were looking for whales''.
The Rudd Government has repeatedly called for caution by both sides in the wilds of the Antarctic.
"We have reminded the masters of protest vessels of their obligations under international law to take all steps to ensure safety of life at sea, particularly in the inhospitable conditions of the Southern Ocean," Environment Minister Peter Garrett said recently.
"We are also passing the same message to the government of Japan."
Top speed: 40 knots (74 kmh)Cruising speed: 20 knots (37 km/h)Range: Halfway around the world - 20,000 kmCost: Estimated $1 millionLength: 24 metresWeight: 16 tonnesConstruction: Carbon fibre foam sandwich with kevlar armour.
Article from: WA Today


You can do your part to help Sea Shepherd defend the whales. Now more than ever, give generously to Sea Shepherd:

Let's make sure the Japanese Embassy and their Consulate offices come in to voice mail and e-mail messages this morning. Contact the Embassy of Japan and their New York City Consulate Office asking them to stop attempting to kill whales and to stop trying to murder our activist friends:

Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki
Embassy of Japan in the USA
2520 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
Phone: or 6900
Fax: 202.328.2187

Ambassador Shinichi Nishimiya
Japanese Consulate General
299 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10171
Phone: 1.212.371.8222
Fax: 1.212. 371.1294

If you do not live in the United States, go to the following link to find your closest Embassy or Consulate office:

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, contact:

Famed Catamaran is sinking in the Southern Ocean

Six crewmembers Rescued by the Sea Shepherd Ship Bob Barker

In an unprovoked attack captured on film, the Japanese security ship Shonan Maru No. 2 deliberately rammed and caused catastrophic damage to the Sea Shepherd catamaran Ady Gil.

Six crew crewmembers, four from New Zealand, one from Australia, and one from the Netherlands were immediately rescued by the crew of the Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker. None of the crew Ady Gil crew were injured.

The Ady Gil is believed to be sinking and chances of salvage are very grim.

According to eyewitness Captain Chuck Swift on the Bob Barker, the attack happened while the vessels were dead in the water. The Shonan Maru No. 2 suddenly started up and deliberately rammed the Ady Gil ripping eight feet of the bow of the vessel completely off. According to Captain Swift, the vessel does not look like it will be saved.

�The Japanese whalers have now escalated this conflict very violently,� said Captain Paul Watson. �If they think that our remaining two ships will retreat from the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in the face of their extremism, they will be mistaken. We now have a real whale war on our hands now and we have no intention of retreating.�

Captain Paul Watson onboard the Steve Irwin is racing towards the area at 16 knots but still remains some five hundred miles to the north. The Bob Barker has temporarily stopped the pursuit of the Nisshin Maru to rescue the crew of the Ady Gil. The Japanese ships initially refused to acknowledge the May Day distress of the Ady Gil, but ultimately did acknowledge the call. Despite acknowledging the call, they did not offer to assist the Ady Gil or the Bob Barker in any way.

The incident took place at 64 Degrees and 03 Minutes South and 143 Degrees and 09 Minutes East

Until this morning the Japanese were completely unaware of the existence of the Bob Barker. This newest addition to the Sea Shepherd fleet left Mauritius off the coast of Africa on December 18th and was able to advance along the ice edge from the West as the Japanese were busy worrying about the advance of the Steve Irwin from the North.

�This is a substantial loss for our organization,� said Captain Watson. �The Ady Gil, the former Earthrace, represents a loss of almost two million dollars. However the loss of a single whale is of more importance to us and we will not lose the Ady Gil in vain. This blow simply strengthens our resolve, it does not weaken our spirit.�

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Boat damaged in anti-whaling clash in Antarctica

By ROHAN SULLIVAN, Associated Press Writer Rohan Sullivan, Associated Press Writer � 19 mins ago

SYDNEY � A conservation group's boat had its bow sheared off and was taking on water Wednesday after it was struck by a Japanese whaling ship in the frigid waters of Antarctica, the group said.

The boat's six crew members were safely transferred to another of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's vessels, the newly commissioned Bob Barker. The boat is named for the American game show host who donated $5 million to buy it.

The clash was the most serious in the past several years, during which the Sea Shepherd has sent vessels into far-southern waters to try to harass the Japanese fleet into ceasing its annual whale hunt.

Clashes using hand-thrown stink bombs, ropes meant to tangle propellers and high-tech sound equipment have been common in recent years, and crashes between ships have sometimes occurred.

The society said its vessel Ady Gil � a high-tech speedboat that resembles a stealth bomber � was hit by the Japanese ship the Shonan Maru near Commonwealth Bay and had about 10 feet (three meters) of its bow knocked off.

Locky Maclean, the first mate of the society's lead ship, said one crewman from New Zealand appeared to have suffered two cracked ribs, but the others were uninjured. The crew members were safely transferred to the group's third vessel, though the Ady Gil's captain remained on board to see what could be salvaged, he said.

"The original prognostic was that it was sinking, but at this point it is flooded with water but it seems to still have a bit of buoyancy," Maclean told The Associated Press by satellite phone from the ship, the Steve Irwin.

The group accused the Japanese ship of deliberately ramming the Ady Gil.

"They were stopped dead in the water when the incident occurred," Maclean said of the Ady Gil. "When they realized that the Shonan Maru was aiming right for them, they tried to go into reverse to get the bow out of the way but it was too late. The Shonan Maru made a course correction and plowed directly into the front end of the boat."

Glenn Inwood, a New Zealand-based spokesman for the Institute of Cetacean Research, the Japanese government-linked body that carries out the hunt, disputed Sea Shepherd's account, saying video shot from the whaler showed the conservationists' boat moving toward the whaler just before the collision.

"The Shonan Maru steams to port to avoid a collision. I guess they, the Ady Gil, miscalculated," Inwood told The Associated Press. "Sea Shepherd claims that the Shonan Maru has rammed the Ady Gil and cut it in half � its claim is just not vindicated by the video."

Japan's Fisheries Agency said it was still checking details about the clash. Spokesman Toshinori Uoya said there were no injuries on the Japanese side.

Sea Shepherd sends boats to Antarctic waters each southern summer to try to stop the Japanese whaling fleet from killing whales under what it calls a scientific whaling program. Conservationists and many countries say the program is a front for commercial whaling.

Each side routinely accuses the other of dangerous activity during what has become a cat-and-mouse chase in one of the world's most remote regions.

Australia and New Zealand � which both have Antarctic territories and are among the closest nations to the waters where the hunt goes on � have urged both sides to show restraint, warning that they are far away from rescue if anything goes wrong.

"Our strongest condemnation applies to any violent or dangerous activity that takes place in these remote and inhospitable waters," Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett said Wednesday. He said he could confirm the collision, but that details were still unclear.

Wednesday's confrontation with whalers marked the first for the 1,200-ton Bob Barker, which rescued the crew. Sea Shepherd only recently bought the ship after its namesake, the former host of the "The Price Is Right" game show and a longtime animal rights acitvist, donated the money. Barker met Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson through a fellow activist and said he was instantly impressed.

"He said he thought he could put the Japanese whaling fleet out of business if he had $5 million," Barker recalled. "I said, 'I think you do have the skills to do that, and I have $5 million, so let's get it on,' so that's what we did."

Barker, 86, said he was "genuinely proud" to be associated with Sea Shepherd.

The Ady Gil, meanwhile, clashed earlier Wednesday with another Japanese ship, the whaling fleet's mothership, the Nisshin Maru.

The Institute of Cetacean Research said the Ady Gil came "within collision distance" of the Nisshin Maru's bow and repeatedly dangled a rope in the water that could have entangled the ship's rudder and propeller.

The Ady Gil's crew lobbed small projectiles designed to release a foul smell, and the whalers responded by firing high-powered hoses to keep the Sea Shepherd vessels away, the institute said in a statement.

"The obstructionist activities of the Sea Shepherd threaten the lives and property of those involved in our research, are very dangerous and cannot be forgiven," it said.

Maclean confirmed the earlier clash.

Japan's whaling fleet left in November for its annual hunt in Antarctic waters. Uoya said that for security reasons, details of the fleet's composition, the number of whales it hopes to take and the number of crew members are not being released to the public.

The Ady Gil is a 78-foot (24-meter) black-painted trimaran made of carbon fiber and Kevlar in a design meant to pierce waves. It was built to challenge the record for the quickest circumnavigation of the globe and can travel faster than 46 mph (75 kph).

Sea Shepherd unveiled the Ady Gil last October saying a California millionaire with the same name had donated most of the money for it. At the time, the group said the boat would be used to intercept and physically block Japanese harpoon vessels.


Associated Press writers Eric Talmadge in Tokyo, Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia, and Ray Lilley in Wellington, New Zealand, contributed to this report.

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