The Japanese government reported today that a Japanese whaling crew came under attack by a large group of Killer whales. The incident left 14 crew members dead and a further 16 crew members are in hospital in critical condition.
The ship involved is named the Nisshin Maru and its Japans largest factory whaling ship. A gas leak was detected on board the ship as a precaution all crew members gathered on the open deck.
A fire then broke out on the ship which caused a panic and many crew members jumped overboard. Fearful that the ships 1000 tons of fuel was about ignite, crew members put on their survival suits and jumped into the ocean. While crew members waited for lifeboats to be deployed, a large pod of Killer Whales moved in on the helpless sea men. The swimming crew members were then ferociously attacked the group of Orca’s, that decimated a large number of the crew within moments. “It was horrific” claims Asaka Kumasa, a mechanical engineer who witnessed the gruesome scene. “The water was red with blood, there were bodies everywhere” he recalls in tears.
Within 10 minutes, 12 crew members had disappeared into the ocean.
The incident happened in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, near the South Eastern Coast of South Africa. This is a controversial area to be whaling in, as a recent international court ruling has ordered the country to ends its whale hunt in the Antarctic.
“It seems Japan just doesn’t give a damn about international law” explains environmental activist and spokesman for Greenpeace Canada, John Paul Cafferty, based in Vancouver. “The waste of life is always a shame, but the whales are not to blame here, they were only doing what they are born to do: kill for food” he adds.
Some Greenpeace supporters have even celebrated the incident as a victory for the fight against whale hunting worldwide.
Japan has slaughtered over 60,000 whales since commercial whaling was made illegal by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) moratorium passed in 1986.