British man needed five stitches after whaling clash
Steven Roest, 42, was left bleeding when his rubber dinghy tried to prevent the Japanese from hauling on board a dead Minke whale.
Mr Roest, the Green Party parliamentary candidate for Twickenham, was taking part in a protest organised by Sea Shepherd, an anti-whale hunting environmental charity, to which actor Pierce Brosnan is a listed advisor.
People on the conservation ship, Steve Irwin – said they had been attacked by three Japanese whaling ships at the end of last week.
The clash happened in the Antarctic Ocean hundreds of miles from land in freezing sub zero temperatures.
The Japanese whalers had come prepared for trouble and beefed up their defences. Hironori Masuyama, the head of Japan’s Fisheries Agency whaling section, said the whalers were protecting themselves from attack by using equipment they carried on board after advice from Japanese coastguards.
But conservationists said when protesters launched two fast rubber dinghies to try to stop the whale hunt the fishermen launched an attack on them instead.
Glenn Inwood from Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research said he was not aware the vessels had struck each other, but the whalers had to be able to defend themselves. He said: “There is nothing about attacking here. It is all about defending the vessels against Sea Shepherd.”