Last year Greenpeace’s little ship
tug the Arctic Sunrise rammed the Nisshin Maru, the mother-ship for the Japanese whaling fleet in the Antarctic. Remember the photographs?
But this year, following a fire on the Nisshin Maru and the evacuation of most of its crew, Greenpeace is now offering help.
The Esperanza, another ship in the Greenpeace fleet, could tow the Nisshin Maru to New Zealand.
Greenpeace says the ship must be moved because it represents a threat to the environment, in particular 1.3 million litres of fuel could leak into the ocean if the ship flounders.
The Japanese have said there is no immediate threat, “Fears that this might turn into some environmental disaster are premature. The vessel is not drifting, it’s not listing and it’s not leaking. The Nisshin Maru is stable and the fire has been contained to one area well away from any fuel and oil storage.”
That the huge Japanese mother-ship, the Nisshin Maru, could be towed out of the Antarctic by arch enemy, Greenpeace, no doubt represents an ultimate embarrassment – a worst nightmare for the Japanese.