Adam Meyerson, captain of the Sea Shepherd anti-whaling
vessel Sam Simon, waits as it refuelled in Dunedin
yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
An anti-whaling ship captain has called for New Zealand
naval vessels to police the escalating tension between Sea
Shepherd and the Japanese whaling fleet.
The Sea Shepherd vessel Sam Simon arrived in Dunedin
yesterday to refuel, as the whaling confrontation in the
Antarctic heats up.
That included claims and counterclaims of sabotage as vessels
from opposing sides clashed on Sunday.
Captain Adam Meyerson (50), of San Francisco, said it was
frustrating to miss the action in the Ross Sea, where the 56m
vessel and its crew plan to return this week.
He questioned why the offshore patrol vessel HMNZS
Otago had been in the area ''making sure people don't
take Patagonian toothfish out the water'', but ignoring the
slaughter of whales.
''People don't come to New Zealand to watch Patagonian
toothfish,'' he said.
''If there was someone watching what was going on, there
would not be this whole 'he said', `she said'. I would
absolutely welcome an impartial observation of us getting
Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully was travelling last
night and was unavailable to comment on a possible role for
the navy in the whaling wars.
In an earlier statement, he reiterated that ''the New Zealand
Government strongly opposes Japanese whaling in the Southern
''However, we also oppose any activities that put lives or
vessels at risk.
''We are deeply concerned by reports of a collision between a
protest vessel and a whaling vessel in the Southern Ocean.''
Both parties were asked to show restraint and respect for
human life, he said.
Last year, Mr Meyerson was behind the wheel when Sam
Simon was rammed by an oil tanker, and as a skipper he
acknowledged the difficult line between protest and obeying
''You have to stay within the rules. It is sort of like yacht
racing. You use the rules to your advantage. [The Japanese
whaling fleet] don't care about the rules and with good
reason ... they never get in trouble.''
''We don't want to hurt anyone ... our mentality is one of
Mr Meyerson, who was on his second trip to the Antarctic,
said it was his first visit to New Zealand and he had spotted
sperm whales off the coast of Dunedin.
However, his visit was brief as the vessel was scheduled to
depart at 7am.
Sam Simon, named after The Simpsons producer
who donated an undisclosed sum to Sea Shepherd in 2012, was a
former Japanese research ship used in the northern Pacific
With a crew of 29, it was the smallest and slowest of the
three Sea Shepherd vessels in the Antarctic.