This story keeps popping up in the news, and the longer this goes unconfronted, the more I worry about the growth of similar tactics against hunters.
Regardless of how one feels about whaling, the Japanese are conducting a legal activity sanctioned by international law. At one time these "activists" would just buzz around ships to annoy and harrass them. Now they're painting their vessels black, colliding with whalers, hitting them with water cannons, etc. They have celebrity sponsors and are becoming increasingly aggressive. At what point will their sliding scale of morality lead them to believe they're justified to disable whaling vessels by trying to tangle their propellers or damage rudders? Is it a stretch to envision them deciding that their cause justifies sinking whalers? These are Antarctic waters where survival in the water would be measured in minutes. It's only a matter of time before they get somebody killed.
But what really concerns me is what this says about the people supporting them. Animal rightists like Bob Barker are increasingly willing to come out in the open and condone acts of violence or terrorism to pursue their agendas. As the country seems to swing back toward conservatism, I have to wonder what they'll resort to out of frustration.