[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
New demands to tow crippled whaler
New Zealand minister wants Japan to explain refusal to accept any help.
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2007 09:59 GMT
The Nisshin Maru is drifting closer to the Antarctic coast [EPA/Greenpeace]

New Zealand wants Japan to immediately move a whaling ship crippled by fire eight days ago before it drifts any closer to the Antarctic coast and sparks off an environmental disaster.
 
Chris Carter, New Zealand's conservation minister, said the ship was stationary in the water with "1,100 tonnes of toxic oil in it and we want it out of there".
Carter urged Japan to accept offers of help to tow the whaler out of the area before the weather deteriorates or the ship founders, but Japan seems determined to let the Nisshin Maru leave under its own steam.
 
The Japanese government should explain the delay in moving the stricken ship, he added.
Officials in New Zealand and environmentalists are concerned about the potential damage if the ship, the Nisshin Maru, spills oil or other toxic chemicals near Antarctica's largest penguin rookery.
 

"Everyone wants the Nisshin Maru moved as soon as possible … no-one more than Japan"

Glenn Inwood, Japan's Institute for Cetacean Research

The vessel, part of a Japanese whaling fleet, is adrift about 220 kilometers north of the pristine Antarctic coast.
 
Glenn Inwood, spokesman for Japan's Institute for Cetacean Research, responded to Carter's demands saying "everyone wants the Nisshin Maru moved as soon as possible … no-one more than Japan".
 
"The sooner they can get the girl [vessel] moving, the sooner they can leave that area of the Antarctic," he told reporters.
 
Inwood said the best thing to do for the safety of the crew was to get the ship seaworthy again.
 
He said the crew are checking the ship's radar, autopilot and rudder controls, and continuing to re-wire electrical circuitry damaged in the fire.
 
The main engine was re-started but had been turned off for the repairs, Inwood said.
 
However he said the whaler, which is currently lashed between two other vessels from the fleet, posed no immediate threat because the Ross Sea was still calm and the ship was not in any danger from moving ice.
Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.