Whalers, activists clash again off Antarctica

SYDNEY  — Anti-whaling ship the Bob Barker and a Japaneseharpoon boat collided in icy Antarctic waters in the second major clashthis year in increasingly aggressive confrontations betweenconservationists and the whaling fleet.

No one was injured in the clash Saturday, which each side blamed on the other.

TheUS-based activist group Sea Shepherd, which sends vessels to confrontthe Japanese fleet each year, accused the Japanese ship of deliberatelyrammed the Bob Barker — named after the US game show host who donatedmillions of dollars for the anti-whaling group to buy it.

ButJapan's Fisheries Agency said the activist boat caused the collision bysuddenly approaching the harpoon vessel No. 3 Yushin Maru to throwbottles containing bad-smelling butyric acid at the Japanese ship.