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(From Guardian Unlimited)
Australia and New Zealand are to launch separate investigations into yesterday's collision between a Japanese whaling ship and a speedboat belonging to the marine conservation group Sea Shepherd.
The Australian government stopped short of sending a patrol ship to Antarctic waters a day after anti-whaling activists claimed their hi-tech boat, the Ady Gil , had been deliberately rammed by the Japanese patrol boat, the Shonan Maru No 2.
The incident, in which one activist suffered cracked ribs, marked a dramatic escalation in hostilities between whalers and campaigners.
Sea Shepherd's founder, Paul Watson , called on the Australian navy to protect the group's remaining ships, the Steve Irwin and a converted harpoon vessel, the Bob Barker.
"We now have a real whale war on our hands and we have no intention of retreating," he said.