“Conflict in the Antarctic over whaling is set to escalate, despite calls for calm after a Japanese ship tore the bow off a protest vessel yesterday. The hardline Sea Shepherd group said it had no intention of withdrawing from the southern waters after the loss of its $2 million ‘stealth boat', Ady Gil, which was hit by the Japanese Shonan Maru 2. Speaking before the crash, the acting Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, rebuked Japan over the revelation by the Herald that its whalers had organised spy flights from Australian airports to watch the Sea Shepherd ships. ‘I make it very clear on behalf of the Australian Government we do not condone this action by the Japanese Government,’s Gillard said. ‘We are urgently seeking legal advice about the matter to see what our options are.’ The Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, cautioned that the Government needed to get more information about the crash before commenting on its cause.”