All photos © Adam Lau
Crew members brace themselves on the bow of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship, MV Steve Irwin, as it plunges through Antarctic swells. Adam Lau, a student from San Francisco State University, documented the ship and it’s crew as they pursued and clashed with Japanese whaling vessels. Such ships are accused of hunting commercially under the guise of “scientific research.” While Sea Shepherd claims to be non-violent, its aggressive tactics have provoked criticism from other groups, making it the black sheep of the conservation movement.
Lau’s series is included in the PDN Photo Annual 2010 online gallery. The MV Steve Irwin and it’s crew are also the subject of the Animal Planet series Whale Wars.
A message left on the the bridge rail by crew after a whale sighting off Antarctica’s coast.
The crew hurls bottles of butyric acid at the Yūshin Maru No. 1, a Japanese harpoon ship, during a clash in Antarctica’s Ross Sea. “Rotten butter bombs” were aimed at the whaling ship’s deck in the hope of making work on board difficult, and tainting meat to be sold at market.
Cook Laura Dakin, right, peers out the galley window as crew member Eric Cheng weathers a snowstorm outside after a failed mission to pursue Japanese harpoon ship, the Yūshin Maru No. 3.
The crew in an inflatable fast boat, armed with bottles of rotten butter, are doused by water cannons from Japanese harpoon ship, the Yūshin Maru No. 1.
Crew Warren Werrett and Laurens De Groot nap on ropes on the deck.