In Hobart harbour, Australia the anti-whaling ship the Sea Shepherd returned to port after three months at sea, the end of the summer campaign against the Japanese whaling fleet.
The ship had just docked when police boarded the vessel following offical complaints by the Japanese.
The Captain of the ship, Paul Watson was released He reported the Australian police had a warrant to seize equipment. Their actions incensed campaigners.
“This spineless Rudd government and spineless Minister for the Environment, Peter Garrett, and spineless police authorities have sent the federal police in to do a job I have no doubt they don’t want to do, which is to search this ship with a view to prosecuting claims from Tokyo. And I ask you, wouldn’t it be logical that it is the Australian police waiting on the wharfs in Tokyo for the real criminals who are the what killers?,” protested Bob Brown, Australian Greens Leader.
Clashes at sea are a regular tactic by anti-whalers. On the political front there is strong opposition to the annual cull. Japan, Norway and Iceland are the only countries that now hunt whales and despite today’s action the Australian Prime Minister has reiterated his government’s stance to prosecute Japan in an international court if they refuse to end whaling.