Skip to comments.AFP raids anti-whaling boats - for Japan
Posted on 03/06/2010 3:14:26 AM PST by myknowledge
The Australian Federal Police have raided two boats owned by the anti-whaling group the Sea Shepherd at the behest of Japanese authorities.
Both the Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker were raided by AFP officers as they docked in Hobart on Saturday.
Their arrival marked the end of their summer campaign, chasing and clashing with the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean.
The Steve Irwin arrived to Princes Wharf about 8.30am (AEDT) - engine problems had cut short this season's campaign.
It was greeted by a crowd of well wishers but federal police officers were also there - armed with a search warrant.
Sea Shepherd boss and the ship's captain Paul Watson was detained and his crew interviewed before they were released.
He said there is a possibility the raids could lead to a court case.
"They've already seized log books, videos, photographs, charts, GPS recordings and copies of the computer hard drives," Capt Watson told AAP.
"There's nothing I would love better than to have this whole thing blow up in an Australian court, let's clean all the laundry once and for all."
Sister vessel the Bob Barker arrived at Princes Wharf about 2.30pm and underwent a similar search.
"As a result of a formal referral from Japanese authorities the AFP can confirm it conducted a search warrant on board the Steve Irwin this morning," an AFP spokesman told AAP.
"The AFP can also confirm it conducted a search warrant onboard the Bob Barker, and as inquiries are ongoing, it's inappropriate to comment any further at this stage."
Australian Greens leader Bob Brown was present when the Steve Irwin docked and took aim at the federal government.
"This is outrageous that Australian police are at the disposal of the Japanese whale killers," Senator Brown told the welcoming crowd.
He said the search warrant used to raid the vessel alleges breaches of Australian law, not Japanese law.
"The search warrant invokes a lot of potential claims of infringement of laws, obscure or otherwise, under Australian law.
"Shouldn't the Australian police be waiting on the docks in Tokyo for the real criminals here?"
A spokeswoman for Senator Brown said video material onboard the ship was being investigated by the police.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd would not comment directly on the action but said the government's position on Japanese whaling was clear.
"Either the government of Japan agrees to reduce its current catch from where it is to zero, in a reasonable time, or the Australian government will prosecute this matter in the international court of justice and we would initiate that action prior to the next whaling season," he told reporters in Melbourne.
Capt Watson criticised the government for not investigating a clash between its vessel, the Ady Gil, and a Japanese whaling boat in January, that led to Ady Gil being damaged and abandoned at sea.
"The Japanese deliberately rammed and destroyed one of our ships and almost killed six of our people, but nobody's questioning them - so it seems to be very one sided."
The AFP searched and seized evidence from the Steve Irwin in 2009, but it didn't lead to any charges.
The Sea Shepherd's Steve Irwin has been boarded by Australian police at the request of Japan.
At least the Sea Shepherd shouldn't harass the Japanese whalers no more.
Like hell. The stills from the video are all over FR. The Ady Gil accelerated into the path of the whaler.
“Meanwhile in Africa....”
Human extinction = OK. A single whale death = not OK.
Almost doesn’t count. The Japanese used to have better aim than that. Frankly, I'm a bit disappointed in them.
Disappointed in the Japanese whalers or the crew of the ecoterrorist boat Ady Gil?
Why, the Japanese of course. I remember one time a Japanese ship actually sliced a smaller boat in half!
Actually the Japanese are guilty just for eating whale. Nasty stuff. And yes, I’ve tasted it - three or four times over the years.
Give ‘em a break. The Ady Gil was a lot smaller target than a PT boat piloted by a future President, and the whaling ship was no Japanese Navy destroyer.
The ship-handling skills of the “rammee” were, however, similarly bad...
I think, in honor of Steve Irwin, the Steve Irwin should be used to create another man made reef off of Australia.
This’ll really boost the ratings of “Whale Wars” along with the ship rammings.
Real question: what does whale meat taste like and how is it usually prepared?
That said, I’m still with the Nipponese on this.
yes....an during their misdirected efforts to save whales, a few 1000s babies were killed...
I’d love to see the whole lot of them charged with piracy under whatever Nation’s federal laws that will do it. The Discovery channel has tried to make these extremists out to be some king of hero, but I believe the Japanese Government takes quite a different view.
If the Aussies are as sharp as I think they are, when they bring charges, I’ll bet they seize both ships as evidence. That should keep them off the water for several years.
Actaully it's those cunning Orientals who have got inside the OODA loop.
The current Australian government is pretty much pandering to the whale huggers.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd would not comment directly on the action but said the government's position on Japanese whaling was clear. "Either the government of Japan agrees to reduce its current catch from where it is to zero, in a reasonable time, or the Australian government will prosecute this matter in the international court of justice and we would initiate that action prior to the next whaling season,"However the Australin claim for standing is based on claiming those waters as part of the Australian EEZ - a claim recognised by only four other nations.
But is is the basis for "Japanese Whalers... illegal.. poachers...yada, yada". and the Citizens Summons that blackboat captian, currently a guest of the whailing fleet, attempted to deliver last month.
By alleging breaches of Australian Law by Sea Shepherd, the whalers are forcing the Aust Govt to investigate and prosecute SS in order to maintain the slim excuse being used to give standing to go before the International Court of Justice.
And the charges against SS will be decided before the International Court of Justice rejects the Australian claim for standing.
Japanese are guilty just for eating whale. Nasty stuff
What Japanese food ain’t “nasty tasting stuff”?
Don’t agree with the enviro-weinies and was tickled to see them get rammed at sea, but the damn Japs need to stop with this fake “whale scientific study BS”.
Maybe jap food is nasty, but have you ever tasted that Aussie “vegemite”? That stuff is beyond nasty.
Will stick with Brazillian, thank you.
Do you object to Amricans killing and eating whales? A very large number at that?
This American killing and eating of whales has been ongoing for many decades - are you even aware of it?
Let’s not throw stones when we live in a very glass house, eh?