SYDNEY – Australian Federal Police searched the antiwhaling ship of the U.S.-based conservation group Sea Shepherd and seized videos and other documents from the vessel, officials and the ship’s captain said.
The police said the search, conducted at the request of Japanese officials , was carried out shortly after the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s flagship returned to the southern port of Hobart on Friday.
Paul Watson, captain of the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin, said the police seized videos, log books, GPS records and other documents kept aboard the vessel.
The videos were shot for a documentary to be shown on U.S. television highlighting Sea Shepherd’s activities. The videos apparently contain scenes of collisions between the Steve Irwin and two Japanese whaling vessels earlier this month.
The Steve Irwin pursued the Japanese whaling fleet operating in Antarctic waters starting in December, with crew members allegedly hurling bottles containing acid at Japanese whaling vessels. The Steve Irwin has also collided with Japanese vessels twice after approaching the fleet.
The Fisheries Agency has filed protests over Sea Shepherd’s actions with the Australian Embassy in Tokyo, calling the group’s behavior “dangerous and violent.”
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