EU Australia Online - News & information from the capital of Europe direct to Australian businesses

Australia and The Netherlands in deep

  • March 4th, 2008
  • Posted by Emma Cillekens

whale.jpgBoth Australia and the Netherlands are in some “deep water”, it seems, over anti-whale protesting that  got nasty.

Ambassadors from the two countries have been summoned to talks with the government in Japan, about reining in the protesters.

The action resulted after the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society yesterday (3.3.08) threw bottles of rancid butter otherwise known as butyric acid onto a Japanese whaling ship near Antarctica.

Japan has described the society as “terrorists” and has called on Australia, where the vessel last called in at port, and the Netherlands, where the ship is registered, to stop their protesters.

Japan’s top Government spokesman Nobutaka Machimura says it is an unforgivable act and Japan strongly protests.

“This is an act that tries to unfairly harm the safety of a ship and crew that is acting within the law at sea,” he said.

They say men on board the Nisshin Maru whaling ship were treated for minor injuries from the attack, but the Sea Shepherd denies anyone was hurt.

“The material that we threw on board is non-toxic and organic, in fact it’s even food grade, so it certainly hasn’t injured anybody,” Steve Irwin’s captain Paul Watson said.

“I personally saw the impact of every container, and not one container landed anywhere within the proximity of a person.”

The Australian Government has condemned actions of the protest group.


Bloomberg. “Japan Summons Australian, Dutch Ambassadors Over Whaling Clash”. (4.3.08)

ABC. “Japan says Sea Shepherd protesters threw acid”. (4.3.08)

Japan Today. “Japan Coast Guard to investigate Sea Shepherd’s actions; gov’t protests to Australia, Netherlands”. (4.3.07)

Whale Image. 4.3.08