Japanese whalers take custody of Sea Shepherd crew

On January 15, the Australian Federal Court ruled that Japan is breaking the law by killing whales in the Australian whale sanctuary. Australian jurisdiction of those waters around Antarctica is not universally recognized, but the ruling seems like a good precedent. Yesterday morning, I received an e-mail from a friend who is currently on the Sea Shepherd vessel Steve Irwin in Antarctica (satellite is cool):

... when the Yushin Maru did not respond to our radio contact about today's Australian Federal Court decision banning whaling in these waters, we decided to send two of our crew members on board to deliver a letter to its captain.

The letter stated that they intended no harm and were simply there as messengers. It requested that they be released to our ship upon delivery of the letter. Instead, three Japanese whalers attempted to throw Pottsy (Benjamin Potts, Australian citizen) overboard while travelling at approximately 17 knots, then finally settled on tying him to the ship. They did the same with Giles (Giles Lane, British citizen), but were more agressive with Giles and used a lot more rope. Still, it doesn't seem as though they will be harmed.

Japan said that Potts and Lane were not tied up, but there are photos all over the internet showing that they were, indeed, tied to what looks like a pipe along the wall, and to some sort of tower.

There are lots of articles online about the stand-off: [BBC] [Reuters] [Google News (collection)]

And speaking of Sea Shepherd, 10% of the final sale price of my Canon 1D Mark II (on eBay) goes to them. I really like the way eBay's allows auction sales to support non-profits.