Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

Media release

7 March 2008

Incident in the Southern Ocean

The Government is aware of reports of another incident this afternoon in the Southern Ocean in which bottles were thrown on board a Japanese whaling vessel by crew members of the Steve Irwin.

Japan has advised the Australian Embassy in Tokyo that a crew member on board the Japanese whaling vessel fired warning shots.

Australian officials in Japan are seeking further information.

I absolutely condemn actions by crew members of any vessel that cause injury – or have the potential to cause injury – to anyone on the high seas.

The Australian Government once again calls on all parties in the Southern Ocean – including all protest and whaling vessels, and their respective crews – to exercise restraint.

Media inquiries