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Australian Police Raid Sea Shepherd Vessel, Sieze 'Whale Wars' Footage

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After pulling into port last week in Tasmania, the Sea Shepherd’s Steve Irwin was served a search warrant by Australian Federal Police, who boarded and confiscated several items. Among those taken, according to the LA Times, was the “ship’s log book, video footage, audio recordings, photographs, interview transcripts and meeting minutes compiled during recent confrontations between the anti-whaling activists and Japanese whaling vessels in the Antarctic.”

Unfortunately, much of that material belongs to Animal Planet’s Whale Wars crew — who were on-board the Steve Irwin chronicling events for season two. The Australian Federal Police are still being mum on who exactly filed the complaint against Sea Shepherd — but big surprise! — the warrant said that it was “as a result of a formal referral from the Japanese authorities.”

Thankfully, we don’t expect the Australian Attorney General to go so far as to file formal charges against Captain Paul Watson and his crew. Doing so would most likely open a massive international can-of-worms. Still, Watson is not dismayed by the actions of the government. “From the Australian government we are getting criticism and police raids,” said Captain Watson. “But from the Australian people we are getting a wonderful welcome.”

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