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TAS: AFP seize Sea Shepherd log book and video

21 Feb 2009 4:29 AM

HOBART, Feb 21 AAP - Australian Federal Police boarded the anti-whaling ship Steve Irwin when it arrived in Hobart on Friday and confiscated the ship's log book and video footage.

After violent clashes with Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean, the Steve Irwin was met by Australian Federal Police when it docked in Hobart about 5.30pm, The Mercury newspaper reported on Saturday.

The film depicts some of the most dramatic whale-killing scenes ever seen, crew on the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship said.

The police, who had search warrants, kept the crew on board as they searched cabins.

Steve Irwin captain Paul Watson said he was not told whether the police action stemmed from a complaint by the Australian Government or from the Japanese.

He said Steve Irwin had never been searched before but he would welcome any charges that led to the crew facing a court.

"My position is that if they want to put me on trial for anything connected with this, then I am happy to do it," Capt Watson told the newspaper.

"We are not there protesting, we are down there to stop a blatantly criminal activity, to stop whaling in a whale sanctuary.

"These actions have to go to court somewhere, so let's start it here."

The Australian Federal Police could not be contacted by the Mercury on Friday night, though Tasmania Police confirmed federal officers met the ship.