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HERE WE GO AGAIN

Yesterday the two Sea Shepherd Pirate Group ships the Dutch MS Steve Irwin and the stateless MS Bob Barker returned to their sanctuary port of Hobart, Tasmania. Both ships were boarded on arrival by teams of Australian Federal Police (AFP). In keeping with the traditions of the sea the senior Master was the only person allowed ashore so 'Wats-his-name' was free to be interviewed but was notably subdued - at least for him.

The Investigation is in response to about 100 complaints by the Japanese Government. Warrants were apparently served for video material, computer records, logbooks, charts and anything that will assist their investigation. The crews were interviewed and statements taken for now they remain aboard their individual ships. By allowing an unregistered vessel the MS Bob Barker into one of its ports the Australian Government has taken responsibility for it. Until the vessel can find a Flag State it must remain in Hobart under Maritime Law. As Port State the Australian Government must place the vessel under a detention Admiralty writ and maintain its condition.

NAUTICAL LOG requests and expects the Australian Master Mariners Association to appoint a ship guardian to see that this is done and not allow this vessel to proceed to sea undocumented. Regretfully this Association has done nothing to prevent the use of Australian ports as pirate sanctuaries or to express any public disapproval of the continuous violation of maritime laws over the last several years.

The SS-PG ended its campaign against the Japanese Whaling Fleet in complete disarray having failed in each tactic executed supposedly to prevent whaling. Amongst the various counter strikes against the SS-PG was the sinking of their Ady Gil and the deflagging of their MS Bob Barker as well as the detention and removal to Japan of the operator of the Ady Gil.

While the vessel searches and crew interviews were going on by the AFP the heroic Prime Minister Kevin Rudd reiterated the Australian Government's stance to prosecute Japanese whalers in an international court if they fail to cease their annual cull. Now Kevin knows quite well that by the time the case would be considered, let alone heard, he and his administration will be long gone from office. This is just a piece of political theatre and grandstanding at its pathetic worst which insults the Japanese and does nothing for the already Australian stained maritime image.

Good Watch.

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