Kiwi anti-whaling activist arrested in Japan

03:40, Mar 12 2010
Ady Gil
ADY GIL: The hi-tech anti-whaling trimaran sank after colliding with the Japanese ship the Shonan Maru 2.

Kiwi anti-whaling activist Pete Bethune has been arrested in Japan after being held on the whaling vessel he boarded last month.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society member has been charged with trespassing after boarding the Shonan Maru 2 - the ship which collided with the Ady Gil in the Southern Ocean.

Japanese authorities had a warrant for his arrest, and he was taken into custody by the Japanese Coast Guard today.

He faces three years in prison if convicted on the charges.

Mr Bethune climbed on board the Shonan Maru 2 from a jet ski before he tried to make a citizens arrest on the captain. Instead, the ships crew took him in to custody and sailed for Japan.

He was being held on suspicion of trespassing onto the ship in Antarctic waters.


The Shonan Maru 2 and the high-tech Ady Gill collided in February, causing the $4.3 million Ady Gil to sink.

Mr Bethune accused the Shonan Maru's captain of trying to kill his crew following the collision.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society said Mr Bethune was the first New Zealander to be "transported as a prisoner of war to Japan since World War II".

Before being renamed as the Ady Gil, the bio-diesel powered trimaran circumnavigated the globe in a record 60 days under the name Earthrace.