Activists Hurl 'Acid' at Whalers

Action draws condemnation from Japan, Australia
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2008 8:46 AM CST
In this photo released by The Institute of Cetacean Research, activists aboard a boat operated by Sea Shepherd hurl some objects at a Japanese whaling ship in Antarctic waters Monday, March 3, 2008. (AP...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – In the latest clash between Japanese whalers and activists in Antarctic waters, members of a militant anti-whaling group threw bottles of a slick, foul-smelling rancid butter concoction onto the whaling fleet's flagship. Japanese officials said three sailors were injured when butyric acid, found in spoiled butter, splashed into their eyes, Reuters reports. "It's an unforgivable act and we protest strongly," said a Japanese government spokesman.

Tokyo complained to the anti-whaling Australian government about the attack by the Sea Shepherd ship, and Australia rebuked the activists. A Sea Shepherd spokesman called the action "non-violent chemical warfare," and said members hurled "organic, non-toxic materials," telling CNN they'd lobbed more than "two dozen bottles of rotten butter" at "the whale killing ship."