The flagship of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is
heading to Dunedin to refuel before rejoining the fight
against Japanese whaling in the Antarctic.
Steve Irwin is due to arrive in Dunedin at 5.30pm tomorrow
and depart the following day at 4pm.
The vessel's propeller was temporarily entangled with ropes
following a clash with Japanese whaling vessels last week.
The visit would be the second Dunedin visit by a Sea Shepherd
vessel in a week, following the arrival of Sam Simon on
That vessel left the city on Tuesday bound for the Ross Sea
where the whaling confrontation had been heating up.
A Sea Shepherd spokesman confirmed Steve Irwin, named after
the late Australian wildlife advocate, would be visiting
Dunedin for fuel and supplies before ''heading back to the
Southern Ocean as quickly as possible''.
''They will be in and out pretty quickly,'' the spokesman
This week Foreign Minister Murray McCully reiterated the New
Zealand Government's strong opposition to Japanese whaling in
the Southern Ocean.
''However we also oppose any activities that put lives or
vessels at risk.''
Glenn Inwood, a spokesman for Japan's Institute of Cetacean
Research, declined to comment on the visit.