High seas hazards

Sea Shepherd has a scare and Japanese lose a sailor

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Capt. Paul Watson and his crew had a bit of a scare recently at an Australian port.

Taking break from their anti-whaling expedition in the Antarctic Ocean to refuel and restock, Watson received a suspicious envelope filled with a mysterious powder. Authorities in the Tasmanian city of Hobart quarantined the ship, the Steve Irwin, until tests ruled out the possibility of anthrax, botulism or ricin, reported ABC News.

Sea Shepherd took respite in the middle of its annual months-long campaign tracking—and interfering with—the Japanese whaling expedition that kills nearly 1,000 whales each year under the guise of research. The trip lasts into March.

The Japanese fleet hasn’t been immune to difficulties, either. Earlier this month, a crew member fell overboard into the freezing waters of the southern ocean. Attempts to find his body have been unsuccessful.