Two anti-whaling activists who had been detained by Japanese whalers for three days have now been freed.
The activists -- Australian Benjamin Potts and Briton Giles Lane -- were held on January 13, when they scrambled aboard a Japanese harpoon ship, Yushin Maru No 2, in Antarctic waters to deliver a protest letter from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an ngo.
The Australian and Japanese governments arranged the transfer after the crew on the Japanese vessel refused to cooperate for a direct handover. The activists were handed over to an Australian fisheries patrol ship, Oceanic Viking, a spokesperson for Australia's Home Affairs Ministry said.
Following the incident, the Japanese whalers have warned anti-whaling activists that they should not interfere in their scientific research programme, while the Sea Shepherd has vowed to continue chasing them.