Irwin joins whale fight

A radical conservation group that has vowed to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt launched its Antarctic campaign by renaming one of its ships after Steve Irwin, the late environmental campaigner and television personality.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's hulking black-and-red steel vessel is preparing for this year's expedition, dubbed Operation Migaloo after a rare albino humpback that is tracked by whale watchers and local media as it migrates up the Australian coast each year.

Irwin's widow Terri, yesterday renamed the vessel which was once named for the Canadian anti-whaling campaigner and Greenpeace co-founder, Robert Hunter.

Sea Shepherd said Irwin shared the group's passion for saving whales, and would have been "honoured to be acknowledged in this way."

- AP

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