According to the Japanese whalers:
The incident occurred when the Kaiko Maru was undertaking a detour in the ice pack area after completing the day’s research activities. The weather had deteriorated and fog had reduced visibility conditions to about 500m.
The Steve Irwin approached the Kaiko Maru from the starboard rear side and within two minutes the protesters aboard started throwing bottles, approximately 15 bottles of butyric acid.
After the ramming, the Dutch vessel pursued, repeatedly overtook and menacingly turned around the Kaiko Maru for approximately three hours, and thereafter changed course to the east where it disappeared from the Kaiko Maru radar.
I recently critiqued some of the campaigns against whaling, in particular the campaign in Albany, Western Australia, in the late 1970s, in an article* entitled ‘Imposing our preferences on whaling cultures’. In the same article I ask whether the last whaling cultures will survive.
* ‘Imposing our preferences on whaling cultures’ by Jennifer Marohasy, IPA Review, Vol 60/5, November 2008, pgs 39-41. http://www.ipa.org.au/library/publication/1229552555_document_60_5-distro.pdf (after clicking on the link, scroll down to page 39).