Pete Bethune has been axed from any future anti-whaling protests led by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
The move follows allegations by the Sea Shepherd that Mr Bethune had a bow and arrows aboard the Ady Gil when it sank in the Southern Ocean, following a collision with a Japanese whaling boat.
In a statement released by the Sea Shepherd, the organisation said the bow and arrows "are not in line with the Sea Shepherd's policy".
"Even though we know Captain Bethune's objectives were sincere, that the bow and arrows were never used in Sea Shepherd actions and that he certainly never intended to use the bow and arrows against any person, his decision to bring them on a Sea Shepherd campaign is unacceptable," the Sea Shepherd's Bob Barker captain Chuck Swift said.
He said Bethune will not be invited on any future trips to the Southern Ocean.
We reckon that the Sea Shepherd wallahs are being a bit precious here. After all, these are the guys who set up a reality TV programme called Whale Wars; these are the guys who take pride in having scuppered as many as 10 ships, one of which, the Sierra was sunk at its berth in Portugal after a limpet mine was attached; these are the guys whose leader, Paul Watson has said that while the loss of the Ady Gil (US$2m) was a heavy blow, he'd happily trade it for the life of one whale.
We reckon that the bow and arrow excuse is just that; an excuse. Sea Shepherd uses far worse methods to try and stop whaling. We reckon that egos are at play. Paul Watson, the Sea Shepherd supremo has a rather large ego; that cannot be disputed. So our theory is that Watson's not happy that Pete the Pirate Bethune is getting all the headlines at the moment, and is distancing himself. Perhaps Watson has had the word from Sea Shepherd's lawyers who have been representing Bethune that the Ady Gil skipper is headed for a lag in Japan.
Pete Bethune must be wondering whether this has all been worth it. His liaison with Sea Shepherd has cost him his boat, his marriage, his bank balance and his liberty. Now his so-called mates in Sea Shepherd have dumped him. That's why we almost feel sorry for Pete the Pirate Bethune; almost, but not quite.