Anti-whaling activist Pete Bethune has been banned from future missions with the Sea Shepherd group, after revelations he had a bow and arrows on his vessel, the Ady Gil.
In a statement on its website, Sea Shepherd says Mr Bethune certainly never intended to use the weapons against anyone, but his decision to bring them on a Sea Shepherd campaign is unacceptable.
A spokesperson, Chuck Swift, says Sea Shepherd has a policy of aggressive but non-violent protest action.
He says the group will continue to support Mr Bethune through his legal battle in Japan.
Mr Bethune has been on trial charged with assaulting a Japanese whaler during confrontations in the Southern Ocean.
A verdict is expected on 10 June.