Whalers sue Sea Shepherd
TOKYO: Japan’s whaling authorities said yesterday they are suing militant environmentalist group Sea Shepherd and its head in the US in a bid to stop them interfering in the annual whale hunt.
It is the first time that Japan has attempted legal action abroad against antiwhaling campaigners, who have sometimes used extreme methods against ships involved in the hunt.
Sea Shepherd regularly sends vessels to harass the whalers and vessels from both sides have repeatedly clashed.
Commercial whaling was banned under a 1986 International Whaling Commission agreement. “Lethal research” is allowed, but other nations and environmental groups like Sea Shepherd condemn it as disguised commercial whaling.
Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson said: “We are intervening against criminal activities. We defend ourselves from being rammed, hit with water cannons, shot at, have concussion grenades and bamboo spears thrown at us, so yes, we defend ourselves.” – SAPA-AFP