Whalers sue Sea Shep­herd

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

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

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