US: Whaling protesters are pirates

2013-02-27 10:05
Whaling confrontations take place in the Southern Ocean.

Whaling confrontations take place in the Southern Ocean. (Glenn Lockitch, AFP)

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San Francisco - A US appeals court has declared a group of anti-whaling protesters modern-day pirates and ordered them to halt their aggressive and high-profile attacks of Japanese whalers.

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled late on Monday that the whalers were likely to succeed with their lawsuit seeking to ban Paul Watson and his Sea Shepherd organisation from disrupting the annual whale hunt in the waters off Antarctica.

The Sea Shepherd's efforts are the subject of the television show, Whale Wars.

The court in December ordered the organisation to keep its ships at least 500m from Japanese whalers. The whalers have since accused the protesters of violating that order at least twice this month.

Watson and his lawyers contend US courts don't have jurisdiction in that whaling region.

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