Activists to battle on after Japan whaling court victory

2016-08-23 21:05
Whaling (FIle, AP).

Whaling (FIle, AP).

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tokyo - Japanese whalers on Tuesday celebrated what they described as a court victory in the US to end years of high seas clashes with anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd, which immediately vowed to fight on.

The arch enemies have waged a legal and public relations battle as Sea Shepherd has sought to disrupt an annual whale hunt in the Antarctic that Japan defends as scientific research.

However, the settlement between the US-based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Japan's whaling body is unlikely to end the dispute as operations in Antarctic waters are mostly carried out by Sea Shepherd Australia, which does not come under the ruling.

On Tuesday, the Institute of Cetacean Research and Kyodo Senpaku - key players in Japan's whaling industry - announced a legal settlement that would bar the US group from attacking whaling ships or funding such activities.

The parties involved "successfully resolved the dispute through mediated negotiations earlier this month”, it said.

But Sea Shepherd played down any suggestion of a global agreement, saying the settlement only applied to its US arm and that other branches, including its Australian office, would keep fighting.

"The ruling in the US courts affects only our US entity," the group's global chief executive Alex Cornelissen said in a statement.

"Sea Shepherd Global and all other entities around the world, other than the USA, will continue to oppose the illegal Japanese whaling in the Antarctic," it added.

The whaling institute insisted the settlement would act as a deterrent to "some extent" by choking off funding by the group's US arm.

The announcement comes after a US court issued a preliminary injunction against Sea Shepherd in late 2012, ordering it to steer clear of the whaling ships.

Last year, the group agreed to pay $2.55m to Japanese whalers for breaching the earlier court order.

Japan initiated the legal battle after several hunts in which the anti-whaling activists pursued the fleet for months in the icy waters near Antarctica, seeking to stop the slaughter.

Activists harassed whalers with paint and stink bombs, rammed their ships, and snared ship propellers with ropes.

Japan claims it conducts vital scientific research using a loophole in an international whaling ban, but makes no secret that the mammals ultimately end up on dinner plates.

It was forced to call off the 2014-2015 hunt after the United Nations' top court, the International Court of Justice, ruled in 2014 that its annual mission to the Antarctic was a commercial hunt masquerading as science.

The hunt resumed at the end of 2015, with the fleet returning to Japan in March of this year after having killed more than 300 of the mammals.

Read more on:    us  |  japan  |  marine life

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.