Institute of Cetacean Research sea shepherd

Sea Shepherd’s Sea Lawyers Back And Fill On Promise To Stop Harassing Whalers

John Konrad
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August 25, 2016

Sea Shepherd vessel collides with the fuel tanker ship Sun Laurel. Via The Institute of Cetacean Research/Handout

gCaptain Note: On Tuesday gCaptain published an article titled “Sea Shepherd Claims It Will Stay Away From Japan Whaling Ships“… the original title of that article (written by Bloomberg) didn’t include the word “claim”. We added this word because, frankly, we were skeptical of the news they would stay away from whalers. 

Ocean Warrior: My Battle to End Illegal Slaughter by Paul Watson and Farley Mowat
Related Book: Ocean Warrior: My Battle to End Illegal Slaughter by Paul Watson and Farley Mowat

by John Konrad (gCaptain) A United States court ruling preventing the environmental activist group Sea Shepherd from harassing Japanese whaling boats will not stop the annual protection campaign in the Southern Ocean, according to the organization’s sea lawyers.

gCaptain reported Tuesday that a settlement was reached between Sea Shepherd and Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research and Kyodo Senpaku. As part of the settlement, Sea Shepherd agreed to “permanently enjoin from physically attacking the [Japanese] research vessels and crew and from navigating in a way that is likely to endanger their safe navigation”.

But today Sea Shepherd Australia’s boss, Jeff Hansen, told reporters they are “committed to upholding the Australian federal court ruling banning the slaughter of whales in the Australian whale sanctuary. We are not concerned about the US court settlement as it does not have any effect on Australian law.”

According to TheGuardian, Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research had sought an injunction in 2011 in a US court to stop Sea Shepherd hindering its whaling program. Japan officially halted commercial whaling in 1987 in response to an international moratorium declared one year before, but it has used a loophole to continue whaling under the premise of scientific research, despite international criticism.

“What it means is Sea Shepherd USA cannot give money toward the Southern Ocean campaign, cannot be involved in the Southern Ocean campaign, and that’s fine.” said Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson who claims the settlement does not affect the group’s other entities. “Whether Sea Shepherd Australia or Sea Shepherd Global . . .  intend to return to the Southern Ocean that’s their business and I can’t control them,” he said of the settlement filed on Tuesday.

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