Japanese Whalers Ask U.S. Courts to Stop Environmental Activists

Byline: Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — Japanese whale hunters have asked a U.S. federal court judge in Seattle to order the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to stop disrupting its whaling activities in the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica.

The Tokyo-based Institute of Cetacean Research and others are seeking a U.S. court order to prevent the anti-whaling Sea Shepherd organization and its founder from engaging in activities at sea that the whalers said “could harm the crew and damage its vessels.”

A federal judge has set Feb. 16 to hear a motion for a preliminary injunction.

Sea Shepherd, based in Washington state, dismissed the lawsuit as frivolous. Founder Paul Watson said the group is undeterred in trying to stop the whale hunt that Japan claims qualifies for a “scientific exemption” from an international moratorium on commercial whaling.

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