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Japan whaling operator sues Sea Shepherd

Japan's whaling authorities said Friday they are suing militant environmentalist group Japan's whaling authorities said Friday they are suing militant environmentalist group Sea Shepherd and its head in the United States 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 anti-whaling campaigners, who have sometimes used extreme methods against ships involved in the hunt, carried out under rules that allow research whaling."Today, Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha and the Institute of CetaceanResearch along with research vessels' masters filed a lawsuit against the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) and Paul Watson," they said in a statement."The Institute of Cetacean Research and Kyodo Senpaku are seeking a court order in the US District Court in Seattle, Washington that prevents SSCS and its founder Paul Watson from engaging in activities at sea that could cause injuries to the crews and damage to the vessels."Kyodo Senpaku owns ships, while the cetacean institute operates the whaling programme under the authority of the Japanesegovernment.Sea Shepherd, based in Washington state, regularly sends vessels to harass the whalers. In previous years it has thrown stink bombs onto the decks of the Japanese fleet, while vessels ...

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Maltese firm succeeds in keeping Sea Shepherd vessel detained

The cost of damage and the lawsuit will reach 1 million A court in Scotland turned down Sea Shepherd's request to release its flagship Steve Irwin, which was not allowed to leave Lerwick, in the Shetland Islands, and declared its detention justified.Citing procedural reasons, the non-profit marine wildlife conservation society asked the court to release the ship and argued that her detention was not necessary because there was no question on her solvency.The court, however, rejected these arguments and confirmed the detention after a lengthy hearing. As a result, the ship will be detained indefinitely until Sea Shepherd deposits a bond with the British courts in security of a 1 million damage suit filed by Maltese company Fish and Fish.In June 2010, the Steve Irwin had rammed a pen owned by Fish and Fish to free the bluefin tuna its crew believed had been caught illegally, seriously injuring a Maltese diver in the process.Captain Paul Watson, the vessel's commander, said the NGO could soon have to sell the ship to raise the money to pay the bond. It had so far collected $442,279.37 out of the $1,411,692.87 it needed.A spokesman for Fish and Fish said the vessel's detention was necessary ...

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