U.S. ruling on Sea Shepherd appealed


A Japanese whale research organization said Wednesday it has appealed a U.S. federal court decision in March rejecting its demand for an injunction to stop the U.S. group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society from disrupting Japanese whaling operations.

The Institute of Cetacean Research, which has been conducting so-called research whaling in the Antarctic, said it and Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd., which is commissioned to run the government’s whaling fleet and owns the vessels, are taking legal action not to assert the legality of whaling itself but to “ensure safety at sea.”

The District of Washington Federal Court said in its ruling that allowing continued Japanese whaling would harm the public interest and that Sea Shepherd has not inflicted serious damage on Japanese whalers.

The plaintiffs said Japan’s whaling activity is recognized under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, which has been ratified by the U.S., and that the public interest “lies in upholding the treaty and in not condoning dangerous activities that could cause harm to others.”

They also said in a press release they feel the U.S. court “failed to give proper weight to the potential for irreparable harm posed by Sea Shepherd’s activities,” adding they believe “the risk of harm and the nature of the actions justify an injunction against the acts of sabotage.”