By The Associated Press
A US federal judge in Seattle has declined to immediately restrain the activities of the Sea Shepherd anti-whaling group.
Judge Richard Jones said he would issue a written ruling later, but that he’s inclined to deny a request for a preliminary injunction made by Japanese whalers against the Washington state-based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
The whalers – the Institute for Cetacean Research – said the Sea Shepherd group has attacked and rammed their ships off Antarctica during the whaling season, and asked the judge to order them to stop. Some of the clashes have been shown on the Whale Wars reality TV show.
Sea Shepherd activists use stink bombs and other nonlethal means to interfere with the whalers. The group argues that its activities are supported by international law, that the court doesn’t have jurisdiction in the Southern Ocean, and that it’s the whalers who have rammed its vessels.
“It is a victory for the Sea Shepherd, for environmentalists. It’s a victory for the whales,” said Charles Moure, an attorney with the Seattle firm of Harris & Moure representing the Sea Shepherd.
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