SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court has declared a sea-faring group of anti-whaling protesters modern-day pirates and ordered them to halt their aggressive and high-profile attacks of Japanese whalers.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled late Monday that the whalers were likely to succeed with their federal lawsuit seeking to permanently ban Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherd organization he founded from disrupting the annual whale hunt in the waters off Antarctica.
The Sea Shepherd's efforts are the subject of the television show, 'Whale Wars.'
The court in December ordered the organization to keep its ships at least 500 yards from Japanese whalers. The whalers have since accused the protesters of violating that order at least twice this month.
Watson and his lawyers contend U.S. courts don't have jurisdiction in the Southern Ocean.