The plaintiff claims in this case are that Sea Shepherd is engaging in ‘unsafe’ and ‘violent’ activities. They also have claimed injuries to their crew, although they have not been able to produce any medical evidence confirming their claims. Meanwhile, ICR ships have rammed and damaged Sea Shepherd ships, in one case completely destroying a $1.5 million dollar vessel, injuring a cameraman and nearly drowning six crewmembers and have not so much as even been questioned. Sea Shepherd has been engaging in interventions on the high seas in defense of marine wildlife for 35 years in various parts of the world and for eight years against the ICR, all without causing serious injury.
“It is Sea Shepherd’s position the ICR is not entitled to any relief due to the simple fact that their killing of whales is illegal, being carried out under the guise of ‘research’ in flagrant disregard of the global moratorium on whaling in the established Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary,” says Susan Hartland, Administrative Director of Sea Shepherd.
In January 2008, a federal court in Australia ruled the whaling to be illegal and issued an injunction against the whalers, but the whalers continue killing in violation of that court order. Each December, Sea Shepherd journeys to Antarctica to defend whales from being killed by Japanese whalers inside a marine sanctuary. During the past eight campaigns, Sea Shepherd has saved the lives of more than 3,600 whales and exposed illegal Japanese whaling activities to the world.
While it is possible the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court panel will make a ruling at the time of the hearing, it may take days or weeks to issue a decision.