Sea Shepherd praises whaling ban

SEA Shepherd Australia chairman Bob Brown said last night's international ruling against Japan's ``scientific'' whaling program in the Southern Ocean was not only a great day for whales in that ocean, but also for Paul Watson.

Mr Watson founded the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and faces court action in the United States for his anti-whaling activism.

Dr Brown, in Launceston today, praised his fellow anti-whaling activist as ``the hero of this whole outcome.''

He said that Japan called Mr Watson ``the law-breaker'', but the International Court of Justice ruling had proven that Japan was in fact ``the villain' through its whaling program in the Southern Ocean.

Dr Brown also said that he did not think the ruling against Japan's whaling program would harm relations with Australia, the country which brought the action.

He said Japan's world image would improve, because it would no longer be seen as a pro-whaling country in the Southern Ocean.

``They would be breathing a sigh of relief,'' Dr Brown said of Japan.

In the landmark case of Australia v Japan, the court yesterday ruled that Japan's JARPA 2 whaling program in the Antarctic was not for scientific purposes.

The Hague decision ordered that all permits given under the program be revoked.

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