TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The antiwhaling group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has agreed to stop physical attacks on whaling vessels and their crew permanently, in a settlement with Japanese research whalers, it was announced Tuesday.
The Institute of Cetacean Research and whaling company Kyodo Senpaku Co., which carry out whaling under Japan’s scientific research program, said on the day that they reached the settlement with Sea Shepherd and its leader, Paul Watson, through mediated negotiations held earlier this month.
The settlement puts an end to their court battle, which began in December 2011 with the Japanese side’s petition with a federal district court in the U.S. state of Washington seeking an order to stop Sea Shepherd’s violent acts of sabotage in high seas.
Under the agreement, Sea Shepherd, Watson and those acting in concert with them “are permanently enjoined from physically attacking the research vessels and crew and from navigating in a manner that is likely to endanger their safe navigation,” the Japanese whaling groups said in a statement.
“The enjoined parties cannot approach the research vessels any closer than 500 yards on the open sea,” according to the statement.
Following the deal, the Japanese institute and the company have asked the U.S. district court to enforce a permanent injunction against Sea Shepherd.
Under the deal, the Japanese side will pay settlement money from about ¥300 million that it had received in damages from Sea Shepherd. The antiwhaling group paid the damages after a U.S. court in 2014 found the group to be in civil contempt of its preliminary injunction prohibiting it from further attacks against the whaling vessels.
Sea Shepherd will be prohibited from using the settlement money for antiwhaling activities anywhere around the world.