Sea Shepherd Admits Setback In Battle Against Japanese Whaling Ships

Sea Shepherd Admits Setback In Battle Against Japanese Whaling Ships
The founder of the conservation organization says increasing costs, Japanese military technology and "hostile governments" are hindering efforts.

For the first time in more than a decade, the Sea Shepherd fleet won't confront Japanese whaling vessels in the ocean around Antarctica.

Paul Watson, the conservation group's founder, said Japanese military technology, increased costs and "hostile governments" made it too difficult to save whales again this season.

Watson claims the Japanese military is now using satellite technology to monitor the organization's ships so Japanese whaling vessels can avoid them.

The country also passed laws making it a terrorist offense for protest ships to sail near whaling vessels.

Watson also accuses other governments, like the U.S., New Zealand and Australia, of working against the conservation group.

For instance, a U.S. court delivered an injunction last year against Sea Shepherd to keep its American branch of ships from coming within 500 yards of Japanese whalers.

And Watson accused Australian customs officials of harassing Sea Shepherd crews and the Australian government of deliberately denying Sea Shepherd charity status.

In 2010, Australia brought Japan in front of the United Nations judiciary system — alleging Japan was illegally conducting large-scale commercial whaling in the Antarctic.

The International Court of Justice condemned Japan's whaling, but the country still argued it was for scientific research.

While Sea Shepherd says it won't actively fight Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean this year, the group says it will work on a new way to combat international whaling.