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World Briefing / Antarctica

Anti-whaling effort is ended

February 10, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A group of militant conservationists embroiled in clashes with Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean have decided to end their campaign for the season, the group's leader said today.

The risk had become too great that someone would be seriously injured in the increasingly contentious run-ins on the remote and icy waters, Paul Watson, captain of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's ship, said by satellite phone.

The ship Steve Irwin left for the southern Australian state of Tasmania. It is expected to arrive in the city of Hobart next week, Watson said.

The company that operates Japan's whaling ships blamed Sea Shepherd for the skirmishes, saying the protesters escalated the attacks by ramming two Japanese vessels and pelting whalers with acid-filled glass bottles.

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