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The UN´s top courts sided with Australia to end its annual Antarctic whale hunt, saying that the program is a commercial activity disguised as scientific.

The sentence of the International Court of Justice in The Hague was decisive and irreversible, forcing Japan to drastically stop all activities of hunting in the area of the Antarctica which they claimed to be “scientific researches”.

“This is a major victory for whaling conservation in international law” said Matthew Collins, marine campaigns manager at the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Jeff Hansen, managing director of Sea Shepherd Australia, said the ruling was the correct one. “Sea Shepherd has been upholding the Australian Federal Court ruling and the International Court has just acknowledged what Japan is doing is illegal. It’s a real testament to Sea Shepherd and all its supporters and Capt. Paul Watson, all these years and his efforts,” Hansen added.

While Norway and Iceland have been running commercial whaling programs for years, Japan has insisted that their hunting program is merely scientific even admitting that the processed meat ends up on markets worldwide.

The Court also noted that the scientific aspect of Japan’s program have not cooperated enough with other domestic international researchers over species in the Antarctic Ocean.

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