Militant activists charged in seal protest
Two members of the militant Sea Shepherd Conservation Society have been charged with sailing too close to a Canadian vessel while protesting the country’s annual seal hunt. Capt. Alexander Cornelissen and First Officer Peter Hammarstedt face up to nearly $100,000 and a year in prison if convicted. Sea Shepherd sailors say the hunters were the antagonists; Canada’s Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans says the Sea Shepherd folk broke a law requiring a license for anyone coming within a half nautical mile of seal hunters. The Sea Shepherds, never popular with seal hunters, have come under even greater criticism than usual after President Paul Watson stated last week that the deaths of thousands of seals is a “greater tragedy” than a boat accident that drowned three hunters.