It’s been high drama on the high seas the past few days as the unpopular Japanese whaling fleet has been at the heart of legal action and a target of direct-action protest. Earlier this week, Greenpeace successfully tracked down Japan’s whaling fleet in Antarctic waters and has been chasing them around, disrupting the hunt. Today, a federal court in Australia ruled that Japan’s whaling was illegal and ordered the fleet not to hunt anywhere near its waters nor in its Antarctic territory. Just hours after the ruling, two protesters from the militant anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society boarded one of the whaling vessels to deliver a letter of protest; the two were then taken into custody by the crew. Sea Shepherd has accused the crew of kidnapping and abuse of the activists. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any more interesting, a ship that Australia sent to monitor the whaling fleet is set to arrive in the area soon to gather evidence against the whalers to present to an international court. Japan has said it aims to land up to 900 whales this season; no word yet on its captured-activist quota.

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