Source: ABC News
Greens Party leader Bob Brown says a Japanese whaling action in the US federal court could backfire and help bring an end to whaling in the Southern Ocean.
Japanese whalers are seeking an injunction against the Sea Shepherd leader Paul Watson in the US federal court in Seattle.
The Institute for Cetacean Research and the owner of two of Japan's whaling ships want an injunction against Mr Watson and Sea Shepherd because the anti-whaling group "puts lives at risk".
Mr Watson says he is not worried about the lawsuit.
"It sounds like a frivolous lawsuit, US courts don't take those very seriously," he said.
But the Greens are taking it seriously. Senator Brown says the US legal action could complement legal action brought by Australia against Japan in the International Court of Justice.
He says the Australian Government should take this opportunity to intervene.
"Japan has gone to an international court - effectively the US - and Australia should use this opportunity to bring forward a case which may have otherwise taken years to have Japan found guilty of its breach of international law by killing the whales in the first place," he said.
"It's a great opportunity here to have the whaling fleet stopped in its tracks through this action (the US case) rebounding on Japan when it goes to the court in Seattle."
Both whalers and Sea Shepherd have begun their journeys to the Southern Ocean.
Last whaling season Sea Shepherd claimed victory after forcing whalers to retreat with less than one-fifth of their quota.
A spokesman for the Institute for Cetacean Research, Gavin Carter, says the US court action is designed to improve safety.
He says it could tame the high-seas showdown.
"Seattle and Washington state is where Sea Shepherd is based, where Mr Paul Watson is based, so that is why the Seattle court would have jurisdiction," he said.
"The institute is obviously seeking an injunction fairly quickly that would restrain Sea Shepherd from undertaking a violent act, that it's been undertaking, and it will undertake again."
It is not known when the court will make a ruling.
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