Japan suspends whale hunt after chase by activists

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The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society says their tactics in trying to stop Japan's annual Antarctic whale hunt have been completely safe and not endangered anybody.

"There is nothing violent about what we are doing here," Alex Cornelissen, Captain of the Sea Shepherd vessel "Bob Baker" told the BBC World Service via satellite phone.

Japan says it has suspended its whale hunt "for now" because of safety concerns, after Sea Shepherd activists chased the Nisshin Maru, the Japanese fleet's mother ship.

"At the moment we are merely blocking the slipway of the Nisshin Maru, thus preventing any whales from being offloaded from the harpoon vessels," Mr Cornelissen said.

Mr Cornelissen told the BBC that the activists were still following the ship because it was unclear if the hunt had been suspended or stopped, although the fleet was moving away from the hunting area.

"It's looking as if they are going to leave the Pacific Ocean and enter the Atlantic Ocean within the next 36 hours."

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