For millennia, these majestic and prized creatures have hunted their prey in Antarctica. Humans have followed close behind, nearly hunting whales into extinction. Today, industrial hunting of whales still threatens to bring the ocean, and the planet’s fragile ecosystem, to its knees.
A band of self-proclaimed protectors, led by Paul Watson, has vowed to bring whale hunting to an end, and they won’t let anything — or anyone — stand in their way.
You don't need a peg leg or an eye patch. When you ram ships; hurl glass containers of acid... and point high-powered lasers at other ships, you are, without a doubt, a pirate, no matter how high-minded you believe your purpose to be.
Judge Alex Kozinski | 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
In 2012, the battle between Paul and the Japanese moved from the high seas to the court room. After years of enduring acid attacks and ship-ramming clashes, the Japanese retaliated with a crushing counterblow: an "Interpol Red Notice." This notice, usually reserved for those who represent the most serious international threats, forced Paul into hiding. If he sets foot in over 190 Interpol-member countries, he could face extradition.
In fact, in the 19th century, the United States was a global leader in whaling. The U.S. owned three times more whaling ships than the rest of the world combined and the whaling industry was so lucrative it was the fifth largest contributor to the growing economy.
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