Bethune strikes deal with Sea Shepherd

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 15:00 16/05/2013
whalewide
REUTERS

BATTLE SCARS: The Ady Gil with its bow shorn off after colliding with Shonan Maru.

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New Zealand anti-whaling activist Pete Bethune has settled a long-running legal dispute with environmental group Sea Shepherd.

Bethune, who was jailed in Japanese in 2010, had sought US$5 million from Sea Shepherd over the sinking of his boat, the Ady Gil, in the Southern Ocean.

It was rammed by a Japanese ship, the Shonan Maru 2.

In a joint statement, Bethune and Sea Shepherd note that in agreements the two parties signed in 2009, if the vessel was lost or destroyed, Sea Shepherd would be required to make certain payments to Bethune.

The arbitration was on the payment and its amount.

The amount of the final payment to Bethune has not been disclosed.

"I am happy that the case has reached its conclusion and am pleased with the result," Bethune said in the statement.

"Fighting between individuals and organisations that are fundamentally working towards the same goals is a waste of time, money and effort that could be better spent protecting marine life and environments."

He said the settlement meant he would be able to repay people who had helped him "keep my head above water".

The two parties said they were working together and Bethune had been helping Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson in his efforts to avoid extradition to Japan after an Interpol red notice was issued against Watson at Japan's request.

Sea Shepherd contends that the red notice is politically motivated and that its allegations are false.

Bethune, who was convicted of five offences by a court in Japan after Sea Shepherd's 2010 campaign, said Japan's allegations against Watson were essentially false or misleading.

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