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Continued: Australia opens case at world court urging judges to halt Japanese whaling in Antarctic waters

  • Article by: MIKE CORDER , Associated Press
  • Last update: June 26, 2013 - 7:05 AM

"There is now broad recognition ... that the environment and its constituent elements are a common resource which has to be safeguarded and managed by collective action," he said.

He also highlighted the devastating effect of wide-scale whaling before it was reined in by the 1946 convention, saying that the global blue whale population was estimated at 235,000-307,000 before whaling. A 1998 estimate put the population at "a mere 2,280 worldwide," he said.

The court will take months to issue a final and binding decision on the legality of Japan's hunt.

Australian officials are hoping that the court will deliver a judgment by the end of the year, ahead of the Southern Hemisphere summer, when Japan's annual hunt begins near Antarctica.

Greenpeace campaigner John Frizell said he was impressed by the opening of the case.

"We have heard very strong arguments from Australia why this whaling should cease and I certainly hope they will prevail," he said outside court. "This is commercial whaling and it should stop."

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