"Japan Ends Antarctic Whaling Season Early"

"TOKYO -- Japan abandoned the rest of its whale hunting season in Antarctic waters Friday citing repeated harassment by Sea Shepherd activists, after netting only a fifth of its targeted catch of 850 whales.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, derided by Japanese officials as a terrorist group for its annual harassment of the country's whalers, hailed the result as a victory and said it would keep up the pressure next year.

Australia, which has campaigned against Japan's whale hunt and wants to bring the issue before an international tribunal, also welcomed the halt — the first time Japan has cited activist pressure as a reason for ending a whaling season prematurely. "

Tomoko Hosaka reports for the Associated Press February 18, 2011 with Kristen Gelineau and Rod McGuirk.

SEE ALSO:

Australian Government Welcomes Early Whale Hunt End (Sydney Morning Herald)

"Japan Ends Antarctic Whaling Season Early" (BBC News)

Source: AP, 02/18/2011