Australian court fines Japanese whalers for continuing hunt off Antarctica despite court ban

An Australian court has fined a Japanese whaling company 1 million Australian dollars ($700,000) for violating an earlier court order telling it to stop hunting whales in an area off Antarctica.

Federal Court Justice Jayne Jagot on Wednesday found that Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha, the company that operates Japan's hunting ships, had repeatedly breached a 2008 court injunction to stop whaling inside Australia's exclusive economic zone. The zone extends 200 nautical miles from Australian-declared territory in Antarctica.

Japan does not recognize Australia's territorial claim on the waters off Antarctica, and kept up its annual whale hunt despite the court ruling until the International Court of Justice ruled last year that the hunts were illegal.