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Last Updated: Thursday January 17 2008 11:15 GMT

Anti-whaling protesters captured

Japanese whaling ship Pic: The Institute of Cetacean Research

Japan's whale hunt is making headlines again after two anti-whaling protesters were held for trying to board one of the hunting ships in the Antarctic.

The men are from the Sea Shepherd campaign group which has been following Japan's ships to try to stop the hunt.

It says the two men were just trying to deliver a petition against whaling.

But Japanese officials say they broke the law by trying to board the Yushin Maru and claim the men also threw acid and tried to damage its propeller.

How far do you think protesters should go to protect animals in danger? Use the form on the right hand side to let us know

Whale quiz
A humpback whale
Japanese officials say they want to release the men and have contacted Sea Shepherd, but received no response.

But they want the campaigners to agree to stay 10 miles away from the Japanese ships, something Sea Shepherd says is unacceptable.

Now Australian officials are working with Japan to try to sort the situation out.

Killing whales

Last year, Japan faced international criticism over its plans to kill endangered humpback whales in the Antarctic as part of its annual whale hunt.

It later abandoned plans to kill humpbacks but said it would still kill about 1,000 other smaller whales.

Your comments on this story

"I think those two men did the right thing protecting the whales. If we don't, who else will stick up for the poor creatures!"

Samantha, 13, Manhattan, USA

"I think they went too far by going onto the boat, but they should still protest."

Rachel, 10, London, England

"I think the protesters are right to kick up a stink about what the Japanese are doing. Whaling is cruel and wrong and we don't need to kill them. There are limits though, and the protesters should be careful not to be thrown in jail."

Padraigín, 14, Belfast, Northern Ireland

"I think it is wrong to hurt whales because they are peaceful and don't do anything to us."

Helena, 9, Glasgow, Scotland

"I can't get over how big-headed the Japanese whalers are! Hunting them is nothing to be proud of!"

Mari, 13, Llandysul and Pont, Wales

"I think that the protestors can go as far as they want to stop Japan from whale hunting. Whales are living creatures that are meant to be in their natural surroundings. It is wrong for Japan to take the whales from their habitats."

Roshni, 12, Coventry, England

"Do whatever it takes to get on the boat to stop the Japanese from killing the whales! I mean, come on, they're innocent."

Harriet, 13, Cardiff, Wales

"I think it is great that people are helping the whales but boarding a ship is going too far."

Dylan, 11, London, England

"I think whaling is wrong because whales are such beautiful and magical creatures."

Katie, 8, Cheshire, England

"I think it's totally wrong to kill whales because they are 1 of the most endangered species in the world.

But I do think the two men went too far."

Megan , 10, Coventry, England

"I think it's cruel catching whales and that it should be banned!!!!!! Edward, 8, Lincoln, England

"I am furious at this and this should be stopped because why do people want to kill them for scientific research?"

Laura, 11, Scotland

"Whale hunting should not be allowed. However, I'm not sure if they (the protestors) should risk getting in prison. After all, what good can they do locked up?"

Sarah, 11, Hampshire, England

"I would like whale hunting to stop because whales are my favourite animals."

Jas, 8, Maidenhead, England

"I'm completely against whaling and those men were right to follow the Japanese ships. If it was for scientific research they would only need one or two."

Laura, 9, Bishop's Stortford, England

"I think they did the right thing trying to save the whales, because no-one is really doing anything to help."

Jannika, 12, Portsmouth, England

"I think that the Japanese should be stopped, but the men were a bit stupid to jump on board!"

Lizzie, 12, London, England

"I think it's really cruel, because they don't need 1,000 whales every year for scientific stuff. If it is for science then it should be something like two whales every 10 years."

Chlo, 15, London

"The Japanese people should stop killing whales immediately. It's good some people protect the whales or else they'll become extinct."

Payas, 7, Peterbrough, England

"I think it is wrong to hunt whales. If this hunting carries on the whole species will be wiped out! "

Megan, 11, Poole, England

"Japan should stop hunting because whales are in danger and need help."

Conan, 11, Huthwaite, England

"We think that Japan shouldn't keep on killing whales. They should leave them alone or the whales may become endangered or maybe even extinct."

Kendal and Morgan, 9 and 13, York, England

"Whales shouldn't be hunted no matter what."

Gabrielle, 13, London, England

"I think killing whales is bad because if we kill too many we might wipe out a species and that is not good. They are also gentle creatures who do not deserve to be treated this way."

Oliver, 10, Ayrshire, Scotland

"I think protesters should go as far as they want to unless it damages other people. I hate the idea of killing these beautiful creatures for the aid of science."

Emma, 12, Dorset, England

"Whale hunting is wrong, the protestors should have every right to stop it."

Rob, 13, Manchester, England

"I think whaling should definitely be banned. They are the most beautiful creatures and it is a sin to hunt them!"

Tallulah, 11, Oxford, England

"I think what these people are doing is completely unfair. They are living creatures and they should be left alone."

Danii, 12, Slough, England

"I think it is wrong to hunt whales. Some people say that you should be allowed to hunt whales because we catch fish, but it is different because there are a lot of fish and not so many whales!"

Louise, 11, Lancaster, England

"I think people should put lots of effort into stopping whale hunting. How would you like it if your whole species was wiped out?"

Vezza, 10, London, England

"I think it is so mean to catch whales. They don't harm us so why should we harm them."

Ellie, 10, Bexleyheath, England

"I think whale hunting should stop because whales are cute and don't deserve to be killed."

Sophie, 9, Middlesex, England

"I think they should do what they think is necessary to do in their own opinion. But if it were me, I wouldn't go that far."

Lauren, 12, Basingstoke, England

"I think that people should go as far as they want to get a message across the world. People should have their own rights and their own say."

Alice, 12, Derby, England

"Why would someone want to hurt whales? They're so cute and they haven't done anything wrong to Japan."

Laura, 12, Bedford, England

"I think it is outrageous that the Japanese think it is big and clever to hunt whales!!!!!"

Aimee, 10, Havercroft, England

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