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Last Updated: Wednesday February 16 2011 16:08 GMT

Activists stop annual whale hunt

Whale activists try to stop the Japanese whaling ship

Japanese whale hunt stopped by activists

Japan's annual Antarctic whale hunt has been put on hold after anti-whaling activists protested against it.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society based in the USA have been chasing the Japanese ship leading the hunt.

Japan said they've suspended the hunt because they were worried that the protests meant it wasn't safe enough.

The environmentalists say their tactics in trying to stop the whale hunt have been completely safe and haven't put anyone in any danger.

The Captain of the Sea Shepherd boat said: "There is nothing violent about what we are doing here."

Background to whaling in Japan

The humpback whale

Japan used to allow whales to be killed so their meat could be sold for people to eat.

It was stopped in 1986, but international laws mean they can still kill some whales for scientists to study.

Some campaigners think this is an excuse and that Japan still kills whales for their meat, but Japan says this is not true.