This file photo taken on December 13, 2011 shows Sea Shepherd's ship 'Bob Barker' moored in Hobart as it prepares to leave to confront the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean. / AFP / William WEST
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Activist group Sea Shepherd on Tuesday pulled the plug on its annual campaign to disrupt Japanese whaling, saying it can no longer match the country's military and economic power.The organisation has waged an often violent 12-year high-seas battle against whaling in the Southern Ocean, claiming success for saving thousands of the giant mammals and bringing the slaughter to world attention.But the group's founder Paul Watson said his ships -- which usually leave from Australia -- would not sail this year, with different strategies and tactics needed to hinder the hunt.Japan has previously sought to close down the anti-whaling campaigns in court, saying Sea Shepherd activists rammed their ships, snared propellers with ropes and harassed crew with paint and stink bombs.A Japanese fisheries agency official said the department was aware of Sea Shepherd's announcement.
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