The effort to rein in whaling by nations such as Japan, Norway and Iceland is being fought on several fronts, with varying degrees of success. International treaties have helped reduce whaling, but activists seeking to disrupt whalers' activities through direct action have been held accountable by U.S. courts. "You don't need a peg leg or an eye patch. When you ram ships ... you are, without a doubt, a pirate, no matter how high-minded you believe your purpose to be," one judge declared.

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