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Anti-sealers to bill government for seized ship Canwest News Service Published: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society plans to bill the Canadian government for $1,000 each day their anti-sealing vessel remains seized, according to a news release Tuesday by the group. Their ship, the Farley Mowat, remains in possession of the government after it was taken on April 12 for allegedly encroaching on seal hunters near Cape Breton twelve days earlier. During the raid, the RCMP arrested 17 crew members but ended up only charging first officer Hammarstedt and Captain Alexander Cornelissen with approaching a seal hunt without permission. "At no time did my ship ever enter the 12-mile limit," Cornelissen said in the news release. "They had no right to board us and these charges are ridiculous." The U.S.-based group said they will send the government an invoice on the 12th of each month for $30,000, to total $365,000 a year. According to the news release, the group successfully sued the federal government for damages more than 20 years ago after the Sea Shepherd II ship was seized from March 1983 to June 1985. "And we will sue again," said Paul Watson, the group's leader. "We will not have the government of Canada trample on our rights as citizens and we will not have the government setting a precedent of boarding non-Canadian vessels in international waters with armed boarding parties. We intend to fight this battle in the courts. . ." Meanwhile, a hearing has been scheduled Friday in Sydney, N.S., provincial court to determine if the Farley Mowat vessel will be given back to its owners.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Canadian Taxpayers paying for the imppounding of the Farley Mowat! May 12, 2008 1:28 AM

DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES AND OCEANS Taxpayers charged cost of keeping anti-sealing vessel docked near Sydney The Canadian Press May 10, 2008 SYDNEY, N.S. -- Canadian taxpayers are on the hook for the cost of keeping an anti-sealing vessel docked at an industrial park wharf near Sydney, N.S. The 54-metre Farley Mowat, owned by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, was detained off the coast of Cape Breton on April 12 by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans. It charged the vessel's captain and first mate with interfering in the annual seal hunt in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. During a Provincial Court hearing yesterday in Sydney, Judge Peter Ross turned down a Crown application to release the vessel to Captain Alex Cornelissen, 40, of Amsterdam, and first mate Peter Hammerstedt, 23, of Stockholm, provided they post a $50,000 bond. getSLinks("topStoriesInSection","LAC.20080510.FARLEY10",5); Crown lawyer Theresa O'Leary argued the Crown would return the vessel to those from whom it was seized, meaning the captain and the first mate. But lawyer Guy LaFosse, who represents the two accused, said the Crown has failed to produce any evidence proving that the vessel had been seized and from whom. He also said neither of his clients own the property nor are they in any position to assume control over the ship. In his decision, Judge Ross concurred with Mr. LaFosse that the Crown application seemed to amount to asking that a remedy to be imposed on a party not seeking a remedy. "This may be imposing some kind of liability on them when they are not even asking for it," the judge said in rejecting the Crown's application. The vessel and its 17-member crew were brought to Sydney where Capt. Cornelissen and Mr. Hammerstedt spent 24 hours in jail. They were released on $10,000 bail and deported, but are scheduled to return to court July 2 to enter pleas to the charges. The vessel is being held at the Sydney Industrial Park at taxpayers' expense. The society can make application itself to have the vessel returned, but has not done so. Sea Shepherd spokesman Paul Watson said earlier this week he plans to submit a bill every month to the federal government for as long they retain control over the ship. Mr. Watson said the society will bill $1,000 per day for every day the vessel is held. The society is also demanding an apology from federal Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn!  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
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