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A major conservation group has announced that they will be getting a little help from the stars when they protest against whaling in Antarctic waters next month.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society will have the support of actress Daryl Hannah when she teams up with one of their crews to battle against Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean.

“Daryl is joining our group,” said Sea Shepherd captain Paul Watson. “She’ll be on board — she’s joining us at the end of the month.”

The 47-year-old actress will be on board the group’s flagship, the Steve Irwin – named after the Australian conservationist – when it leaves Australia on December 1.

Japan uses a loophole in a 1986 whaling moratorium that allows “lethal research” to kill up to 1,000 whales each Southern Hemisphere summer – a practice hotly opposed by South Pacific nations such as Australia and New Zealand yet seemingly ignored by other parts of the world. Although the US has always been at the forefront of anti-whaling campaigns, its leadership on whale issues has significantly declined in recent years. The American appointed to be chairman of the International Whaling Commission – William Hogarth – has recently announced he is negotiating a deal that could allow for an International Whaling Commission-sanctioned resumption of commercial whaling. Watson claimed earlier this year that the Sea Shepherds’ harassment of the Japanese whalers has saved the lives of 500 of the giant mammals, but the International Whaling Commission has condemned their tactics.

“This is the fourth year [of the Southern Ocean campaign],” said Watson. “That is three years of lost profits [for Japanese whalers]. How much longer can they keep this up? This is really the key to stopping them — to keep making them lose profits.”

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