Japan has reportedly issued an arrest warrant for actress Hayden Panettiere, who last month attempted to prevent fishermen from killing a group of dolphins.
In a November 15 statement released to Access Hollywood, the 18-year-old star of the TV series Heroes calls the arrest warrant "defensive."
"Obviously this issue has generated defensive behavior on the part of both the Japanese authorities and fishermen," she said. "I have grown up hearing - and adhering to - this phrase: 'condemnation without investigation dooms one to everlasting ignorance.' We must unite as a world to solve our increasing international environmental crises," the statement continued. "We can no longer hide [behind] outdated, senseless cultural traditions and lazy, bad habits that are resulting in the annihilation of our planet's resources and the extinction of our species."
During an October trip to Japan, Panettiere and five others paddled out on surfboards into the ocean on a pre-dawn mission to disrupt local fishermen's efforts to catch and kill the dolphins. One of the small fishing boats intercepted them as they approached the dolphins, who appeared to be caught in the net.
The fishermen used the boat's propellers to block the surfers' way while using a long boathook to push them away. Several minutes later, Panettiere and her party were forced to return to shore while the fishermen killed the dolphins.
The actress learned of the arrest warrant for violating international commerce during a November 15 interview on the Australian TV program The Morning Show. The actress did not verbally respond to the news, but wore a shocked expression.
Takumi Fukuda, a spokesperson for the Fisheries Attache at the Embassy of Japan, released a statement to Access Hollywood reading: "Generations of people in Taiji have relied on fisheries for their livelihoods, and their catches are carried out in a sustainable manner. The population of dolphins has been healthily maintained for many years. While respecting Ms. Panettiere's personal feelings toward dolphins, I hope that your viewers will be reassured by the fact that Japan is carefully managing marine living resources for the future."