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Court Rejects Lawsuit On Behalf Of North Sea Seals

September 30, 1988

HAMBURG, West Germany (AP) _ A West German state court has rejected a lawsuit from ecologists on behalf of thousands of seals that have died in the country’s North Sea waters, an environmental group said.

Ecologists, in a lawsuit titled ″in the name of the seals,″ had called for a ban on dumping industrial wastes in the North Sea, a spokeswoman for the Greenpeace environmental group said Thursday.

Greenpeace and other ecologists say a massive epidemic that is killing off North Sea seals by the thousands was caused by pollution, a theory that some independent scientists dispute.

An administrative court in the West German city-state of Hamburg rejected the lawsuit on behalf of the seals, spokeswoman Ingrid Juetting of the Hamburg-based West German chapter of Greenpeace said.

The court requested proof of a causal connection between North Sea pollution and mass seal deaths, Ms. Juetting said.

″The court is requesting evidence that has long since been scientifically proven,″ Ms. Juetting said, adding that the environmentalists will continue the legal battle.

Seven environmental groups besides Greenpeace, including the international World Wildlife Fund, were responsible for the lawsuit, Ms. Juetting said.

At least 7,000 harbor seals are estimated to have died in the North Sea since April, more than 2,000 of them in West German North Sea waters alone.

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