Japanese whaling ship Yushin Maru No. 3 shoots a water cannon at anti-whaling activists in 2011. Pic: AP.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The International Court of Justice says that Japan’s Antarctic whaling program is not for scientific purposes and has ordered a temporary stay on the program.

Australia had sued Japan at the U.N. dispute-resolution court for resolving in hopes of ending whaling in the icy Southern Ocean.

Reading a judgment by the court’s 16-judge panel, Presiding Judge Peter Tomka of Slovakia said Japan has not justified the large number of minke whales it takes under its program, while failing to meet much smaller targets for fin and humpback whales.

The court ordered a halt to the issuing of whaling permits until the program has been revamped.