By John Vidal
22 July 2015
(The Guardian) – Two international volunteers with the Sea Shepherd conservation society face prison if found guilty on Thursday of interfering with a hunt for pilot whales in the Faroe islands.
Susan Larsen of San Francisco and Tom Strearth of Bremen, Germany, were arrested by the Danish navy earlier this week after following a flotilla of small Faroese boats thought to be heading for a “grindadráp” - a traditional Faroese hunt where dozens of migrating pilot whales are herded into a bay where they are then slaughtered by hand.
The new Faroese Pilot Whaling Act passed by the islands’ government – which many believe is specifically intended to prevent Sea Shepherd volunteers trying to stop the cull – could lead to two years’ imprisonment.
But they are condemned by Sea Shepherd as an “unnecessary obscenity”. Pictures of the traditional grindadráps are marked by bloody water and whales being cut up.
According to Sea Shepherd, which has dozens of volunteers on the islands monitoring for suspected whale hunts and two boats at sea, 33 pilot whales were killed last year and around 1,300 were killed in 2013. […]
“For hundreds of years the people of the Danish Faroe Islands have been herding migrating pilot whales and other small cetaceans into shallow water and slaughtering them. The grindadráp is the largest slaughter of marine mammals in Europe, and is widely criticised as being both cruel and unnecessary,” said Rosie Kunneke, a spokeswoman for Sea Shepherd. [more]
By Captain Paul Watson
22 July 2015
(Facebook) – Two Sea Shepherd Land Crew members in the Faroe Islands tested the new law on Monday.
They spotted a pod of dolphins before the whalers knew about them and did not report the pod to the Grindmaster.
This is a blatant violation of:
3.-(1) When pilot whales or other small whales that may be killed lawfully have been sighted on the sea territory or closer to the shore, a message of the sighted whales must immediately be communicated to the district administrator (the sysselmand), irrespective of whether the pilot whales have been observed by persons on board a boat or a ship, a helicopter or an aircraft or persons on shore.
The lawbreakers were Florian Stadler from Germany and Christophe Bondue from France.
Christophe entered the police station and confessed his crime to an officer saying, “I saw the dolphins this morning and did not report it. What are you going to do about it.
The officer replied, “That’s okay.”
Land Team leader Rosie Kunneke was told later that if Sea Shepherd crew continue to report sightings they will consider it harassment unless the report includes a photograph with a date stamp and landmarks indicating where the sighting took place. How the police expect Sea Shepherd to produce photographs of landmarks from on the sea is a mystery.
This bizarre law is becoming more complex and silly every day. The law does not mention date stamped photos and landmarks but this seems to be an amendment by the Faroese police.
The police are now also investigating the prop-fouling of the Sam Simon by some as yet unidentified Faroese citizens. This was reported today in the Faroese media. The story says that Sea Shepherd did not file a complaint. This is not accurate. Sea Shepherd Captain Adam Meyerson did file a complaint today. He was delayed from doing so because he could not leave the Sam Simon until he found safe anchorage to allow him to do so.
Captain Meyerson has formally filed the complaint.
The story today in the Faroese media:
The police investigate vandalism against Sam Simon.
It was yesterday there was a grindabod in Kalsoyarfirdi. Boats were present there, but the whales disappeared. One of the ships from Sea Shepherd was also there with two motorboats from the organisation. The police have confiscated one boat, and handcuffed the people on board, one woman and one man.
The leader of Sea Shepherd, Paul Watson, followed the driving of the whales, and mentioned that the Danish navy ship Triton, did nothing whilst a Faroese boat attempted to stop Sam Simon by prop foulling.
In.fo has today spoken to Andras Marr Poulsen, who is a police inspector, in order to find out whether Sea Shepherd has reported this incident. The incident has not been reported, but Andras Marr Poulsen says, that the police have, on their own initiative, chosen to investigate the matter.
”It is a part of the investigation work, which we do. In this case the police can choose on their own initiative to investigate the matter.”
Andras Marr Poulsen says, that possibly it can be a breach of paragraph 252 of the criminal code/law, which states that:
”Punishment of jail up to eight years is given to those, who to their own gain, and of reckless behaviour, endangers someones life or health.”
End of translation.
I doubt that we will see any charges against the Faroese for something that the police actually observed and it will be interesting to see how the police will proceed in convicting two Sea Shepherd crew members for disrupting a Grind that had not actually taken place.
Attached video is Christophe Bondue reporting to the police that he failed to report a pod of pilot whales to the whalers.