Faroe Islands Deny Entry to Sea Shepherd’s Anti-Whaling Vessel

Sea Shepherd’s anti-whaling activist vessel Bob Barker, which arrived in the Faroe Islands on Monday, August 24, and its 21 crew members have been denied entry to the country.

The police made the decision with a basis in immigration legislation and in the interests of maintaining law and order, the Faroe Islands government said.

“In recent weeks, anti-whaling activists representing the animal rights group Sea Shepherd have deliberately attempted to disrupt the legal and regulated activity of driving and killing pilot whales for food in the Faroe Islands, leading to the arrest, prosecution and expulsion from the Faroe Islands of a number of these activists,” the statement said.

According to the statement, “deliberate disturbance of the Faroese utilisation of marine resources for food will not be tolerated. Obstructing a whale drive can be dangerous and can put people and property at risk. The police must use legal procedures available to ensure that law and order is upheld and that the people of the Faroe Islands can go about their daily lives without the threat of illegal disruption of their activities.”

“The illegal and potentially dangerous actions by activists from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, combined with attempts to spread deliberately misleading information to the media, continue to be the hallmark of this group’s activities,” the statement continued.

The ban comes following recent arrests of Sea Shepherd’s volunteers in the Faroe Islands by Faroese police following what is believed to had been an attempted whaling, known as grindadráp in the Faroe Islands. According to the images released by the conservation society, a Danish navy vessel was in the proximity and was claimed to had been supporting the whaling, contrary to the EU’s policy.

Commenting on the Faroese whaling, Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson, said that the Faroese slaughter targets and extinguishes entire family pods, removing the entire gene pool – and this impacts the entire North Atlantic population.

“The pilot whale population off Newfoundland crashed in 1966 after excessive exploitation, and up until the day it crashed the “experts” were saying the population was healthy and sustainable,” he added.

During the hunt, the whales are driven into a bay or mouth of a fjord where pods are killed by hand. The catch is distributed for free in the local community where a catch takes place.

Faroe Islands, an autonomous country within the Danish kingdom, are among the few countries that still support whaling such as Iceland, Japan and Norway.