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Sea Shepherd crew members arrested

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Fourteen Sea Shepherd Conservation Society volunteer crewmembers of pilot whale defense campaign Operation GrindStop 2014 were arrested today on the Faroese island of Sandoy, as they entered the water to defend pilot whales from the brutal mass slaughter known as "grindadrap" or "grind" - putting themselves directly between a pod of 33 whales and their killers.

Despite being a member nation of the European Union and subject to laws prohibiting the slaughter of cetaceans, Denmark has officially shown its support of - and now direct collaboration with - the Faroese whalers by sending the Danish Navy to defend this archaic, mass slaughter of whales in the Faroe Islands alongside Faroese police.

Sea Shepherd was on the scene immediately with both the land team and small boat crews present. However, the pilot whale pod was driven in by boats from very close to shore, and there was little time to prevent the slaughter.

Sea Shepherd has confirmed that six members of its onshore team as well as eight members of the small boat team have been arrested. In addition, three Sea Shepherd small boats - Loki, the Mike Galesi, and the B.S. Sheen (sponsored by actor Charlie Sheen) - have all been seized by the Danish Navy.

Among the Sea Shepherd volunteers arrested was Sergio Toribio of Spain, who endured a violent assault in the Faroe Islands just last weekend. Sergio was pulled from a car where he was monitoring for the presence of pilot whales along with a fellow Sea Shepherd volunteer, and was punched repeatedly in the face and suffered a broken finger. Sergio responded admirably, only trying to cover his face, and showing no violence in return.

"The Faroese whalers brutally slaughtered an entire pod of 33 pilot whales today - several generations taken from the sea - and Denmark is complicit in the killing," said actor Charlie Sheen. "I am proud that a vessel bearing my name was there and did all it could to try to stop this atrocity."

Sheen added, "The 40-foot Zodiac called the 'BS SHEEN' that I donated to Mr. Watson's tireless and heroic efforts, has been shamefully seized. This level of insidious and vicious corruption must be dealt with swiftly and harshly."

"I am extremely proud of Sea Shepherd volunteers who for 85 days have patrolled day and night to protect the dolphins and whales in the waters around the Faroe Islands. Denmark has no business in the anti-whaling European Union if it is going to sanction and enable the Danish Navy to protect these killers," said Sea Shepherd Founder Captain Paul Watson.

Here is a commentary about the horrific slaughter written by Captain Watson:

"Slaughter and Loathing on Sandoy as 33 Whales Die in Agony, and Nine Sea Shepherd Volunteers are Arrested by Faroese Police and Danish Navy

For the last 85 days, Sea Shepherd has been able to find and escort whale pods away from the Faroe Islands. We have documented the activities but have not released them so as to not anger the whalers. Today, a pod of 33 pilot whales came so close to a killing bay on Sandoy that the thugs from that island were able to get to them rather quickly. Sea Shepherd land crew made it to the beach and into the water as three Sea Shepherd fast boats arrived on the scene before the killing began. Unfortunately, a police helicopter from Torshavn and vessels from the Danish Navy made it to the bay at the same time. The Danish Navy ordered the Sea Shepherd boats to stand off. The boats were detained by the Danish Navy, and the entire Sandoy land team has been arrested - and 33 pilot whales are dead on the beach.

Now that this slaughter has taken place, we can mention that over the last 85 days, Sea Shepherd boat crews have deflected three pods of whales away from the island before the killers could spot them. Unfortunately covering 18 islands is a difficult task, but I am proud of the fact that our volunteers saved those whales and made a valiant attempt to save these 33.

The positive side of this encounter is we now have evidence to implicate the Danish government and Sea Shepherd will take this evidence to the European Parliament to demand that action be taken against Denmark for collaboration with an illegal slaughter of whales. No European member of the EU may be involved with whaling, and although the Faroe Islands are not a member of the EU, they receive massive subsidies from the EU through Denmark. The Faroese may be exempt but Denmark is not and now we have the evidence that pilot whale blood in on the hands of Danish sailors and Danish Police. What is rotten in the Faroes is also very much rotten in Denmark."

Sea Shepherd calls upon all of its supporters to speak out against this horrific loss of life. Please contact the government of Denmark and ask them to end the horrific, archaic ‘grind’ and release Sea Shepherd volunteers at once.

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