Verdict Handed Down for Six Sea Shepherd Volunteers on Faroe Islands


Volunteers from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s pilot whale defense campaign Operation GrindStop 2014 appeared before a court in the Faroe Islands on Monday following their recent arrest in conjunction with trying to prevent the murder of pilot whales. These volunteer crewmembers – many of whom are European citizens – have been found guilty of defending the whales, while Denmark has acted in blatant defiance of European Union regulations by defending the slaughter of whales. Sea Shepherd has issued a statement pertaining to the verdicts and supporter and actor Martin Sheen is speaking out.

The six members of Sea Shepherd’s onshore team were among a total of 14 volunteers arrested on August 30 on the Faroese island of Sandoy for attempting to protect 33 pilot whales from the brutal mass slaughter known as “grindadrap” or the “grind.” The onshore crewmembers entered the water, banging poles, in an attempt to lead the pilot whales back out to sea and out of danger, but as the pod was driven in quickly from close to shore, there was little time to prevent the slaughter. The Royal Danish Navy arrested Sea Shepherd’s offshore crew and seized three of their small boats – the Loki, the Mike Galesi, and the B.S. Sheen (sponsored by actor Charlie Sheen). Despite being an anti-whaling EU member nation, Denmark acted in collaboration with the whalers, enabling 33 whales to be killed.

The onshore crewmembers face small fines as well as possible deportation from the Faroes by Denmark. The court date for the eight members of the offshore crew has been scheduled for September 25, and Sea Shepherd’s three small boats will be held “as evidence” until that time.