Commentary by Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson
142 pilot whales were slaughtered last night on the beach at Torshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands. 1,100 people and more than a hundred boats participated, backed up by two Danish Navy warships the Triton and the Knut Rasmussen.
Earlier in the day, more than a hundred pilot whales were also slain in an orgy of slaughter on the island of Vagur.
Four Sea Shepherd crewmembers were arrested at Vagur, two on the beach by the Faroese police and two arrested at sea by the Danish Navy. Last night another volunteer was arrested at Torshavn and a second had his camera taken and the video deleted.
These people are volunteers driven to action in the face of abject cruelty. They are opposing this atrocity with only two “weapons,” their cameras and their bodies. They have been abused, their human rights slapped aside, and today five of them remain locked up in a Faroese jail on charges of willful compassion. In the Faroes, empathy is a crime and kindness is ridiculed.
The Faroese have been celebrating their lethal victory over the whales. With between 200 and 300 corpses lying on the beaches, their bellies ripped open, their guts spilling onto the sand and the waters stained with blood, the Faroese appear to be gloriously happy, almost drunk with the thrill of slaughter.
In 2011 not a single whale was slaughtered while Sea Shepherd patrolled the waters of the Faroes. In 2013, when Sea Shepherd was not present, more than 1,300 whales were slain. Last year in 2014, when Sea Shepherd returned, the kill was 33.
Why is it different this year? Why are so many whales dying this summer?
The answer is the Royal Danish Navy. Despite the fact that killing whales is illegal under European Union regulations, the government of Denmark has thrown their weight behind the killers. Sea Shepherd, as a non-governmental organization that practices non-violent intervention, is at a complete disadvantage against two Danish warships, their helicopters and their small flotilla of commandos in fast small boats plus the boats and officers belonging to the Faroese police.
In addition, the Faroese have passed discriminatory new laws that target any opposition to the killing of whales.
It is a contest between compassion and courage on our side and power and cowardice on their side. The utilization of tens of millions of Euros in military assets is astoundingly shocking.
Denmark has chosen to exercise a policy of overkill to protect the savage interests of their little vicious vassal group of islands where a population of some 50,000 people demand the right to spill the blood of defenseless and innocent sentient beings.
Why would the Danes be so eager to be accomplices with the killers of the Faroes? Why are they so eager to jump into this toxic pool of blood to frolic alongside the savage killers of these gentle creatures? The answer may well be oil. With oil exploration promising possible profits in the future, Denmark seems quite willing to ignore their own laws protecting the welfare of animals and the EU regulations that outlaw the killing of whales.
The Faroese are bragging about their “victory”. What I saw yesterday was a mob of blood-thirsty killers descending on pods of stressed pilot whales with knives and spears.
This “tradition” utilizes such traditional tools as motorized boats, hydraulic winches, radios, sonar and warships. It is a perversion of a culture in which whales were once killed for necessity by people in need and are now slaughtered for amusement and sport by a people who today enjoy the highest per capita income in Europe, thanks to the welfare payments given to them by the European Union.
Convincing the killers of the Faroes to stop whaling may not be possible. It is like trying to reform serial killers. Psychopaths have no remorse, no conscience and no recognition of right from wrong.
We need to focus on those who enable this perversion and that means we have to focus on the nation that provides the warships, the subsidies and the political support for these atrocities.
Denmark and the Danish people have sanctioned this cruelty and this despicable slaughter, and no matter how much they claim this is out of their hands, that it is a Faroese responsibility, the fact remains that between those who attempt to save the lives of the pilot whales and dolphins and the blood being spilled on the beach sits the Knut Rasmussen and the frigate Triton, both symbols of Danish power, Danish complicity and Danish involvement.