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A Challenge to the Whalers of the Faroe Islands

By August 28, 2015No Comments

Commentary by Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson


“I would like to throw out a challenge to any Faroese pilot whale killer or supporter of this horrific slaughter.” Photo: Sea Shepherd/Mayk Wendt

I was supposed to appear on RT Television yesterday to debate an official representative from the Faroe Islands. Apparently the representative had agreed to do so. And then, apparently, they changed their mind.

This was the message Sea Shepherd received from RT:

“Sorry to get back to you at such a late hour, but unfortunately we are not going to be able to have Paul Watson join us today on the show. We received an official response from the representative of the Faroe Islands and they refuse to talk with us unless we take down our previous video footage. They also will not directly debate Paul Watson. This is unfortunate, since we think, and I am sure that you agree, this would have been a great opportunity for both sides to come out openly and state their positions. In any case, we would like to still be in touch with the Sea Shepherd organization and with Captain Paul Watson for future collaboration. Thank you so much for your time and effort in trying to get this interview off of the ground.” (Producer, Watching the Hawks – RT)

It is of course outrageous that they would demand that news footage be removed as a condition for a debate or an interview. Their refusal to debate me is not surprising considering that they really do not have much of a defense for their slaughter of pilot whales and dolphins.

However, in light of the government’s refusal to defend the Grindadráp (whale murder) in the international media, I would like to throw out a challenge to any Faroese pilot whale killer or supporter of this horrific slaughter.

Is there a whaler in the Faroe Islands with the courage of his or her convictions to debate the Grind with me on television?

The Faroese whalers have been saying we are misleading the media and the public. Here is a chance to explain just why you think so. It’s a chance to tell the world your side of the controversy. It’s a chance to attempt to defend the indefensible.

There must be at least one whaler in the Faroes with the courage to defend the Grindadráp before an international audience and, if so, I look forward to a spirited and educational debate.

So far the only Faroese who has dared to challenge me in a debate was Heri Joensen, the lead singer of the heavy metal Viking pagan band Týr. (He’s the guy with the sword playing dress up). He did so in 2012 on Animal Planet. Joensen simply reinforced my arguments and gave the world an appropriate image of the slaughter in my opinion.

In an interview on the Norse Mythology Blog, Joensen said this about whales:

“The whale is an animal like any other animal. They get really kind of glorified in the modern media, to an extent that I think is completely unreasonable. It’s not like torturing a chimpanzee to death or anything like that. The pilot whale is a very docile and peaceful animal, like a cow. It’s not like you have to fight it to death, like you would struggle with any wild animal. It behaves like a cow. You can hold it with one hand, and it just stays right there. So it’s quite easy to kill them.”

Joensen even wrote a song about me amusingly called “Sinking the Rainbow Warrior.” Aside from the fact that he confused Sea Shepherd with Greenpeace, his description of us as “weaklings on the food chain” and advising us to “change our evil ways” was indicative of his macho, pseudo-Viking mentality.

Needless to say, the debate was simply silly. His position was that saving whales is evil and killing whales is noble.

Hopefully someone else can rise above that sort of silliness to deliver a credible and convincing defense. However, I seriously doubt that anyone can.

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