Whaling

Faroe sheriff accused of attempting to damage Sea Shepherd’s reputation

Last week Faroese sheriff Karl Johansen suggested that Sea Shepherd staged the barbaric killing of a white-sided dolphin during the September 11 dolphin slaughter, which took place in the village of Hvalvík. This suggestion – or accusation – has not gone down well with the Sea Shepherd community.

Last week Faroese sheriff Karl Johansen suggested that Sea Shepherd staged the barbaric killing of a white-sided dolphin during the September 11 dolphin slaughter, which took place in the village of Hvalvík.

A video recorded by Sea Shepherd captured a man who spent several minutes trying to kill one of the dolphins by stabbing it with a knife – which is clearly against the law of whale hunting in the Faroe Islands.

According to Mr. Karl Johansen, it is doubtful that it was a Faroe Islander who tried to kill the dolphin. Instead, he suggested that Sea Shepherd staged the stabbing

He told Faroese news website Dimma.fo: “There is a lot in this video that makes me astonished, and I highly doubt that it was a Faroe Islander who tried to kill that white-sided dolphin…In this case we know that it was a member or representative of Sea Shepherd who recorded the video…and we know how this organization works.”

This suggestion – or accusation – has not gone down well with the Sea Shepherd community.

Paul Watson, the founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, wrote on Facebook: “Sea Shepherd’s documentation caused such an international outrage that Hvalvik sheriff Karl Johansen, the man responsible for seeing that the killing is in accordance with Faroese law (which it was not) resorted to an astonishing defense by accusing Sea Shepherd of staging the multiple stabbing of a dolphin. According to the Sheriff, Sea Shepherd filmed the staged stabbing by one of our own people to damage the country‘s international reputation (as if the Islands reputation could get any worse with the continued hunting of small cetaceans).”

Mr. Watson added: Like Jon Snow, Sheriff Johansen knows nothing about what he is talking about. In an effort to cover up his incompetence in controlling the mob of knife-wielding killers he is quite blatantly and without a shred of evidence or credibility – making the accusation up. What the Sheriff is claiming is that in the middle of a mob of Faroese dolphin killers that two Sea Shepherd volunteers engaged in the vicious stabbing of a dolphin and no one even seemed to notice.”

Rob Read, the campaign leader of Sea Shepherd UK, has also commented on the aforementioned accusation.

He wrote on Facebook: “To accuse Sea Shepherd of stabbing a dolphin is incredible…though is interesting to see the Faroese press describing this as a ‘stabbing of a defenseless dolphin’ when this is a Faroese Government sanctioned hunt of 210 dolphins which all met the same fate at the hands of Faroese citizens on that day in Hvalvik.”

The Faroese police undoubtedly know who every Sea Shepherd volunteer is in the Faroe islands and if anyone of us even remotely looked like one of these two men, we would have been arrested. In such small communities in the Faroe islands, we do not see how it is impossible for this Sheriff to identify these two individuals who are clearly seen on another Sea Shepherd video running down to join in the hunt with other young Faroese men at the start of the grindadrap”.

Mr. Read concluded: “I accuse Karl Johanssen of attempting to damage Sea Shepherd’s reputation and that of our volunteers from the UK and Canada with no evidence at all for his absurd and potentially slanderous public statements – and when printed by local.fo and Dimma.fo these are libellous accusations against Sea Shepherd.”

According to Mr. Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd stands ready to assist the Faroese police “in apprehending these two men caught on our cameras stabbing dolphins.”

“The Faroese know who they are and perhaps someone will speak out in response to a 1,000 Euro reward to anyone who can identify the men from our video and pictures,” states Mr. Watson.

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Local.fo is the only English-language newspaper in the Faroe Islands reporting Faroese news exclusively.

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