Conservation ship The Sea Shepherd, famous for its confrontational eco-wars against Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean, is headed to the North Atlantic for the summer of 2015 to take on the ancient tradition of bloody whale beaching that has earned the The Faroe Islands world condemnation.
Fresh from its relentless campaign that eventually forced Japanese ships to abandon the whale rich waters near Antartica, the Sea Shepherd will again be crewed by volunteers with oversight from controversial skipper Paul Watson, to try thwart the activities in the Faroe Islands.
Operation Sleppid Grindini (meaning: set the whales free in local lingo), will try to thwart the driving of schools of whales into inlets around the islands, where they are forced to beach and be gaf-hooked by local fishermen. Sea Shepherd believes the whales and dolphins are subject to cruelty and painful deaths lasting for up to an hour. A land-based team will also get involved.
Operation Sleppid Grindini campaign leader and CEO of Sea Shepherd Global, Captain Alex Cornelissen, said, “This year, again, our crews will do everything legally possible to ensure that the pilot whales of the Faroe Islands are set free. Sea Shepherd’s intervention in the grind is not aimed to impose values on the Faroese people. It is part of a global movement that is driven by the passion to protect these pilot whales and all of the precious life in our oceans.”
The organisation has been conducting conservation activities, protests and defences since 1977, becoming increasingly aggressive with guerilla styled tactics that have landed their members in jail and courts around the world but with some admirable successes.