5 anti-whal­ing ac­tivists barred from the Faroes

The China Post - - LIFE GUIDE POST -

Five ac­tivists from the mil­i­tant Sea Shep­herd con­ser­va­tion group have been or­dered to leave the Faroe Is­lands af­ter they tried to dis­rupt a tra­di­tional whale hunt in the au­ton­o­mous Dan­ish province, po­lice said Satur­day.

Four were ex­pelled on Fri­day, and a fifth was to leave Satur­day, po­lice spokesman Chris­tian Jon­s­son told AFP, adding that they were barred from the is­lands for a year.

A Faroe Is­lands court on Fri­day found the five guilty of dis­rupt­ing the re­gion’s tra­di­tional “grind” pi­lot whale hunt, one of the ac­tivists said.

Dur­ing the hunt, which many lo­cals de­fend as a cul­tural right, the three-to-six me­ter sea mam­mals are driven by a flotilla of small boats into a bay, or the mouth of a fjord, be­fore be­ing killed by hand.

The whale meat and blub­ber are con­sumed by lo­cals and con­sid­ered del­i­ca­cies on the ar­chi­pel­ago si­t­u­ated be­tween Nor­way, Ice­land and Scot­land.

The court found Ital­ian Marianne Baldo, Bel­gian Christophe Bon­due, French­man Xavier Fi­garella, South African Rosie Kun­neke and Kevin Schiltz from Lux­em­bourg guilty of con­tra­ven­ing the Faroese Pi­lot Whale Act, Kun­neke told AFP.

Sea Shep­herd has re­peat­edly at- tempted to high­light and stop the whale hunt, launch­ing its latest ac­tion in the area, in­volv­ing two ves­sels and dozens of ac­tivists, two months ago.

The group says 12 ac­tivists have been con­victed since the start of the year. Around 60 Sea Shep­herd ac­tivists are still in the ar­chi­pel­ago.

Pro­vin­cial author­i­ties told AFP in an email that they would not “tol­er­ate the dis­rup­tion of the pi­lot whale drive in the Faroe Is­lands, which is a le­gal, fully reg­u­lated and sus­tain­able use of an abun­dant nat­u­ral re­source.”

They added: “Ob­struct­ing a whale drive can be dan­ger­ous and can put peo­ple and prop­erty at risk.”

The Faroe Is­lands are home to just un­der 50,000 peo­ple and have been an au­ton­o­mous Dan­ish province since 1948.

AFP

Ac­tor Martin Sheen dur­ing the chris­ten­ing of Sea Shep­herd’s new­est ves­sel named af­ter the ac­tor at a cer­e­mony in Ma­rina del Rey, Cal­i­for­nia on Oct. 18, 2014.

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