Greenpeacers shot at as whaling season ends

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1999:


Deb McIntyre, 28, of Pambula, Court calendar
New South Wales, “was shot at and later
arrested by the Norwegian Coast Guard” on
June 12 after approaching a wounded whale
in Norwegian waters, Greenpeace Australia
reported. McIntyre’s inflatable powerboat
was punctured by the shot, allegedly fired
from the whaling vessel K a t o, but she was
not hurt.
Reporting either different particulars
of the same incident or describing a separate
but similar confrontation, the London
M i r r o r reported one day later that
Greenpeace activists Dave Thoenen of the
U.S. and Ulvar Anhaern, 32, of Norway
were “shot at with a semi-automatic rifle”
from a distance of about 60 feet as they tried
to prevent a Norwegian whaling vessel from
harpooning a minke whale 120 miles off the
Norwegian coast, and “jumped for their
lives as the bullet ripped a gaping hole in the
side of their inflatable.”

K a t o captain Ole Myklebust t o l d
Norwegian media that, “Greenpeace was trying
to cut the rope between the whale and the
boat just as we were about to kill the whale.”
Norwegian authorities seized the
Greenpeace mother ship, the S i r i u s,
assessed fines against the crew totaling more
than $10,000, and held the ship until after
the unilaterally declared Norwegian whaling
season closed on August 1.
The confrontation came about one
month after a Norwegian Coast Guard vessel
ran over a Greenpeace inflatable. Greenpeace
crew member Mark Hardingam, of
Britain, suffered a broken arm and pelvis.
“The 1999 Norwegian whale hunt
all but stopped,” a week before the shooting,
according to Doug Mellgren of Associated
Press, with about 500 whales killed out of a
753-whale quota, after mass media reported
that as Mellgren summarized, “Six hundred
tons of whale blubber is sitting in warehouses
while the Norwegian government tries to figure
out what to do with it.”
Greenpeace said some of the frozen
whale meat was 13 years old.
A lack of markets also halted the
1999 Atlantic Canada seal hunt in May,
about 45,000 retrieved carcasses short of the
285,000-seal quota.

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