"Norway announced an increased quota of minke whales so we decided to increase our quota of sunken whalers" - AGENDA 21
Another whaling vessel was sabotaged a few days ago, on April 2nd, nearly a year since the last attempted sinking of the Skarbakk, another Norwegian whaling vessel. The attack was claimed by Agenda 21, a group responsible for last years sabotage and a string of other actions against Norway's whaling industry. Using the name of a 1992 United Nations Conference on the Environment, the group is a spin off from the more known Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and promised Norway that if they did not comply with international conservation law, they would sink their whaling ships.
It wasn't an empty threat, with Captain Paul Watson supervising the sinking of two ships; the Nybraena in 1992 and the Senet in 1994. The anonymous and covert goup Agenda 21 then took over with the scuttling of the Elin-Toril in 1996. Claimed on the website of animal rights magazine Bite Back, the activists explain: "Entry was made through the wheelhouse. The engine room was accessed by removing the locked door from its frame using axe and crowbar. Two sea valves were opened fully submerging the engine and electrical systems."
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Norwegian whaling vessel Sofie
Local news media reported that the sabotage was discovered before the ship could sink. An alarm alerted the ship's owner, Leif Einar Karlsen, who lives nearby. He attempted to slow the water that was coming in through the open valves, but by the time the fire department arrived, the engine room was under several feet of water. Karlsen has pledged to repair the Sofie and begin killing minke whales in May.
It has been one year since the last attempted sinking of a whaling ship in Norway. In April 2009, an attempt was made to sink the whaling ship "Skarbakk" when it was moored at Henningsvaer, Norway. In August 2007, the whaling ship "Willassen Senior" was sunk in the harbor in Svolvaer (the boat was only a stone's throw away from where the Sofie was docked).
The Sofie is the seventh Norwegian whaling vessel to come under attack for illegal whaling activities since 1992. After the attack on the Sofie, the head of a Norwegian whaling organization complained to the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, "It is outrageous that this can be done year after year without anyone being caught."