Sea Shepherd Society Turns Spotlight on the Faroe Islands

B. McPherson

Paul Watson and his crews of animal activists have announced their intention to disrupt the mass slaughter of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands. Their campaign recorded by Whale Wars Animal Planet is called Operation Ferocious Isles. They will be seeking to divert migrating pilot whales away from the Atlantic islands and failing that, interfere with the actual, bloody killing in the bays.

The Faroe Islands are located in the frigid North Atlantic between Iceland and Scotland. These islands are ultimately administered by Denmark although they are independent in most of their internal affairs. The people are descendants of Gaels who settled the islands in the 6th century and Norsemen who cling to their traditions, one of which has set them against animal rights activists – The Grind. The Grind or grindadrap is a slaughter of pilot whales after having herded them into a shallow bay.

The Faroese traditionally depended on whale meat to supplement their diets, but due to modern pollution of the oceans, the meat of whales is no longer recommended as fit for human consumption. This leaves the slaughter of the whales as a tradition that has outlived its history.

"Most Faroese consider the hunt an important part of their culture and history. Animal-rights groups criticize the hunt as being cruel and unnecessary. As of the end of November 2008 the chief medical officers of the Faroe Islands have recommended that pilot whales no longer be considered fit for human consumption because of the levels of toxins in the whales." World Law Direct

Pilot whales are not on the endangered list and the whaling is not done on a commercial basis, but the mass killing of intelligent animals in an extremely brutal way has much of the world reacting with repugnance. The result of the hunt turns the water red and the carnage is much the same as that seen in Japan in The Cove.
For up to date facts on these islands, a good source is the CIA The World Handbook which was updated in April of this year.


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