220 Pilot Whale Slaughter in The Faroe Islands


By Kirsten Massebeau

Slaughtered Mother Whale and her unborn child


The chant of activist swim fast,swim far,swim deep, did not help 220 pilot on May 28, 2011. Trying to avoid colder currents the whales traveled too close to the Faroe Islands. The Faroese  spotted a pod traveling near their shores.  They sped out to sea and drove the pod of panicked pilot whales into a bay where the community methodically slaughters the entire pod. The entire process is watched over by officials who then distribute the meat to each household. Sadly the death of so many is senseless. 1200 years ago when the Norse tradition grind began the waters were clear and free from toxins. Today the meat is known to carry substantial levels of mercury and PCB’s. that are known to cause Parkinson’s disease and illnesses in children as noted by bluevoice.org. 1200 years ago the proud Norse settlers depended on the grind for survival. Today the grind has become senseless as the meat puts Faroese people and families at risk for future health problems. In addition, so much is known today about dolphin intelligence. Dolphins have brain very similar to mans. The grind is a cultural tradition that whale and dolphin supporters hope can be in memory only. Today though was not the case: “The indigenous people spent all day at the port during the cutting process, will be charged to teach their children to learn how the whales did not neglect to keep them”http://www.stern.de/bdt/bilder-des-tages-traditioneller-walfang-im-nordatlantik-1501450-bc775f4aac6e2c3d.html

In taking action many have said not to bother with the Danish Government (as the Faroese are self governing), but to go directly to the Faroese Government. It is time the EU puts it’s foot down and makes the Faroes stop killing pilot whales and join, or no more trade agreements.” When Denmark in 1973 joined the European Economic Community, now the European Union, the Faroes had the option to remain outside. Like other fisheries dependent communities, the Faroese have not found it their interest to become subject to the Common Fisheries Policy“. We must urge the Faorese government that it is in their best interests to end the “grindadráp”.
Take Action:
Contact The Prime Minister of The Faroe Islands Office and the Faroes Board of Tourism. Urge them to stop killing pilot whales.
Minister Prime Kaj Leo Johannesen
p.o. box 64
FO-110 Torshavan
Teli-+ 298-306-000
email: info@tinganes.fo
The Faroe Islands Board of Tourism
VISITFAROEISLANDS
Bryggjubakki 12
P.O box 118
Fo 110 Tórshavn
Tel +298 306100
Fax +298 306105
visitfaroeislands@mfa.fo
http://www.visitfaroeislands.com
Please take the time to email, call, or even write a hand written letter. It will take more time as The Faroe Government does not have easy contact information. We know that is a way to silence our comments, so let’s take the extra time.
                                 We do it for them. We must be their voice on land.

Swim Fast* Swim Far*Swim Deep

87 thoughts on “220 Pilot Whale Slaughter in The Faroe Islands

  1. I am happy that you finally say that the whaling culture is Faroese and not Danish. I can tell you that Danish animal lovers would be very offended and saddened by your blog if they saw your posts where you label whaling as a part of Denmark and Danish culture, its Faroese products you should boycott, not Danish. And yes, they do make food products and other products in the Faroe Islands, and yes they are registered and listed as Faroese and not Danish. By buying Danish products you support people who love animals, there is ALOT of protests against the Faroese whaling in Denmark, everyone who wants to be taken seriously by Danish animal lovers should stop saying that whaling is a part of Danish culture and stop urging people to boycott everything Danish instead of everything Faroese.

    • Magnus I wrote that post about a year ago and will readily admit today that at that time I knew little about the Faeroe Islands dolphin drives. I do not believe in boycotting anyone especially the Danish, but I will not agree that the Danish can do nothing about it. “Both Iceland and Norway have been rejected for inclusion in the European Union due to their on going whaling policies, yet the Faroes continue to reap the rewards of E.U. subsidies without obligation to adhere to E.U. regulations. Europe has made it plain that the slaughter of whales is not consistent with the ideals of European civilization. These subsidies should be denied or else it translates into discrimination against Norway and Iceland. Denmark must be pressured by the E.U. to withhold subsidies until The Faroes abides by the regulations protecting whales and opposing cruelty that all Europeans must respect” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-bassett/faroe-islands-whale-slaughter_b_946596.html. It is time to end it. The flesh of the dolphins is tainted with high levels of mercury, not to mention today we know how highly intelligent dolphins and whales are.

    • Hi again Magnus, I just updated that post and took out the bit about the Danish. I have to admit when I found it out wasn’t the Danish but the Faeroe Islanders killing the pilot whales I was relieved. I am part Danish myself and love all things Danish! I only hope that we see and end to the grind in soon. I guess this means I too am off the hook and can visit Denmark someday… Thanks for alerting me to that old post.

  2. Allie wrote : “I believe that it’s easy to say that the pigs also are more worth alive than dead, but it’s not how it works. Please, before judging the islands, read an objective article. This “article” is more like a blog than an informing article. A page very useful site is http://www.whaling.fo which explains how the whaling [...]”

    Well, there are also a lot of people out there that will tell you without the smallest sign of hesitation that Nuclear Power Plants are extremely safe and harmless….they will even bring up “proves” that it is true . LOL

    • Well, the truth is that nuclear power plants are very safe and distributes green energy, but when the reactors crack, disaster strikes. That’s what happened in Japan.

      However, lets not talk about Japan.

      “Well, there are also a lot of people out there that will tell you without the smallest sign of hesitation that Nuclear Power Plants are extremely safe and harmless….they will even bring up “proves” that it is true . LOL”

      Apparently, you don’t know what an objective article is. An objective article is an article in which the author, who has written the article, does not show which side he’s on. And if someone’s writing an article which contains plenty of proves where he says that the power plants are safe and, therefore, should be used, the article is not objective.
      But if an article, on the other hand, explains about the structure, the article is objective (unless the author shows his opinion in the article about something).

      The explanation of how a power plant is structured can be compared to an explanation of how the whaling goes on.

  3. Eric wrote : “Sorry to mention this, you forgot how annoying the native americans where to the European settlers.

    Annoying as you put it, isnt always good.”

    Oh yeah…… the fact that people resist to the fact that foreigners/European Settlers take their land, settle there and kill their people was indeed very annoying for the foreigners/ European Settlers LOL

  4. ninna wrote : “The government in this country makes strict division between activists and “eco-terrorists”. They will listen to everyone who obeys the laws in these islands, but will not be available for people, who break the law, as for instance Sea Shepherd did, when they were last here. New legislation was passed only last week on this issue.”

    Well ……. Here is a quote of Butros Butros-Ghali, former Secretary-General of the United Nations :

    “The best way to deal with bureaucrats is with stealth and sudden violence !”
    ;)

  5. @Muffyjoy: Well, “ecoterrorists” – You saw I wrote it in “quotes” – they do harm the people they focus on. They mean well, but they do not consider the people they target. You can see that all over the world. They make people suffer!

    Actually I think we are talking about two different issues:
    1) The ethics: It seems to me, that some people have made the whales semi-human as they call killing them cannibalistic etc. I cannot relate to that – it is absurd. The whale is an animal and as such food for the people. Our harvest is sustainable and is just a matter of using the ressources that nature offers in this environment. We cannot be interested in its extinction, as it is in our best interest that they are still here.

    2. The contamination.: You people cannot be seriously interested in the wellfare of the pilot whale, when you gloat about it being contaminated. I think it is really sad. The contamination originates from the western industrial civilisation – mostly Germany, England and the USA, and in my opinion it is hypocritical of people from these countries to talk about our way of life, when they contaminate the oceans themselves.

    The government in this country makes strict division between activists and “eco-terrorists”. They will listen to everyone who obeys the laws in these islands, but will not be available for people, who break the law, as for instance Sea Shepherd did, when they were last here. New legislation was passed only last week on this issue.

    • @Ninna wrote : “ecoterrorists” – You saw I wrote it in “quotes” – they do harm the people they focus on. They mean well, but they do not consider the people they target. You can see that all over the world. They make people suffer! ”

      They make people suffer as you say…..hmmmm I wonder how they do it !
      Do they kidnap people ?……No !
      Do they make bomb-attacks ? …..No !
      Do they hitchhike planes ?…..No !
      Do they kill people ? ……No !

      In fact they do nothing what a terrorist does to be considered as an terrorist.
      All what they do is to get in your way and as lalaa put it : To be annoying !
      Changes might be annoying, I do agree…..
      Nelson Mandella for example, was also annoying for the White government of South Africa, they have considered him also as an terrorist.
      The crowd in eastern Germany Cities ca. 20 years ago where also annoying for the East Germany government…..
      Abraham Lincoln’s idea to give up slavery was for the southern States of the United States so annoying that they even started a civil-war to fight for the “right” to have slaves.
      Ghandi was also very annoying
      like Malcom X and Dr. Martin Luther King……

      In fact, the list is long of movements and people that some other ones find annoying.

      Times, habits and traditions are changing….. some people might find it annoying to give up things.
      But it’s a matter of fact that things move on …..This is called Evolution !
      And the biggest enemy of Evolution is Tradition……tradition considers evolution as something very annoying.
      Tradition hates Evolution and does everything in his power to stop Evolution…..but never succeed in a long run.
      Sooner or later, also you on the Faroes, have to recognize that you can’t stop Evolution.
      Sooner or later you have to give up your out of time tradition of the grind.
      Sooner or later you have to wake up…..if you find it annoying or not.
      It’s just a matter of time !

      • Sorry to mention this, you forgot how annoying the native americans where to the European settlers.

        Annoying as you put it, isnt always good.

    • “eco terrorist”……….I love that one !
      It’s a real pat on the back to be called and considered like this.
      Only when people feel so cornered they have to resort to this, do we know we’re doing our jobs right. :))

      • It depends on how you define the word terrorist.

        Here are some distinguished characteristics of a terrorist which I found on Wikipedia.

        Ineluctably political in aims and motives.
        Violent – or, equally important, threatens violence.
        Designed to have far-reaching psychological repercussions beyond the immediate victim or target.
        Conducted by an organization with an identifiable chain of command or conspiratorial cell structure (whose members wear no uniform or identifying insignia).
        Perpetrated by a subnational group or non-state entity.

        “Do they hitchhike planes ?…..No !” Hehe, I don’t think the word hitchhike means what you think it means.

        However, it would be delightful to distinguish the bad things of the whaling instead of defining a word.

        .

  6. lalaa wrote : “The reason why I call them eco-terrorists is because they annoy people and nobody likes them except from the misinformed………..The reason why I call them eco-terrorists is because they annoy people and nobody likes them except from the misinformed.”

    You are funny you know that (at least) ?
    Once more you give the prove that you’re well “informed” …….only hic is that you believe just what please you.
    For example you claim that eco-terrorists take it kind of harsh being called like this…..fact is that we consider it as a badge of honor to be called like this :))

  7. I must step in for a moment here…. First I am going to say, that even the closed mind must open the door for fresh air to survive…. I hope this town survives into the latest century without their archaic and cruel ways…. Secondly, I am going to address the Word, “Eco-Terrorist” used against ocean activists above by Nina and the Faroe Island Inhabitants, to describe the ocean activists, as a total Sham.. I mean Nina no personal harm, and I wish her and her loved ones well, and her town safe…. Yet,

    Nina, above in an earlier post, mentions that their town snickers and calls those who defend the Ocean’s Inhabitants, “eco-terrorists”. It appears very clear to me that this name has been used to make light of the environmental cause of individuals fighting for protection of the most intelligent animals on this planet,. The fact is, that they are mocking people that DO NOT KILL ANY LIVING THING in their protest. The Fact is, that the Faroe People Create Terror against the Whales. They are the Actual Terrorists…

    The people of the town use this term against the protectors of the whales to ridicule them, but there is no basis in fact to the application of the word “terrorist” here as used against the activists. They bring no Terror to the people of the Faroe Islands. What is brought to them is educational discourse and rally against violent acts of annual ritualistic slaughter, not being supported by actual need, and being committed by the whalers upon the whales in large numbers. Again we stress here, that the cetaceans are not fish, and are highly intellectual mammals. They do feel pain, and they do suffer.

    I therefore think that to call the activists eco-terrorists, is revealing total ignorance on their part, and a deliberate twist of fact. This application of the term of “eco terrorist” given to a group that is adamant in support of the lives of the Ocean’s inhabitants through NON VIOLENT MEANS is totally Ridiculous. Intelligence sees through it.

    • You’re totally right on the money muffyjo ! :)
      The funny thing is that these kind of “highly dangerous eco-terrorists” can travel freely, crossing international borders and security checks at airports with out any kind of problem ! This already proves how dangerous eco-terrorist are :))
      So if they do believe that we activists are terrorists…..I do suggest that they arrest me directly on my arrival at the airport next week ! ;)

      • The reason why I call them eco-terrorists is because they annoy people and nobody likes them except from the misinformed. For instance, the Greenpeace people who try to stop the rig from drilling near Greenland.. I call them eco-terrorists too and so does everyone else.

        “What is brought to them is educational discourse and rally against violent acts of annual ritualistic slaughter”

        I read you comment when I stumbled upon that sentence. This shows that you’re also one of the misinformed people who just judge the killing when they see pictures from it. And when they actually read about, it’s always an article from Sea Shepherd :(
        Sea Shepherd terrorizes so it’s not really true that no one terrorizes and you know so. But I was being ironic when I mentioned eco-terrorists above, because I know that eco-terrorists take it kind of harsh, just like you.

  8. Attention needs to be brought to this horrible tradition (simply a justification for greed)..The Faroe Islands need their own movie to expose this brutal inhumane practice. Taiji Japan has the movie “The Cove” and now the world needs to be exposed to the horros of the Faroe’s. Good piece and good writing :-)

  9. lalaa you wrote : “You know I’m right with my facts.”

    Ok, you are right….The animals don’t suffer at all, and the highly toxic meat is good for your health !

    Are you happy now ?! ;)

    • No, I’m not. The meat is not good for my health, but in that small portions it’s negligible. Now I’m happy.

      • Yeah….and don’t forget to repeat to yourself also that the animals don’t suffer at all.
        By this way your consciousness is totally at ease and you will sleep even better !
        Make yourself a reason to justify and to keep on with your out of time “tradition” :)

        The biggest enemy of evolution is tradition ;)

  10. In answer to the posts above that talk about Government recommendations and the research by Dr Pal Weihe and others from 2008 into the toxicity of pilot whale meat and blubber.

    In 1998, the Faroese Government was recommending no more than 1-2 meals of meat and blubber per month.

    After Dr Weihe’s research was published, the Government said, “On 26 November 2008, the Chief Medical Officer in the Faroes, Dr Høgni Debes Joensen, together with aforementioned medical researcher, Dr Pál Weihe of the Department of Public and Occupational Health, issued a joint press statement with a recommendation that the meat and blubber of pilot whales should no longer be used for human consumption. Their recommendation is based primarily on recently published research results which suggest a correlation between high levels of mercury and a comparatively high incidence of Parkinson’s disease in the Faroes, established through interviews with elderly subjects, assessed against a control group of the same age group. The main source of mercury in these findings is assumed to be from pilot whale meat in the local diet.

     The Government of the Faroes has noted these conclusions and research findings with concern and is of the view that a broad and independent evaluation of these findings is required. The Faroese Food and Veterinary Agency has therefore been requested to evaluate the basis for the Chief Medical Officer’s recommendation, also drawing on appropriate external expertise.”

    In June 2011, the Faroese Food and Veterinary Agency, published updated recommendations that HALVED the 1998 recommended intake of pilot whale meat and blubber:

    1 / 1 Journal No.: 461-200800444-70
    Faroese Food and Veterinary Authority
    1 June 2011
    Dietary recommendation on the consumption of pilot whale meat and blubber1
    In recent years, a number of studies have been conducted on contaminants in our food products and
    the implications their consumption have for human development and health. Expert groups under
    the auspices of various international bodies have assessed these studies and provided updated
    advice on the levels within which the intake of these substances through food is likely to be safe for
    human health. Recommendations have previously been related to mercury, but advice is now also
    available regarding dioxin and dioxin-like PCBs.

    Based on this advice, the recommendations for the consumption of pilot whale meat and blubber
    are as follows:

     Adults should eat at most one meal of pilot whale meat and blubber per month. (1)
     Special recommendations for women and girls:
    o Girls and women should refrain entirely from eating blubber as long as they are still
    planning to have children
    o Women who are planning pregnancy within the next three months, who are
    pregnant or who are breastfeeding should refrain from eating whale meat
     The kidneys and liver of pilot whales should not be eaten.

    1. One meal is calculated as an amount of 250 grams of meat and 50 grams of blubber (raw, unprocessed).
    Average human body weight 70 kg.
    ENDS

    So even the Government is admitting there is a problem and that the problem is more serious than they thought.

    • Is eating pilot whale really worth having to figure out how much you can eat because the meat and blubber, contain mercury and PCB’s.+I understand it is an 1100 year old tradition. I understand the Faroese have had to be self sustaining because of your remote region and depended on the pilot whale for many things. Before the discovery of oil people depended on whales for their blubber. In no way am I comparing the destruction of the oil industry in anyway to the grind. I am just saying that you don’t really need to kill the whales anymore. Because the Faroe Islands are in such a remote area very few people in the world know much about you and your long time traditions. Now when you do an internet search for the Faroe Islands pictures of the grind appear.It seems now would be the time to give it up. It is damaging to your countries reputation, and let’s face you are a tourist draw living in one of the most amazing places on earth. Not to mention that it is so bad to eat.
      I spent all afternoon on Facebook having a civil discussion with a Faroese. He explained a lot of things to me. I still think the grind is wrong that will never change but I do not believe it is corporate driven like the Japanese drives.I believe the grind will end, as did the gentlemen I conversed with today. He said he doesn’t feed his children pilot whale because of the contaminants, and didn’t eat it himself because of the Mercury. He said people liken it to junk food today which is sad and again a lot of that pollution from drilling for oil and other ocean exploitation. He predicts the grind will end but says that the Faroese need to decide for themselves when that happens.
      I was asked to write a blog post about the Faroe Islands for a major blog. I now have a different perspective on the Faroe Islands. I was so moved by our conversation I asked my publisher to trash the article I had just sent her. I am now trying to rewrite it, with a deeper perspective. I am still completely against the grind, but I do have a new respect for the Faroe Islanders for your green approach to living. I don’t think you are polluters, in fact just the opposite.
      In some ways I regret having written such a simplistic, biased post. But then again it has gotten me to this point. I do not want to impede tourism from your country, or boycott you. In fact I think tourism is what you need. I have a new view and will be writing a new post. I will never condone the grind but I do have a new understanding of the Faroe Islands.

  11. As I’ve said….you may believe in whatever you wish…..No need to be a rocket-scientist to figure out that your so called “facts” are ridiculous….

  12. Believe whatever you want…… but your so called “arguments” are just your opinions and nothing more.

    • My arguments are upon facts. Something tells me that you don’t know what an argument is? A false statement is, for instance, when someone says that the whales suffer during the killing.

      • LOL, if you say so ….. the most important thing is that at least you do believe in your so called “facts”

      • Just say what you want. You know I’m right with my facts. Now you see that you’re wrong, you just try to be ironic, that’s what’s LOL.

  13. Honestly I’m speechless in front of so much voluntary ignorance that you show.
    Your denying of the given facts shows that the old saying :” Nobody is more blind than the one that refuses to see” …..is true.
    You can keep on to ignore and to reject the facts….. it didn’t will change anything to the facts, they are there…..if you like it or not.

    • You seem like you didn’t read what I wrote. All your “facts” were rejected with real facts as argument. I begin to suspect whether you’re a troll or not?

  14. Let us look at some facts ….

    We can make the calculation also the other way around ….. based on the recommendations ” how much meat is safe ”

    1.27 kg per person and year is the maximum that is considered as safe.

    Let’s take 2/3 of the population that eat pilot whale meat (1/3 are children,pregnant woman or women who intend to get pregnant since it is not recommended for them, and the ones that simply don’t like to eat it) so this 2/3 will make 33.000 people that eat each 1.27 kg of meat a year.

    1.27 kg x 33.000 people = 41.910 kg
    The average weight of a pilot whale is 1.800 kg
    Some parts as bones kidney, liver and so on are not used for consumption…..
    So let’s say from the original 1.800 kg are 1.200 kg left over for consumption.

    They do kill around 1.000 pilot whales a year to get (see above) 1.200.000 kg of meat for consumption !
    Those 1.200.000 kg are shared between the 33.000 people that will eat it.
    So, 1.200.000 kg : 33.000 people = 36 kg of meat per person and year

    36 kg per person !!!! But according to the recommendation only 1.27 kg are safe….

    This means two things :
    1.) they eat far more as recommended
    or
    2.) If they do respect the amount of meat that is recommended, they do kill far more pilot whales than they do need.
    Since the selling of pilot whale meat is illegal the question is…..where are the remaining ca. 35 kg are going ?

    If they do respect the recommendation and if they don’t waste the meat (as they do claim) they will need to harvest just 41.910 kg of meat per year.

    Fact is that they do harvest ca. 1.200.000 kg per year.

    This means they do kill ca. 3 times more as they do need.
    In 2010 they have killed 1.100 pilot whales and this year already 300……..
    If they want to keep alive their tradition of the grind and stay healthy too……It will be enough to kill 280 pilot whales per year to get the amount of meat that is safe for consumption.

    Conclusion :

    There are two possibilities…

    1.)
    They are on the way to commit a slow suicide by eating far more than it is recommended. (36 kg per person/year instead of the 1,27 kg per person /year) of highly toxic meat in the name of “tradition”

    Or (the more likely one) …

    2.)
    They are killing at least 720 pilot whales (based on the average kill of 1.000/year) for nothing….. in the name of “tradition” !

    Slow suicide or senseless waste in the name of tradition….One or the other……I don’t know what is the most stupid one of the two.

    • Your calculation is hot air as you call it. Really? You believe that the whale weighs 1800 kilos and 1200 kilos of the whale is eatable?
      I don’t know how much of the whale is eatable but I know that the sharing comes out. So if you don’t come to that conclusion, your calculation must be wrong.

      Actually, a conclusion based upon your calculation is most likely to be the first one of yours instead of the second… The meat is eaten, that’s for sure.

      Let’s say that we eat too much of the meat. Why should you care? Just because the meat is contaminated, it doesn’t meat that the meat can’t be eaten. Just look up the recommendation which shows what max recommended meal is.

      • So, according to you, my calculation is wrong ?! Well, if YOU [!] say so….. :))
        Nevertheless……
        Fact is that a pilot whale got an average weight of ca. 1.800 kg
        Fact is also that not all Faroes eat the meat
        Fact is that you kill and average of 1.000 per year
        Fact is that the population is less than 50.000
        Fact is that you don’t need to kill, nowadays, those whales to survive on the Faroe Islands
        Fact is that each animal feels pain and suffering when being slaughtered
        Fact is that the meat is highly contaminated with mercury , cadmium, DDT and PCBs
        Fact is that the recommendation, given by your government, is limited 1,27 kg per person and year
        Fact is that you kill far more than you can eat and that you eat far more than it is recommended
        Fact is that studies have proven the negative impact on the health, due to the consumption of this toxic meat, of Faroees children.
        Fact is that the consumption of this meat is NOT recommended for human consumption (http://suigin-iranai.jp/en/archives/462)
        Fact is that you stick to this out of time tradition for the sake of the tradition !

        And if you ask me why I do mind, and worry, not only about the senseless slaughter of Pilot whales but also about the fact that you stick to the tradition to eat highly toxic meat and to put yourself and your children by this way into danger …..and this in the name of “tradition”
        my answer to it are just two words :
        Empathy & Compassion

        WAKE UP !

      • “Fact is that you don’t need to kill, nowadays, those whales to survive on the Faroe Islands”

        Indeed, we could stop eating all kind of meat and switch to become vegetarians. However, It’s my opinion and the great majority’s that it’s okay to eat meat. Thus, the pilot whale meat is equally needed as every other kinds of meat.

        Fact is not that the pilot whales suffer when slaughtered. The killing methods have evolved rapidly and these methods, as well as the killing equipment, has been approved by international whale organizations to kill the whales with. You know, it’s not like we wouldn’t care if the whales suffered.

        “Fact is that you kill far more than you can eat and that you eat far more than it is recommended”

        Says who? Your unreliable calculation? We don’t kill far more than we can eat but someone eats, sadly, far more than recommended. For the 100th time, the calculation in real life comes out.

        “Fact is that studies have proven the negative impact on the health, due to the consumption of this toxic meat, of Faroees children.”

        I don’t think there ever has been implemented a Faroese study of Faroese children, but I’m not quite sure. However, foreign studies show that consumption of, among these, mercury and that this can have a negative impact upon the nervous system. I don’t know the impact of the mercury on the Faroese children but I know there are negative consequences. The Faroese people are informed about the potential threats if a child eats it, and I believe everyone takes precaution upon that.

        “Fact is that you stick to this out of time tradition for the sake of the tradition !”

        The pilot whale is a delicacy and we stick to it as long as it is safe to eat it (in acceptable quantities). This makes it equally “out of time” to eat as eating pigs.

        “And if you ask me why I do mind, and worry, not only about the senseless slaughter of Pilot whales but also about the fact that you stick to the tradition to eat highly toxic meat and to put yourself and your children by this way into danger …..and this in the name of “tradition”
        my answer to it are just two words :
        Empathy & Compassion”

        Absolutely not. You’re just trying to use that excuse to try to justify the halt of the whaling. You don’t care about the people but just that the contamination is a potential solution to the stop of the whaling. And you say that you feel empathy and compassion about this… Don’t. Faroese are capable of handling the consumption of the meat.

  15. lalaa , you wrote :
    “As said, the recommendation is that we shall eat max one meal a month. As long as we stay beyond that limit, it’s safe to eat (equally safe as eating fish which always is a bit contaminated).
    I know one thing for certain about the killing and it’s that the sum comes out.

    No meat is wasted, and because exploit all the meat it means that your calculation is wrong.

    The recommendation says too that the food is not recommended for children, neither for pregnant woman or women who intend to get pregnant. I know that people are aware of this and hence are cautious what they give their children to eat.
    The thing which is stupid is the fat problem in the world. Lack of Exercise for example.”

    —————

    Dr. Pal Weihe, the Senior Faroese Health Official strongly recommend for example, that a man of 70Kg can’t eat more than 3.5 grams [!] of whale meat a day. if he want to stay healthy. That is 1.27Kg per year.

    1.27 kg a year !!!!

    Based on the number of pilot whales killed each year, the weight of the whales and the number of people that will eat it …..it turns out that there is at least 12 kg of meat per year and person.
    So, if I’m wrong, as you say, with my calculation and that there is no meat wasted …..
    it means that you eat far more than it is recommended !

    Please stop to take us for idiots…..I really would like that you bring up some REAL arguments that will justify the killing and consumption of the highly toxic meat ……but until now it turns out that your “arguments” are nothing but hot air….

    Wake up

    • The Faroese Food- and veterinary agency implemented a recommendation which was published 1. June. The max recommended meal was 1 meal a month.

      http://www.hfs.fo/pls/portal/docs/PAGE/HFS/WWW_HFS_FO/UMSITING/KUNNANDITILFAR/KUNNANDITILFARFRABODANIR/KUNNTILFFRAMATVORUR/GRIND-UK_0.PDF

      As I’ve said, your calculation must be wrong so please don’t keep bringing it up… It’s just “hot air” as you call it.

      Here are some REAL arguments, not just a dumb calculation which only I think proves everything.

      I have arguments that justifies the killing equally much as the killing of pigs. The killing is painless for the animal, however, it seems to be the toxins which trouble you.
      I’m telling you that if the meat is consumed a few times, it corresponds to consuming other kinds of meat which are a bit contaminated. And the official recommendation says that the most allowed is 1 meal a month. Your calculation is hot air and does not prove anything, because apparently the meat is shared to all the participants, and the sharing comes out (which you apparently don’t understand).

      if we said that we ate more than recommended, why would you care? I thought it was the animal which you sorry for, not us. As far as that goes, you’ve only tried to tell me that we eat too much of contaminated meat… For me, what you try to prove, has nothing to do with that the meat is unjustifiable to eat. The animals don’t suffer, only we (according to you).

  16. I have actually realized for quite some time, that it will be the pollution that will eventually end the harvesting of the pilot whale and thus end us using the natural ressources of the ocean. I hope it makes all of you very proud of the western civilization! I do know about the research of the medical officers and their recommendation – they are both personal acquaintances of mine. However new recommendations was published June 1.- 2011 as mentioned above. It is not as strict as the one before. And in one of the local newspapers tonight June 7. – 2011 the veterinary autorities, which are in charge of all food in these islands, elaborate that there is no research yet that considers the advantages and disadvantages of sea food against other imported food.

    • Studies show that eating meat polluted with mercury, PCB, DDT and so on is unhealthy. It’s no solution to just reject the facts.

  17. Up till now we know of noone who has been poisoned or sick from eating grind. Not so with plants. You may know, that at the moment thousands of people are sick and several have died from eating vegetables in northern Germany. Chickens are infested with salmonella, fruit is infested with pesticides etc, etc.. And all food has to be transported using carbon. Local food is always the best and healthiest.

    • The vegetable poisoning in Germany is due to the Escherichia coli O157:H7 bacteria that you find in the intestines of Animals an can naturally be found in the intestinal contents of cattle and pigs.
      Your so called local food is so good and healthy that it is NOT [!] recommended for human consumption…. even your own government advices you not to eat it.

      In both Japan and the Faroe Islands, the meat is contaminated with mercury and cadmium, causing a health risk for those frequently eating it, especially children and pregnant women are at risk. In November 2008, an article in New Scientist reported that research done on the Faroe Islands resulted in two chief medical officers recommending against the consumption of pilot whale meat, considering it to be too toxic.In 2008 and 2011 the local authorities recommended that pilot whale meat should no longer be eaten due to the contamination.

      The writing stands clear on the wall :
      “The consumption of pilot-whale meat is dangerous for your health and the health of unborn children.”
      You simply refuse to see it !

      As it seems your local authorities and scientists are smarter than you….You are just blinded by your tradition.

      http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg15621090.200-arrested-development.html

      http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16159-faroe-islanders-told-to-stop-eating-toxic-whales.html

      http://www.wdcs.org/news.php?select=419

      As I’ve said….all you try to do is to bring up arguments that ignores simple facts, to justify why you want to keep on with your stupid out of time tradition….

      WAKE UP !

      • Donald U the news! This is Ed and I so much enjoy your comments you have submitted in support of Kirstens position on the Foroe grind. What fabulous backup support you have provided, it amazes me that regardless of the logic of your argument they counter with some half truth that you then totally trash. Cheers to you and more. PLEASE CONSIDER WRITING A QUEST POST.

      • The maximum meal recommended is 1 meal a month. If you stay beyond that limit you’re out of any hazard.
        Indeed, the meat is contaminated but there is still someone individuals who deny the fact as Ninna.

        The authorities did a recommendation which said that the maximum recommended meat is 1 meal a month. The authorities never said that we shouldn’t eat the meat. If they did, the whaling would stop.

        But what I don’t see is why you always bring up that the meat is dangerous. Yes, it is but in the small amounts eaten, it’s harmless. Don’t you understand? And by the way, is it us you care about? You care about that we shouldn’t become intoxicated? Well, I appreciate your sympathy, but don’t worry.

  18. “The pilot whaling is equally justified as the killing of pigs. There’s plenty of nutrients found in plants, so why not utilize them instead of eating meat?”

    50% of the world population are vegetarians, this means 50% of all humans don’t eat meat out of choice or obligation. So I do totally with you on this that there’s plenty of nutrients found in plants, we don’t need to eat meat (whatever kind of meat) to stay healthy .
    Meat consumption is responsible for a lot of things …..from pollution, deforestation, global warming, extinction, etc. up to serious health problems.

    • Since dawn of the creatures, we’ve killed each other for food. Animals kill each other to survive and, after all, we’re animals too… So it would be unethical and immoral to stop killing each other in my eyes.
      However, studies show that vegetarians are more unhealthy than people who eat meat. This is because various nutrients are found in one piece of meath. The disadvantage by only eating plants is that you’ll have to eat many different plants to stay healthy, and only a few people are capable of doing so.

      “Meat consumption is responsible for a lot of things …..from pollution, deforestation, global warming, extinction, etc. up to serious health problems.”

      I don’t really follow you on this one… You say that meat consumption causes pollution, deforestation and global warming?

  19. “Actually, a species population consisting of one million is thought of as a healthy species.”

    Yes it is “Healthy” enough not to be recommended for human consumption and to be stupidly killed and wasted in the name of tradition.

    WAKE UP !

    • Every year approximately 0,1% of the total population in the North Atlantic Ocean is killed. I would think of that as a species which very well can be eaten. We would stop killing the whales if it appeared that the whales were in danger to extinct.

      • Even if only 0,1% is killed ….and eaten traditional reason and not by necessity ….fact is that this highly contaminated meat is NOT [!] recommended for human consumption !
        Not only that you kill far more than you can ever eat, which is a plane waste in it self….. you put also voluntarily your health and the health of your children in danger ….and all this in the name of tradition and national pride.
        This is simply stupid !

      • As said, the recommendation is that we shall eat max one meal a month. As long as we stay beyond that limit, it’s safe to eat (equally safe as eating fish which always is a bit contaminated).
        I know one thing for certain about the killing and it’s that the sum comes out. No meat is wasted, and because exploit all the meat it means that your calculation is wrong.

        The recommendation says too that the food is not recommended for children, neither for pregnant woman or women who intend to get pregnant. I know that people are aware of this and hence are cautious what they give their children to eat.
        The thing which is stupid is the fat problem in the world. Lack of Exercise for example.

  20. “As Ninna mentioned, the whales are divided among the participants and eaten.
    Indeed, the whales are not fit for consumption. However, the whales are not reckoned as a normal meal like bread. The meat is thought of as a feast and is eaten a few times, one time a month ostensibly. ”

    Well, let’s make a little calculation on this statement :

    -The Faroe Islands have a population of almost 50.000 people.

    – Every single one of those 50.000 got the right for his share.

    – A pilot-whale weights reaches up to 1,300 kg in females and up to 2,300 kg in males. The weight for short-finned pilot whales may reach 3,200 kg.
    So let us put the average weight of a pilot-whale (based on the above data) at 1.800 kg

    Each year around 1.000 pilot-whales are killed on the Faroes Islands.
    This makes a total of : 1.000 pilot-whales X 1.800kg each = 1.800.000 kg
    1.800.000 kg of pilot-whale divided by 50.000 people = 36 kg for each person.
    36 kg for everyone…..from the very youngest of the population up to the very old one.

    Note: not everyone on the Faroes eats pilot-whale meat because they are too young (baby’s) or because they simply don’t like it. So since the pilot-whales are killed and butchered anyway, but the meat is not claimed and consumed by everyone of the 50.000 people the meat is shared and consumed by let’s say by 2/3 of the full population…. So by ca. 33.000 people.
    1.800.000 kg of pilot-whale divided by 33.000 people = ca 55 kg/par person
    55 kg of meat par person and year
    Eaten (according to Ninna once a month)
    So this means : 55kg : 12 = 4,6 kg par person/meal ,
    Even if we generously reduce the weight from 4.6 kg to just 1 kg of meat (due to the body parts that are not used like bones, kidneys, liver and so on…..) there is a lot to eat in one single meal for just one person.
    To be honest, I know nobody that eat 1kg of meat par meal !

    They kill far more than they do need and can eat…..since it is illegal to sell the pilot-whale meat it is, despite the facts that the grind is (like any other slaughter) immoral and unethical , a huge waste in the name of tradition !

    • I don’t know how reliable your calculation is, but one thing is for sure. The calculations in real life comes out. There always exists someone who keeps eating more than the recommendation suggests.
      In order to determine whether a kill is unethical and immoral, one should define the words immoral and unethical before. Why is the killing unethical and immoral? Since the dawn of creatures, we’ve always killed for food. Survival of the fittest. As you perhaps know, we’re nothing else but animals which have mutated for our benefit, so shouldn’t we be considered animals and kill them too? Animals kill each other in very painful, unethical, and immoral ways…

      • Contrary to us animals are free of any ethics and moral thoughts.
        Contrary to us the cat , for example, ignores the pain and suffering of the mouse.
        Contrary to us they kill and take only what they do need to survive.
        Contrary to ancient times where the grind was a necessity to survive up on the Faroe Islands ….you don’t need anymore to slaughter those now highly toxic animals to survive up there.

        All your arguments are just “hot air” to justify an out of time tradition, that has neither the need nor the place to exist in the 21century.

      • Our thoughts are one the mutation of man so we can stay alive together. The humans depend on each other, because we don’t have any superior strength so we can kill a bear for instance in a fight.
        Our mutations gave us an advantage, so I can’t see why we should stop killing animals just because of that advantage…. Just because every time an eco terrorist sees a whale, he reckons the whale as Free Willy or something in a cartoon. The nature goes its way. Survival of the fittest, as said.
        We have a great variety in our food, so we have choice to choose the food we want to eat. But we eat the meat and leave nothing to rot (I’m thinking of all man kind here).

        As I said, the killing of pilot whales is equally necessary as killing other kinds of animals. So as long as we kill pigs, we’ll kill whales. And, frankly, I’ve never heard an argument which justifies the switch to become vegetarian. Nextly, Faroese know how to get the species to remain sustainable as well as eating the meat and not become intoxicated, so don’t worry about our health.

        My arguments justifies the whaling just as much as it justifies the killing of pigs and cows. I just await an arguments which justifies the switch to vegetarian, but the argument, as suspected, never emerged. Is there any argument which proves that the whaling is worse than the killing of pigs? Please, do not think of the toxins as an argument, because it isn’t. I’ve heard the arguments before, that the whales are clever and so on, but there is no non-spiritual and objective argument which justifies the halt of pilot whaling,

  21. You said: – The news that it is not a good idea to eat it very often is already out since a while…..but maybe you do have a slow internet-connection up there and so you know it only since last week…

    There is nothing wrong with my internet connection and I am well informed on everything in this country. There is a new recommendation from June 1., 2011. You can read it here:
    http://www.hfs.fo/pls/portal/docs/PAGE/HFS/WWW_HFS_FO/UMSITING/KUNNANDITILFAR/KUNNANDITILFARFRABODANIR/KUNNTILFFRAMATVORUR/GRIND-UK_0.PDF This recommendation is more positive than the latest.

    No, we are not alone on this planet – the western industrial countries, polluting the ocean, should think of that. But I tell you what: the pollution will destroy the lives of more whales than we. I have read that some environmentalists rejoice in the mercury contamination (because then the pilot whale will not be eatable). It makes me sad, because it cannot be good for the whales. :(

    • Ninna I have added a link that seems very reliable but you tell me, http://www.portal.fo/?lg=82845. Your arguments for the grind mean nothing when I look at pictures of mothers with their babies still attached dead at her side, or videos of men hacking at the helpless dolphin as it thrashes for it’s life. Or the garbage can filled with fetuses that will never know life. You talk about pigs and cows, well I have been witness to slaughter of cattle. I live on a coastline several hours from a city. I buy cattle directly from the farmer. Never have I seen him embowel an unborn child from a pregnant cow. Nobody eats veal anymore it is a practice very few people buy into today. The pilot whale is of the dolphin family. There are considered data deficient in their numbers. The pilot whale is a member of the dolphin family who’s brain in size and intelligence is only second to mans. There are not even a million left on this planet. In light of that information I believe we should end our discussion here. As long as the grind continues there will be people from all over the world fighting to end a tradition that should have died long ago.

    • So, after reading your “new” recommendations …..please give me one reason that justifies to kill and eat pilot-whale meat. Just one single reason ! You don’t need anymore to eat it to survive up there…. so this is not a reason. To eat contaminated highly toxic meat, that causes serious health problems is also not a reason. No, the only reason that you do have is that you do it because it has been always like this….Your reason to kill and eat those animals is nothing but sticking stubbornly to an tradition….and ignoring the facts. It was also over hundred of years tradition in Europe to burn women on public places and sending young children into coal-mines. Cannibalism and Headhunting was a long time tradition as well in some parts of the world…..like selling humans in chains as slaves. None of this traditions is neither necessary neither justified today. The Faroes claim that the grind is part of their national heritage and culture and that they are proud of it, since it gives them a kind of national identity…..Well, the Papou in the south Pacific, for example, where also once upon a time, very proud of their tradition of cannibalism and headhunting…..they are still having their national identity and pride today…..without the need to kill and eat humans and to shrink the heads of their victims and keep them as a trophy.

      • The pilot whaling is equally justified as the killing of pigs. There’s plenty of nutrients found in plants, so why not utilize them instead of eating meat?

  22. To help Ninna.
    Kirsten, I am sad to say, did get the fact wrong on the dates and numbers of kills. I will try to explain again, on May 30th a pod of 60-70 pilot whales was spotted, but they were chased back to sea, since the island, where the grind was spotted, had enough whale meat and there was no reason to kill the 60-70 pilot whales.

    The pilot whale that is harvested in Faroe Islands is not endangerd, taking 1000 annually of a population of 700.000 is no threath. pollution is a bigger threat to these animals.
    As for the harvest to be a rite of manhood, this is one of the biggest lies ever told about the grind. Nobody is forced to take part. I for one have never taken part.

    Faroese dont mind being criticized for killing whales, we just ask you get your facts straight.
    As for getting money from EU. Not true, Faroes receive money from Denmark to pay for Danish administration here, nothing else.

    • “pollution is a bigger threat to these animals.”…

      ….. sure it is …..and for the the ones that eat the meat of those animals !
      But you don’t mind if the meat is highly toxic due to pollution ….. you keep on to slaughter and eat it because you call it : “tradition”
      You give a dam shit on it ,if it’s bad for your health or not…… the most important thing for you is to keep alive your out of time tradition, even it will make you (and your children) sick or kill you.
      This behaviour of you, is right out stupid and silly on your behalf.

  23. It is not a rite it is simple harvesting. I cannot understand where you have learned that it should be a rite – noone here has ever heard about it. As for graveyards – the carcasses are dumped at sea. It is not a secret. Someone writes above about “those who might be left wounded”. But that is not so – noone will be left wounded. A pod is always killed together as experience tells that it is the sensible thing to do and authorities see to that noone is left wounded. Only last week a new reccomendation came from our directory of food saying that it is safe to eat grind once a month. It is good, local, low carbon, low fat meat. Denmark has not any autority to stop us in this. But I do face realities: Americans are always right, their way of life is the only one worth living and they have got the means to make everybody bend to that.

    • “Only last week a new reccomendation came from our directory of food saying that it is safe to eat grind once a month.”

      – The news that it is not a good idea to eat it very often is already out since a while…..but maybe you do have a slow internet-connection up there and so you know it only since last week…

      “A pod is always killed together…”

      Sure, why to let some of them let go…..if you can kill them all, out of greed and “tradition” ??????!!!!!!!!!
      (just for the records, it’s a very well known fact that tradition kills
      evolution/progress ! )

      “Denmark has not any autority to stop us in this.”

      True. The Faroes take the money that Denmark gives them in the run of the year….but for the rest they do what they want…..Just like the old saying goes : Take the butter, the money for the butter and in plus claim the daughter of the Farmer” :)

      “But I do face realities: Americans are always right, their way of life is the only one worth living and they have got the means to make everybody bend to that.”

      A lot of Nations are against the grind….not only americains ! (I’m for example a german that does live in France)…..Also a lot of countries in Europe are against what you do up there in the name of “tradition”….Better you face the reality that you are not alone on this Planet and can do what you want…. and when it come just to Europe…..the Grind takes place in our Backyard ! Better you face the reality that you have to wake up and face the fact that we all (you too) live in the 21 century by now and that the Grind which is based on a bloody viking tradition has not more place today in the world as Head-hunting and Cannibalism has. Despite the fact that the Faroes don’t feel concerned by the Berne Convention, the mercury pollution in the pilot-whale meat, the conservation of the oceans and the fact that these animals are protected. and also highly intelligent…..It is a fact that the grind is simply nowadays unmoral and unethical ! You have a history of the grind …..The time has come that this tradition becomes history !

      • The pilot whaling is just as immoral and unethical as killing other kinds of animals. The killing is sustainable and as painless as killing of pigs.
        Pigs are known to be one of the cleverest animals on earth, should the killing of them be stopped immediately due to that? You seem to be upset by the killing of whales but not the killing of pigs.

  24. I am sure that it is not very popular with differing opinions on this blog and therefore it does feel foolish to speak here, but sometimes one feels provoked. In the posts that you’ve deleted, I came with a correction and an explanation of the misunderstanding you had done concerning the languages Icelandic and Faroese. I did this mainly because it seemed to worry Kirsten that so many visited the site and I felt sorry for her, if she was scared of this.
    Now I read that I was “upset”- it was so far from the case. But sometimes you will get annoyed about reading again and again all the wrong things so-called environmentalists write about us and I still believe that it should be required to have your facts right before you feel free to criticize.
    I’ve also read on your blog that you are weighting scientific evidence. However, nobody in the world knows more about the pilot whale than we do in the Faroe Islands. We have researched intensively in the subject and have a highly experienced background. Yes, we have noted every single animal that has been harvested back to 1584. Yes, 1584 – when the U.S. of A were not even thought of and buffaloes still grazed peacefully on the plains there.
    Nobody can be more interested in whale welfare than we, who regard it as food.
    Therefore the pollution from the western industrial world has caused great concern. If you do believe that it is good for the whales to be contaminated with mercury and PCB, then there is nothing more to say.
    Our catch has always been, is and always will be sustainable as it is in our best interest to keep the population in the ocean.
    It is strange to read that you think it is OK to kill animals that are raised for slaughter. Many of those animals have had miserable lives, their growth is forced so that they can be quickly slaughtered. Unlike whales, which are having a free and good life to the day they die.
    Another thing, which surprises a Faroese reader very much, is that someone thinks they can send “under-cover” agents for these islands to “document” whale harvesting. Honestly! Whoever writes this has obviously never been living in a small community where everyone knows everyone! These individuals will be recognized even before they get off the plane or boat. People will be giggling and sniggering behind their backs whispering: “Those are eco-terrorists”.
    And what is there to document? We’ve never hidden anything relating to the harvest of pilot whales. Everything is in the open, our media report on it, pictures will be on websites and in newspapers – yes, even on webcams, the harvest is recorded and is documented on public websites – even in english! The harvest is under the supervision of local authorities and is legal under Faroese Law. What is there to be documented?
    It’s pretty laughable that it has been reported that activists want to come to this country this summer and demonstrate – they said they would be “on land, at sea and in the air”, but when the last harvest was, where were they all? Well, a ship and its crew were of course sunning themselves among celebrities in Cannes, France. That did not seem particularly useful to the pilot whales!
    It may well happen that there will be no whales in the months, the activists are going to spend here – we know nothing about that, because we are not chasing them, but only make use of those who happen to stray into the shallow waters of these islands.
    Last summer some environmental ships came and dropped some sound devices, which should warn the whales. Result: there have never been more whales between the islands ever before! What a terrible waste of money. It could probably have fed many suffering, starving people in other parts of the world.
    But everyone here in the islands already knows where the activists are going to stay. This is good stuff in the press to read about, but otherwise nothing of major concern here. We know it, because it has been reported on websites and we do have one of the highest literacies in the world and most people are on the internet. We are even able to read several foreign languages. A typical Faroese reads and speaks at least three languages most even more than that. We are no ignorant lot.
    This post will probably be censored – but I thought the topic needed a different perspective. I am not so naïve that I think you will change your mind, but for heavens sweet sake – get your facts right – please!

    • The fact’s, Operation Grind Stop is on it’s way and they mean business. More fact’s, Pilot whales are classified as “strictly protected” under the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats. By allowing the slaughter to continue in the Faeroes, Denmark fails to abide by its obligations as a signatory of the Convention. More facts and pictures, “The Fareoe Isands, Graveyard of Shame, “I wanted to find the place where they throw the rest of the bodies to find out if the Faeroese tradition of eating all the whales that are killed is actually respected. We tried in vain to gather information that would lead us to a hidden whale graveyard, but the secret was very well kept.
      Fortunately, a bit of inference together with a strange and almost mystical inspiration drove me straight to that specific spot, where at 24 meters depth, inside a crevasse, was a centennial pilot whale graveyard. I felt nauseous. The bodies of the 86 pilot whales who had been killed on August 5 were piled there. Their heads danced with the current. They almost looked alive, and I had the strange feeling that they were crying for help. What happened to me down there was extremely strange. I knew no one on the surface would believe me, but I had the feeling I had entered a silent universe where the cetaceans cried out in despair.
      The scene was distressing. Fetuses were mixed with entire adult bodies, and there were a lot of young whales, too. It was such a waste that even hunters would not tolerate it. http://www.seashepherd.org/news-and-media/editorial-100913-1.html Fact. the meat is not fit for human consumption according to the Faroese environmental agency. Fact, Pilot whales are dolphins, there brains only second to man. You do not raise the pilot whales they are wildlife swimming freely in OUR OCEANS. No argument, or amount of facts you present can support what the world has seen and what we know to be wrong. Garbage cans filled with the fetuses of unborn calves. Pregnant Mothers, and mothers with their newborns always seem to be amongst your victims. The world watches these sensitive, intelligent beings struggling as men an children fall upon them with knives, hooks and stones. I have read the facts. For the past two days I have combed the Faroese Whaling site http://www.whaling.fo and have still come up with the same conclusion. This is a terrible tradition and a rite of passage that must end. You’d think that such sophisticated people as the Faroese could see once and for all this terrible rite of passage, needs to put in one place, in the past. So my message to you is get you head out of the clouds and face the facts, it is illegal, it is beyond being inhumane, the grind must end.

      • Now, I see you read what the Sea Shepherd writes, and you seemingly believe everything you’re told. If the whales were classified as “strictly protected”, I would suggest that the convention should be updated. In the Red List of Threatened Species, IUCN classified the pilot whales as “Lower Risk; conservation dependent” until 2008, where they classified the whales as “Data deficient”. IUCN, which is an international organization, revides the information given all the time, not only every decade.
        Nextly, as Ninna mentioned, the whales are divided among the participants and eaten.
        Indeed, the whales are not fit for consumption. However, the whales are not reckoned as a normal meal like bread. The meat is thought of as a feast and is eaten a few times, one time a month ostensibly. To eat small amounts of whale meat corresponds to eating big amounts of fish (which also is contaminated with toxins a bit).

        “You do not raise the pilot whales they are wildlife swimming freely in OUR OCEANS.”
        Does that play any role? The population is supervised, thus, the killing is sustainable just as the killing of pigs. Compare the ocean to a big farm. It requires more in order to supervise the population, but it’s definitely cheaper than breeding the whales. It’s unnecessary to build big cages; it both stresses the animals and limits their habitat. So if I ask you, isn’t the real problem that they breed pigs instead of letting them run free around?
        Incidentally, the whaling is definitely not illegal as you state. It’s equally “inhumane” as the killing of pigs. Just because the dolphins are cleverer than the pigs doesn’t mean that the dolphins feel more pain when killed than pigs.

  25. I agree with you wholeheartedly Kirsten. … I personally, would not go to these Islands for a vacation even if my way was paid because of the blatant slaughter of these beautiful and intelligent mammals, and the fact these people are disregarding the Berne Convention & European Union rulings regarding these animals.
    From these actions, it appears that the people of the Faroe Islands are still living in the past, and continuing in their tradition of taking the lives of something most of the world now sees as significant for ocean preservation. Even if 60-70 were killed per se as they say above, how many were wounded and left to die during this process, and how many were left heartbroken, and confused, without a great number of their own pod to follow, to now return to the sea to fend for themselves. The death toll would be much higher than the count shown, but we will not know as they have been dispersed into the sea…. We do know that their numbers are dwindling, and there is a limit on their mortality.

    As a culture and place, it appears to the general consensus of the world, that The Faroe Islands have no regard for the fact that they are greatly contributing to the extermination of an intelligent ocean species. Why would anyone want to go to their physically beautiful place if they knew of the shameful annual slaughter of these helpless creatures upon their shores. Would they welcome a cruise ship to their bloody killing ground during this event? If I was on a ship that pulled up in a port, I would become violently ill at the sight and declare the ship to turn around and leave.

  26. I have removed two posts that followed this. Two of my Faroese readers were very upset that I had reported on two grinds when there was only one. Apparently they must have slaughtered 60-70 of the 200 whales driven into the shore. I wanted to amend this post for the sake of integrity. I must go onto say that the death of even one pilot whale is a tragic. The pilot whale is a very intelligent dolphin that travels by the Faroe Islands. I have to quote Captain Watson a real hero because he says it best, “The killing is a violation of the Berne Convention and Denmark needs to be brought to task. If the Faeroese are going to enjoy the benefits of the European Union, they need to abide by the laws of the European Union.”

  27. For all the ones that want to go to the Faroe Islands this summer to make a stand against this barbaric tradition and that are looking for a place (and to stay with people that are there for the same reasons as you….) that don’t cost a fortune, that is far more comfortable than a tent, and that has internet-connection too…..Please feel free to get in touch with me asap. via e-mail : donaldnewe@gmail.com for more informations.

  28. I kust wrote a letter to the tourist bureau @ the Faroe Islands. Your island and the sea around it is physically enchanting, but I will never visit this place until they come out of the 16th century mindset ~ This practice is disgusting and revolting. Be assured, that if worldly tourists stopped by to view this practice during your hunting season, you would be immediately out of the business… These animals should be enjoyed for their beauty & intelligence in the ocean, not carved up alive and set on tables for gluttonous humans.

    • CGordon,
      Thank-you for your response, and your letter to the Faroe Islands Board of Tourism. If the Faroese have their way they will wipe out the pilot whale much like the poor dodo bird, that has been extinct since the late 17th century. The dodo bird much like the pilot whale was far too trusting of the human species. Thanks for your dedication. I will be creating an online petition for the EU. I will keep you personally posted. The Shetland Islands are a far better choice for vacation in the North Sea. They offer many whale watching tours, beautiful beaches,and landscapes. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/scotland/highlands-and-northern-islands/shetland-islands. Thanks for not choosing travel in the Faroe Islands this year.

  29. I can see your point, but if the whale was as intelligent as man, wouldn’t it have something to show for it? A couple a years ago I’ve heard about this amazing monkey, who at that time was as intelligent as man. I reckon if you ask that scientist, he would still say that it is the monkey who is the most intelligent “non-animal” creature.
    I think your problem is, and this go for all of you, that you have made the whale human. The mercury you find in whales is nothing compared to the steroids you eat and it is so much more dangerous. I really do not see a problem for the Faroese people to eat whale meat.

    • Kristian, dolphins (like the pilot whale) and whales, have a rich history that man is just now beginning to understand. I am sorry you are unable to accept the scientific data on whales and dolphin intelligence. I want to urge you to spend some time learning about these magical and beautiful beings. Eating whales and dolphins is wrong, and can be equated with cannibalism. I urge you to stop eating the ocean people and start studying them. I believe that hiding behind a shroud of ignorance is the probably one of the worst crimes man commits each day. I encourage all Faroese to join the world and accept our friends of the sea, instead of killing them.

  30. Why is it wrong to kills whales and not cows, chicken, sheep, etc?
    The whale is an animal, meant to be eaten!

    • Thanks for your comment Kristian, you bring up some very good points. Firstly, cows, chickens and pigs are domestic animals raised as food while a whale or dolphin is considered wildlife. But more importantly is science today has found cetaceans, all whales, dolphins and porpoises are highly intelligent. The dolphin family is known to be the most intelligent of the cetaceans. Dolphins include, bottlenose dolphins, risso dolphins, pink dolphins, and pilot whales. Scientists today believe dolphins to be almost as intelligent as man, “Dolphins have been declared the world’s second most intelligent creatures after humans, with scientists suggesting they are so bright that they should be treated as “non-human persons”…”The researchers argue that their work shows it is morally unacceptable to keep such intelligent animals in amusement parks or to kill them for food or by accident when fishing. Some 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises die in this way each year.”
      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/article6973994.ece
      Today we are on the verge of communicating with cetaceans. Isn’t it time we stop eating these interesting and amazing people of the sea, and begin communicating with them instead. The possibilities are exciting and endless in this new area of science. “A DIVER carrying a computer that tries to recognise dolphin sounds and generate responses in real time will soon attempt to communicate with wild dolphins off the coast of Florida. If the bid is successful, it will be a big step towards two-way communication between humans and dolphins”. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028115.400-talk-with-a-dolphin-via-underwater-translation-machine.html
      I would encourage you to read a wonderful book that I am actually reading now called,”To Touch a Wild Dolphin”, by Rachel Smolker. The book takes place in a small remote place called Monkey Mia, in Australia, where humans and dolphins interact. The researcher lived there and documented the lives of the dolphins, and people of Monkey Mia over a 15year period. A fascinating read that demonstrates the advanced intelligence of cetaceans. Never once will you feel the desire to eat any of the dolphins featured in the book I promise you.
      Thanks again for your comment!

      • right! cows, chicken etc. are bred in captivity to be eaten at a later date. how is that not wrong? the WHALES (if the pilot WHALE, was a dolphin, it would be called pilot dolphin) are indeed considered wildlife, but so are a number of birds, deer, fish, reptiles…we still kill and eat them…i don’t know why you think that being part of the wildlife, makes animals exempt from being eaten?

        I think sea shepherd is the real criminal here. a bunch of pirates, that have, on numerous occasions, almost killed a lot of japanese people. just youtube “nishin maru” “sea shepherd”. the ady gil incident was just stupid on ady gil’s part. smaller ships give way for bigger ships, and sailing a tiny carbon boat in front of a giant whaling boat is just not smart. and no it wasn’t the other way around.

        in any case, this is how the world works! you kill animals, you harvest plants, and then you eat it.

  31. I find it unbelievable that folks like the Faroe Islanders continue to slaughter pilot whales. I followed the reference link in your story about their income, and way of life. It seems they have everything they need to create a magical place to visit. I went and visited a few of the Shetland Island sites for whale watching. I find it sad that they have an oil rig so close, yet I love the way they have turned all the whales into a draw for tourists. I am sure the pilot whales are worth way more alive than dead.

    • I believe that it’s easy to say that the pigs also are more worth alive than dead, but it’s not how it works.
      Please, before judging the islands, read an objective article. This “article” is more like a blog than an informing article. A page very useful site is http://www.whaling.fo which explains how the whaling goes on in an objective way.

      • Thank-you for your comments. I appreciate all open discourse as a way to articulate our views. I want to open by saying that today their is a great deal of scientific data supporting cetacean intelligence. At one time whales were surely thought to be the cows of the sea. Today we know that nothing could be farther from the truth. “Scientists say dolphins should be treated as ‘non-human’ persons”,
        Dolphins have been declared the world’s second most intelligent creatures after humans, with scientists suggesting they are so bright that they should be treated as “non-human persons”.Studies into dolphin behaviour have highlighted how similar their communications are to those of humans and that they are brighter than chimpanzees. These have been backed up by anatomical research showing that dolphin brains have many key features associated with high intelligence.” http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/article6973994.ece
        Another exciting break through is communication with dolphins, “Talk with Dolphins Via Underwater translation Machine”, “A DIVER carrying a computer that tries to recognise dolphin sounds and generate responses in real time will soon attempt to communicate with wild dolphins off the coast of Florida. If the bid is successful, it will be a big step towards two-way communication between humans and dolphins.” http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028115.400-talk-with-a-dolphin-via-underwater-translation-machine.html
        With all the scientific data provided today it would be hard to turn back the hands of time, and science to fool ourselves that cetaceans are little more than cows or pigs. The science is there, and today we know they are so much more.
        I want to thank-you again for your comment. I must go onto say though, that there is no objective way to look at whaling and dolphin drives. These are sentient beings, that deserve so much more from man. Whaling and dolphin drives belong one place today, and that is in the past.

    • I am terribly moved by the plight of the pilot whales in the Faroe Islands. There is so much scientific data on the complex social structure of the pilot whales, and their advanced intelligence. They are dolphins, and have very large brains. I do not think the Faroe have a right to take advantage of their passive beliefs, and strong social ties. If any Forese read this comment Please stop killing pilot whales.

    • Thanks Lucas, it is really an uphill battle. There is so much science today that proves the superior intelligence of whales and dolphins, “Scientists say dolphins should be treated as ‘non human’ persons.http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/article6973994.ece
      So the science is there. Eventually there will be so much data supporting dolphin and whale intelligence that the whalers, and dolphin molesters will have to give in. The majority of the world will make them listen.

  32. I was horrified yesterday to here 220 pilot whales had been slaughtered in the Faroe Islands. The fact that they target the dolphins while they are pregnant because they move more slowly and try to avoid cold water is just horrific. What a strange people the Faoese.

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