TWEETSTORM: End the Faroe Grind

By Kirsten Massebeau

Ocean activists are again joining their voices to speak out on behalf of the small whales and dolphins that migrate past the Faroe Islands, on the gulf stream, North of Scotland, and South of Iceland. The archipelago is composed of 18 islands covering 1399 km2 and is 113 km long and 75 km wide, roughly in the shape of an arrowhead (source). In 2013 the beautiful islands offer a great many things to visitors or to people wanting to relocate and improve their quality of life. While unemployment is prevalent in the Faroe Islands the average income on the Faroe Island is a GDP – per capita (PPP): $30,500 (2008 est.) Many of the growing industries on the islands are touted as attractors for new investors, and the beautiful landscape attracts many visitors.

Website “Invest In The Faroes” states:

The community of the Faroe Islands is modern and highly developed with a standard of living that is comparable to other Scandinavian countries.

In 2007, the National Geographic Traveler and the National Geographic Center for Sustainable Destinations named the Faroe Islands the world’s most unspoiled island community and appealing destination to visit.

The Faroe Islands are not merely a delight to the traveller, but also offer a good quality of life to the people who inhabit the archipelago (source)

Invest in the Faroes lists: Fish Farming, Marine Biotech, Suppliers to the Maritime Industries, and Marine Research & Development encouraging investors in all areas. In addition oil exploration began and was licensed in 2000. “Drilling the eight exploration well started in 2012 and continues in 2013 with Statoil as the operator in partnership with ExxonMobil and Atlantic Petroleum”. (source)

While the Faroese people are known for their hospitality to their human visitors, and investors, the same hand of friendship is not extended to the highly intelligent pilot whales and dolphins that migrates the gulf stream past their islands each year.

The Faroese disregard the Bonn Convention ban on killing small whales and dolphins and continue the mass killings of huge pods of small cetaceans. The island residents claim the toxic dolphin meat is still an essential part of their diet but scientists disagree:

Dietary recommendations regarding pilot whale meat and blubber in the Faroe Islands

Pál Weihe, Høgni Debes Joensen

“The latest analyses show that the mercury concentration of pilot whale remains high, with an average of about 2 micrograms per gram. In the EU, the highest limit value of 1 microgram per gram is only applicable to the most contaminated species of fish. This limit is exceeded by most pilot whales.” The physicians noted that mercury and PCB exposure contribute to Parkinson’s disease in adults, impaired immunity in children, and compromised fetal development. “It is recommended that pilot whale is no longer used for human consumption,” they warned. (Source)

A living pilot whale restrained by the sharp hook in the blowhole about to be slaughtered. November 16, 2013

A pilot whale is restrained using by placing a large hook in the sensitive blowhole. The man above is attempting to locate the spinal cord which he hopes to sever using a technique called pithing. The dolphin is the paralyzed but still conscious, ready for slaughter.

“A whale’s blowhole is a remarkably refined evolutionary development which allows it to breathe in and out in about a second, without letting any water enter the lungs. It can be speculated that sticking a metal hook into the blowhole and dragging a large whale through the water must cause alarm, distress, and pain” (source).

The drive hunts, or the ‘Grinds,’ are an extremely inhumane practice where entire family groups are rounded up out at sea by small motor boats and driven to the shore where they are killed in shallow bays. Once they beach, blunt-ended metal hooks inserted into their blowholes are used to drag the whales up the beach or in the shallows, where they are killed with a knife cut to their major blood vessels.

Whales thrash their families are slaughtered in the shallow waters.

Whales thrash as the entire pod is slaughtered in shallow rocky waters.

WDCS believes that the driving, dragging and killing, all of which takes place within view of their pod members, is intensely stressful and cruel. Pilot whales, and other species, including bottlenose dolphins, Atlantic white-sided dolphins and northern bottlenose whales, are still hunted for their meat in the Faroe Islands (Source)

“On health grounds alone, these whales should not have been killed. Combine that with the inherent cruelty, and serious questions continue to be asked of this highly modern society as to why the needless massacre of pilot whales continues“(source).

Despite the International Union For Conservation of Nature Red Listing the Globicephala melas of the Delphinidae,long finned pilot whale as data deficient huge pods continue to be driven into Faroese bays and coves where they are brutally slaughtered. In addition to pilot whales, this year, 430 Atlantic white sided dolphins were added to their long list of victims. 1534 small whales/ dolphins have been slaughtered in the Faroe Islands since the beginning of 2013. See the break down HERE.

  • JOIN our TWEETSTORM on November 19th to voice an end to the Faroe grind. The grind is the hunt of pilot whales and other dolphins in the Faroe Islands.TWEETSTORM TIME ANNOUNCER: ►

8 thoughts on “TWEETSTORM: End the Faroe Grind

  1. It is just utter madness, a heartbreaking and useless holocaust!!! Cetaceans are some of the most sentient and intelligent creatures on earth, and to kill them so you can put poison on your family and your own plate……………….
    Please do not think for a second that there are not people all over this world who would do all in their power to help you move on to a more financially sensible, healthier, and humane future. There are millions of people who care deeply about this issue and would be very willing and able give aid for example, to help. Please, do the right thing for your own people, an end to the poisoned food, and the unspeakable atrocities. You are good people, and you know in your heart it is right!!!!

  2. Problem, Kisrsten, is that you recirculate the same stereotypes people like to “toot” about Faroes. And I will just point out one paragraph:

    ” The average income on the Faroe Island is a GDP – per capita (PPP): $30,500 (2008 est.) Many of the growing industries on the islands are touted as attractors for new investors, and the beautiful landscape attracts many visitors.”

    First of all you give an amount which was valid BEFORE the world financial crisis hit in November 2008.

    Secondly, the GDP doesn’t reflect the life standard of the indvidual, it’s faulted to judge according to that.

    Thirdly, what new investors? The number of the people who work abroad, mainly in Norway started to grow worringly much, creating quite a vacuum in the work population in the Faroe Islands in certain specialties and lowering seriously the country’s income. The unemployment s still high. Besides that oil is just a possibility and not a certitude, why do you presented as something already hapening? No matter what the “sources” tell, people aren’t qualified for the type of jobs the oil industry offers so it will take a very good while till people will actually start having well paid jobs.

    And last, but not least, what do you actually try to suggest? That if Faroese are “rich” as you people like to trumpet eveywhere, they shouldn’t be allowed to eat pilot whales?

    Further I didn’t even bother to read. If a such small paragraph is full of errors … Come to the Faroes, live here for one year, experience the life with it’s good and bad and MAYBE after that you will be able to judge this place properly. Not from your chair, behind the screen, God knows in what country. Excuse my honesty!

    • Excuse my honesty! The world tout: Definition of tout (v)
      tout[ towt ]
      praise somebody or something: to praise or recommend somebody or something enthusiastically
      attract customers: to try to attract customers or support, especially in an aggressive or persistent way
      try to sell something: to advertise or offer something for sale.
      Sadly your argument for eating and killing whales has three points that make it a poor choice:
      1) The meat is considered unfit for human consumption.
      2) Pilot whale populations are data deficient.
      3) The killing method is inhumane.
      If you bothered to follow the link on income it confirms those numbers as of 2013: “Unless otherwise noted, information in this page is accurate as of February 21, 2013”. Try following the link.
      By the way my name is Kirsten, it is a Danish name and a little hard to spell I know so I understand.

      • Difference between you and me is that I live here and I know well how the daily life is. You just copy some digits and voila! Quod erat demonstrandum, Faroe Islands is inhabitated only by rich people who have no other hobby but kill whales.

        Thank you for the patronising English lesson, but I wrote “toot” on purpose, there was no mistake there. As per your name, it is not my problem if you aren’t capable to recognize a typo. Besides, there is no possibility to correct a mistake once a message was already posted.

        I don’t recall having any “argument” for “killing and eating whales”. I recall being annoyed by the stereotypes you write: high GDP (even though it is general known that this numbers don’t reflect the real economical situation of an individual or a family because there are other factors that intervene), investors, oil, Pál Weihe (who actually is highly annoyed by all these wannabe activists and the continous refference to his work) and so on. And I asked a very simple question: what is the relation between the life standard, the possibility to get some oil, someday, and the whale culls?

        Of course I’ll not use my name. Once upon a time I was stupid enough to do that and I ended being harassed and insulted in anyway possible, just because, as you do, I spoke my mind. No, thank you. Wondering though why do you need my name?

        Don’t worry, I don’t feel “special” at all. As per your “globar awarness” … yeah! Two comments, one from an alleged pro-whaler (sarcastic here, but this is what you conside me).

        I wasted enough time here, I’ll go back to earning my … $30500 while wondering how I make the house rate this month and the householding expenses, while you can fight the good fight. Have a nice life!

    • Don’t worry Uttanumtos we aren’t tooting our horns in celebration of the grind, we are opposing it and will continue to do so spreading global awareness. We oppose all whaling where ever it takes place so don’t feel too special:) What’s funny is you don’t even have the courage to use your own name.

  3. This has to be stopped. People should stop ignoring this cruelty and all get together and protest en masse. These wonderful creatures do not belong to us and should be left in peace to enjoy their ocean which is their home and not ours

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