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
“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 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.
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.
8:00pm in UTC
ON YOUR COMPUTER (TWITTER)
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: ► http://bit.ly/18CAt1E
COUNTDOWN TO TWEETSTORM: ► http://bit.ly/19s4zo1LIST OF PRE-MADE TWEETS WILL BE AVAILABLE SHORTLY BEFORE THE SCHEDULED TWEETSTORM.