Faroe Islanders say Pilot Whales a Gift from God

Pilot Whales. Mother and her calf.

Mother and Calf Pilot Whale

Pilot Whales give birth throught the summer months.Gestation about 15 months and nurse for at least two years. The last calf born to a mother may be nursed for as long as 15 years.Calving interval is 5-8 years. Older pilot whales do not give birth as often as younger females, and will eventually reach menopause. Maturity occurs around 10 years of age and maximum longevity is 45 years for males and 60 years for females.

April and springtime means celebrating new life as our planet renews itself. Unfortunately, for sixty pilot whales and their calves the month of April meant on the shores of the Faroe Islands.
When I first saw pictures and video,  of  the grind I was confused as to why the Faroe Islanders killed  entire pods of pilot whales. How can this be considered humane or sustainable. The pilot whale mothers and newborns are so vulnerable. Is it right to take their lives for food when we know they are so very intelligent and did God put these sensitive beings on planet earth for man to eat?”

Pilot Whales are in fact not whales at all, they are part of the dolphin family. They have extremely large brains, and are highly social and intelligent, and live in complex societies. Mothers and their offspring stay together for a lifetime. They speak several dialects, and in captivity have been able to achieve complex tasks. Shouldn’t this be considered at a time when science has proven dolphins are higher beings.

                      Pilot whale mother and baby

Religion and tradition are both used as excuses worldwide for hunting dolphins and whales. Sadly thanks to man’s polluting the ocean pilot whale meat tainted with Mercury and PCB’s causing Parkinson’s and defects in unborn babies. It seems if ever now is the time to end the hunt for the dolphins and for the children.



By Kirsten Johnson

The pilot whale is the most gentle and trusting of the Cetaceans and yet the Faeroe Islanders slaughter these gentle souls by the 100’s. Each summer pilot whale migrate past the Faroe Islands. The unlucky pods are spotted and then driven into shallow coves where the local people slaughter the whales. “Grindadráp” is the name used for this traditional killing. This is not commercial whaling, in fact they  are non-commercial and are organized on a community level; anyone can participate. The hunters first surround the pilot whales with a wide semicircle of boats. The boats then drive the pilot whales slowly into a bay or to the bottom of a fjord. Once the whales are stranded the men rush into the water, secure the whales by putting a large hook in their sensitive blow holes and then begin the killing.

Don’t the Faeroe Islanders realize this is 2011. Today the meat is known to be toxic, and unhealthy for the entire community. In addition,  cetaceans are very intelligent creatures, with complex social families and systems of communication.

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 before it is too late. Remind them that the meat is tainted with mercury. Let them know that we you will boycott travel to the Faroe Islands. In addition, boycott all cold water seafood and products originating from the Faroes until they stop killing, and selling the flesh of cetaceans.
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
Bryggjubakki 12
P.O box 118
Fo 110 Tórshavn
Tel +298 306100
Fax +298 306105
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.

If you wish to write to the Danish Prime Minister’s Office, we suggest that you send an e-mail to the main e-mail address;stm@stm.dk. Your mail will then be forwarded to the relevant area or employee.

You can also write to our postal address, which is:

The Prime Minister’s Office
Prins Jørgens Gård 11
1218 Copenhagen K