Sea Shepherd Returns to Faeroe Islands to Stop Pilot Whale Slaughter

This month, Sea Shepherd has sailed to the Faeroe Islands, a Danish Protectorate, to stop their notorious annual slaughter of endangered Pilot Whales. This atrocity is known as the “Grindadrap”, or the “Grind” for short. This will be Sea Shepherd’s first return to the islands to actively intervene in over ten years.

In this year’s campaign, Sea Shepherd’s vessels, the Steve Irwin and the Brigitte Bardot (skippered by Sea Shepherd veteran, Locky Mclean) will be down in the islands. Two Faeroese Nationals have also joined Sea Shepherd’s efforts to stop the Grind, and boarded the Brigitte Bardot on July 19th in Torshavn Harbour. Sea Shepherds intentions in the Faeroe Islands are not to protest or speak out against the slaughter, but to use “aggressive non-violence” at the islands. This includes deploying acoustical devices to make a barricade of sound in the path of the migrating Pilot Whales to lead them away from the islands. Sea Shepherd also intends to film and document the disgraceful activities in the Islands and share it with the public to create awareness; this has been highly effective in campaigns to stop whaling.

Days before departure, the Steve Irwin, Sea Shepherd’s flagship vessel, was detained by a Maltese Fishing Company, Fish & Fish, who filed a civil suit. This suit is claiming that Sea Shepherd damaged property that the fishing company claimed to own. Fish & Fish are referring to damage done to Bluefin tuna fishing gear by Sea Shepherd in 2010.

Sea Shepherd’s interceptor ship, the Brigitte Bardot has arrived in the Faeroe Islands, but before the Steve Irwin can leave, Sea Shepherd must post a bond for USD$1,411,692.87, or the flagship vessel will be detained and possibly sold. Captain Paul Watson personally asks for his supporters to help. If you wish to help, please donate to Sea Shepherd.

On June 21, Sea Shepherd’s interceptor ship, the Brigitte Bardot, investigated an enormous underwater Pilot Whale graveyard. The massive, secret underwater graveyard was first discovered during last year’s Operation Grind Stop campaign by Sea Shepherd France President Lamya Essemlali, currently onboard the Brigitte Bardot. The Pilot Whale carcasses are discarded into this crevice after grinds in Vestmanna and Leynar. This secret graveyard is 20 meters underwater. Sea Shepherd divers, Simon Ager and Beck Straussner dove down into this crevice to confirm this secret graveyard. Local household and industrial waste is also discarded on this cliff face. “The Faroese claim that the grind is a beautiful, religious rite of passage. But at the same time, they discard the bodies of these beautiful creatures into a trash pit that also contains tractor and generator parts amongst other industrial waste,” said Ager.

Sea Shepherd plans to continue its patrols of the islands searching for pilot whales during Operation Ferocious Isles, “a campaign designed to defend and protect pilot whales. ‘The pilot whales are our clients. And like good shepherds, we will continue to stand by to defend them,’ said Captain Fraser Hall of Canada.”


2 responses to “Sea Shepherd Returns to Faeroe Islands to Stop Pilot Whale Slaughter

  1. I am completely against this senseless brutal massacre.
    I am also against knee-jerk reactions that spread like wildfire through the Internet, without due care. I have seen so many factual errors surrounding this emotive issue of the “grind”, that I did some research to clarify things. Check out my blog, and you’ll see what I mean.

    Don’t misunderstand me – I am very much against this outdated custom. But to those who attempt to change the Faroese mindset: it’s a total waste of time swearing and cursing etc. You need a considered approach, perhaps offering solutions, showing a mature understanding of their situation (not AGREEING with them – just being aware of their traditions and thinking). Generate a global groundswell with reason, clarity, purpose, calmness.
    Aggression will only run off their backs and entrench their behaviour (they are after all descended from Vikings!!).
    Bombard the Faroes Government with letters, NOT Denmark (it’s not the Danes’ issue, it’s the Faroes’ killings).
    And to those organisations who aim – one way or another – to stop rthis brutality, if the information in your press releases and websites is ACCURATE, you’ll stand more chance of being believed globally. It only needs one error in your logic for the Faroese to paint your entire campaign as “lies”.
    All power to you! Good luck…read my blog and you’ll see what I mean.

    PhilBee, NZ

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