Jun 252015

Faroese media have flouted an opportunity for open dialogue with representatives of Sea Shepherd in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands, yesterday. With thanks to Michelle Mossfield, Sea Shepherd.

news-140417-1-1-Sea-Shepherd-UK-Taking-Action-to-Defend-Scottish-Seals-2Media were invited to a press conference about the organization’s current Pilot Whale Defense Campaign, Operation Sleppid Grindini.

Intended speakers were CEO of Sea Shepherd Global, Alex Cornelissen, Campaign Co-Leader, Ross McCall, Land Team Leader, Rosie Kunneke, and Captain of the Brigitte Bardot, Wyanda Lublink.

Only one journalist from local television network, KVF (Kringvarp Føroya), arrived at the press conference.

When offered the chance to speak to each of the representatives about the campaign, the journalist said that he did not have any questions.

Captain Cornelissen has said,

“We presented local media with the opportunity for open dialogue with Sea Shepherd. Clearly, our intentions regarding the campaign have been made clear, and there is no requirement to clarify anything further.”

McCall added,

“Making space for dialogue has always been of importance to us. The local press decided not to take the open hand, which works for us as now we can get back out into the Island and continue what we came here for.”

For hundreds of years the people of the Danish Faroe Islands have been herding migrating pilot whales from the sea into shallow water and slaughtering them in a practice called the ‘grindadráp’ or ‘grind’.

Sea Shepherd has led the opposition to the mass slaughter of cetaceans in the Faroe Islands since the 1980s.

The Australian-registered Sea Shepherd ship, Brigitte Bardot, arrived in the Faroe Islands last week for Operation Sleppid Grindini. The vessel will be joined by the Sam Simon, which arrived at Lerwick in the Shetland Islands this morning en-route to the Faroe Islands, and by the Bob Barker, which will depart Bremen, Germany, shortly.

The ships are supported by a land-team of volunteers from around the world, dedicated to the on-going protection of the pilot whales of the Faroe Islands.

Sea Shepherd Global:

Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization. Our mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.

Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately balanced ocean ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations. For more information, visit:http://www.seashepherd.org/

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  18 Responses to “No Dialogue Possible In The Faroe Islands”

  1. I realize that they live in a remote area, and that there isn’t much that grows there. It is a local hunt, and the food is distributed for free among the Faroese people. It’s sustainable- even the IUCN has said so. Less than 1% of the estimated local population (100,000) is hunted each year (annual average catch is 850-950). The way the Faroese hunt these cetaceans isn’t putting them at risk of extinction. They wait for the whales to come to them, not actively seek out whales. If fewer whales come to them, the less they hunt. They could eat foods from faraway lands and add to the pollution and decrease of other, more endangered species, but chose to eat local.
    As long as “civilized” nations continue to eat squid/octopus, pig, and kill crows, I see nothing wrong with eating pilot whales. Whole shoals of squids are fished up, perhaps they are losing culture. Murders of crows are well… murdered, maybe there is a lost tradition of tool usage there. Pigs are tortured for their meat, yet “civilized” people call the Faroese inhumane?

    Who’s to say that other animals are intelligent? Maybe a cow is intelligent. Do I think people will test this? No, because beef is a staple for most people. People only want to believe convenient things. Believing cetaceans are intelligent is convenient to the western world, because most western people do not eat cetaceans. It’s also convenient to protest the hunting of cetaceans, because cetacean hunters are in the minority. Pork eaters, crow shooters and calamari enjoyers are in the majority.

    • The ignorance of current news this poster displays is staggering, as is the lack of empathy with living creatures and their capacity for thought and feeling – long since documented. I think the poster will find that the cetaceans (highly intelligent, social, family-orientated mammals) are specifically driven to the knife-wielding crowds. It is not sustainable; it is barbarism, and as all the footage shows, the perpetrators revel in the blood orgy. I personally feel no animal should be in the food chain; but many that go in are pre-stunned; I do not know pigs are tortured as a matter of course for meat. The well-documented Faroese torture of the cetaceans they kill after chasing them to their shores is long, prolonged, and wholly unnecessary. ‘Who’s to say that other animals are intelligent?’ – plenty of scientists, researchers and campaigners. Rarely have I seen such illogic in a single post; I think this is a new benchmark. Mr Shea does seem to like to court controversy, perhaps giving him any attention at all is wrong. But I do wonder what motivates people to write things they know are easily disproved, and to make sweeping generalisations and analogies that serve only to discredit their own capacity for logic

  2. The ignorance of current news this poster displays is staggering I’ve taken a great interest since The Discovery Channel’s “Whale Wars: Viking Shores” Sea Shepherd attempted to engage in a confrontation with the locals and that too never happened. The shot secret video and tried to antagonize locals and police.
    Sustainable: Conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources.
    Figures taken from North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission
    Population estimate 440,000 – 1,370,000
    “An indication of long term historical trends in the abundance of pilot whales around the Faroe Islands can be gained from analysis of catch data. Catch records from the Faroes go as far back as 1584, and are unbroken since 1709 (Bloch 1994). Catch, corrected for hunting effort, shows a cyclic pattern with a period of 100-120 years, with peaks in catch occurring in 1720-1730, 1840-1850, and 1935-1985(Hoydal and Lastein 1993). There is no long-term indication of declining or increasing abundance over the period (Bloch and Lastein 1995). The local availability of pilot whales to the Faroese may be related to changes in sea temperature and the abundance of their favored prey (Hoydal and Lastein1993).”
    The kill at the end is as quick and clean as any animal being slaughtered. The Faroese don’t actively hunt whales out with close waters they wait until the whales come close to certain beaches, in fact so years some islands don’t catch any whales as the don’t come close enough.
    The reason and motivation behind it is simply to gather food. No fun, sport, rite of manhood or anything else. There is little to no agriculture or suitable land to raise cattle so the Faroese have always relied on the surrounding sea as a source of fish, seabirds, and the pilot whales If the slaughter and consumption of pilot whales is ethically on the same level as slaughter and consumption of beef or poultry, then the former is clearly to be preferred to the latter, since there is no environmental pollution created in the “harvesting” of pilot whales. If Faroese people were to eat, say, chicken wings or lasagnas instead of pilot whale, the meaty ingredients would have to be imported from abroad, which would contaminate the environment. In fact, it’s probably better to compare the grind to the hunting of local game in other countries, since there are farms, antibiotics, relatively cramped quarters and so on involved in the production of beef, poultry, pork, etc.
    You may well believe that no animal should be in the food chain, but the vast majority of the population disagree and have done for millennia. I like to know where my meat comes from and actively research how it’s been reared and how it’s been dispatched. I guess that comes from one side of my family being farmers and the other side fishermen
    Mr Shea does seem to like to court controversy, no I just have a very different view to life than you do, unlike my views are consistent you judge salmon net fishers yet support one against Tump, you frequently advertise Brew Dog but do not condemn they’re partnership with Trump.
    On the 18th of July just under ½ population of the world will sit down and feast of meat killing through a cut to the jugular vein, carotid artery and windpipe. Animals must be alive and healthy at the time of slaughter and all blood is drained from the carcass, not one activist, vegan, vegetarian, or attention seeking celebrity will condemn this why?

  3. For anyone interested, Jim quotes from “North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission” – which is a pro-whaling organisation. There are many papers on its website, which talk about harvesting (ie hunting and killing) marine mammals. The website has a nice euphamism for the animals which are chased by ships, injured by harpoons but which manage to escape; they call this ‘struck and lost’. At least they admit that pilot whales are very social animals – the acknowledgement that the animals are intelligent, live in ordered societal groups is welcome. The members of this outfit include Faroese representation you will not be surprised to learn.

    Jim says the Faroese grind is simply to catch food, and that ‘No fun, sport, rite of manhood or anything else’. Perhaps he’s not seen the photographs of the blood soaked children sitting on the animals as they slowly die (they are driven ashore, exhausted, suffering and suffocating, they are hacked to pieces) and there is indeed a blood orgy which the Faroese claim is their cultural right. It is this culture that is one of the mainstays of their pro hunting argument, which is to be found all over the news. Perhaps there is nothing abhorrent in this to Jim; perhaps he takes his family members young and old to slaughterhouses to sit on animals about to be killed.

    Jim doesn’t seem to acknowledge that a vegetarian lifestyle is the choice of a huge number of the world’s population; I don’t know why he thinks that not one ‘activist, vegan, vegetarian or attention-seeking celebrity will condemn’ live slaughter. Again, the fact that people who care about live slaughter is demonstrated all over the news and social media.

    As to BrewDog, again, they sold beer at Trump’s open day; I immediately wrote to them, wrote a piece elsewhere in AV explaining why not to do business with the man. If you find that piece, you’ll see a comment from me about who should really be censured over its support for Trump: Aberdeen Journals Ltd, which to this day print pro Trump pieces, have poured scorn on Trump detractors, and have not yet once as far as I’m aware told its readership of the blatant conflict of interest it has: AJL’s Damian Bates is married to Trump’s VP Sarah Malone. But this is a digression.

    Let’s for a minute assume (wrongly) that whales are abundant, that they are not dying in little-understood mass strandings, that their habitat is safe, and that our navy is not blowing them up. For some of us it is ethically and morally unjustifiable to kill wild animals (often after long, grueling, exhausting chases) – be it the fox, the baby seal, the seal or the whale.

    Finally, whaling is not allowed in EU member countries. Denmark’s ridiculous protection of the Faroes (it still impounds a Sea Shepherd vessel) is at odds with law. On the subject of law, the Faroe Islands have enacted a new pro-whaling law which means anyone has to report any sitings of whales from something like two nautical miles offshore. This is a far cry from saying the whales happily come close to the islands, they are driven there.

    All I can say to close is that all whaling is morally indefensible, and more power to Sea Shepherd.

  4. Well said Bill, great read.

    I too have often pondered why animal rights activists never complain about Halal killing methods, it’s cruel and barbaric, it’s also being done these days on an industrial scale. It should be outlawed in this Country.

    As for whales, just big fish really and I love a fish supper, if the Faroese people want to eat them more power to them, my biggest concern is the cost to the environment of these Sea shepherd boats, they’re also very unsafe and endanger other boats, they too should be outlawed, the reckless manner they posed when dealing with Japan’s whale research boats could have cost human life.

    Interesting that Brewdog supply Trump, hahaha, that’s a bloody nose for a certain someone.

  5. I’m a little perturbed that the author here resorted to personal abuse of a poster who offered up a differing viewpoint to the writer, the header here quite clearly states “Aberdeen Voice accepts and welcomes contributions from all sides/angles pertaining to any issue”, if that is indeed the case why the abuse??

    If I dared call anyone ignorant it would never be posted, the double standards are astounding, the author and her friends have free reign but don’t allow anyone who oppose their view the same rights.

    As someone who had their facebook page poured over and stuff from it used to attack me I now don’t post using my real name, surely in the interests of free speech and common decency people should be allowed to post viewpoints without being attacked.

    Aberdeen Voice, you’re having a laugh, you’re not the voice of me that’s for sure and I am born and bred here unlike the author.

    • For those not familiar with the ‘Old Susannah’ satirical column I write, Bill is our most prolific heckler.

      Perhaps he can spell out what ‘abuse’ is taking place here? As to using the word ‘ignorant’ as a description of someone who claims the Faroese don’t revel in the gory, violent death of the whales they herd ashore and hack up, it is a completely justified description. There are mountains of footage, photographs and eyewitness accounts of how the people involved not only revel in the bloodbath, but they take their children down as well, perching them, cheering and shouting atop the dead and dying whales.

      I am still not sure who Bill is; so I don’t know what he’s talking about with regard to his Facebook page. But here’s a hint: a Facebook page is visible to the world at large depending on the settings you use, so if there are things on your page you could be ‘attacked’ over, perhaps it’s best not to publicise them.

      Free speech comes with responsibilities, and opinions that are expressed which are devoid of any fact, such as saying the Faroese must kill whales, that they don’t enjoy it, and that whales are just big fish (? aren’t they teaching biology in school any longer?) are subject to being rebutted. Where someone displays ignorance, it is not a crime to call them ignorant and explain why. In fact, it would be curtailing my freedom of expression to stop me from doing so. I don’t know why you don’t think people including me are also campaigning against Halal slaughter; I am, many are. This was another reason I found the other poster’s remarks on the subject of celebrities to be worthy of of being called ignorant. But thank you Bill though; it’s always a pleasure and a good laugh having yet another one of your diatribes against me.

      PS As to BrewDog selling beer at one Trump event, they have joined a host of local suppliers which have done so. See the Old Susannah column about Trump for my detailed thoughts. BrewDog have had an email from me about this. The real local supplier that is propping up Trump and villifying people is of course the Press & Journal.

  6. PS. No, I wasn’t born in Scotland. But only someone with Xenophobia would think this worthy of mentioning. Perhaps Bill will explain why my birthplace is somehow relevant? Otherwise it just looks a bit like prejudice.

  7. ‘Whales are just big fish, really’ – well, I’ve heard it all now. Might as well say that we humans are just fish out of water!

  8. Clearly the actions of the Faroese constitute crimes against wildlife. This is, in my view, hardcore crime buried deep in some persistent (but hateful) cultural habits or beliefs. To them, and others,who commit these atrocities, it is a viable sport. They know what they are doing, they want to do it and they dont think people should stop them.

  9. I was not going to reply to this thread anymore as obviously some people have such strong emotions that sensible reasoning/ debate would be pointless. I did and still do support Sea Shepherd in their fight against commercial whaling particularly the constant war with the Japanese in the Antarctic. However I would advise people to watch Whale Wars Viking Shores a program that massively back fired for Sea Shepard, and as such they have never filmed Whale wars in the Faros since.

  10. People with no compassion for wildlife have no soul. The ignorance to think a whale is a fish or that the final kill is quick leaves me very sad for anyone deluded enough to believe this. Whales are very intelligent animals and feel pain in the same way we do. On-line papers such as The Aberdeen Voice has brought to light many forms of cruelty that should shame us as the human race.

    • I’ve never seen a whale do the Times crossword!!

      How do you know they’re intelligent?

      They quite often beach themselves and die, not the sharpest fish in the sea, cod never do that.

  11. What makes me sad Bert is someone who thinks they are righteous enough to comment on animal welfare, then buy a chicken from the supermarket for £2.99. What life do you think these chickens had so a profit can still be made at 2.99? Before you judge others look at your own eating habits.

  12. We were born with incisors, meant for eating meat, one reason why we’re top of the food chain, to some eating whale is akin to us eating cattle and pigs, who are we too butt in on their way of life?

    One responder here even owns a restaurant, it serves meat and fish on a huge scale, why not condemn her for having such an establishment? Why are these sustainable whales any different from hunting a killing a shoal of haddock?

    Weird double standards.

    IMO You case your opinions on how nice looking the animal is, be it deer, foxes. whales, no one cares about slugs being murdered in gardens every night on a huge scale or the fish of our seas. I love all animals but know I’m designed to be a meat eater so do, I’d eat any edible animal, that would include the likes of dog if I was in a Country where this practise was part of the culture.

  13. The heading of this article is No Dialogue Possible in the Faroe Islands. It seems reasonable dialogue is not possible with people who when faced with the facts continue to support the unsupportable.

    This link is for a new release from Sea Shepherd with a harrowing video. The torture and slow death of the animals, long acknowledged by experts as highly intelligent, social animals is well documented. http://www.seashepherdglobal.org/news-and-commentary/news/graphic-video-and-images-of-pilot-whale-slaughter-in-the-faroe-islands.html Here is a quote: “Ripping fetuses from the wombs of the mothers, mutilating the bodies, hacking out the teeth, having children play and and mutilate the bodies, carving numbers into their flesh, stabbing with knives, ripping their flesh with boat props, decapitating them, stressing the animals with bang poles and forcing these gentle intelligent social sentient beings to witness the slaughter of their family members around them in their own blood before they are slain is viciously barbaric and has no place in any civilized society.”

  14. My goodness. I didn’t know that you owned a restaurant Suzanne. I dont,so must be you! But as I posted on AV FB page the ‘great apostle of the Philistines’ has certainly emerged from his box along with,it appears his side-kick.

  15. Ah …. hello again Bill … you never did get back to me about that reading exercise (Comments Old Susannah #177) ….. Oh well, still time … if you didn’t see my comment, go have a look, and as you read, write down the first letter of each sentence ( hint … it will be a capital letter).

    Get back to me if you have any problems.

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