Whaling in the Faroes

It’s a pleasure to receive well-argued representations from constituents on genuine issues. Here is one such message I received recently from Millie Hall of East Yorkshire, on the subject of whaling by Faroese people.

I expect you are aware of the continued whaling in the Faroe Islands as pictures hit the media recently when around 250 whales were slaughtered on two beaches in one day. This was part of a whale hunt known as the grindadrap (literal translation “murder of whales”) or grind. The killing is not restricted to pilot whales, it also includes white sided dolphins, orcas and bottle nose dolphins.

The Faroese insist that this meat is not sold, but every part of the whale is used and is shared amongst their community as a valuable source of meat for a region that has very little in terms of natural resources. The whole of that statement is a lie for four reasons:

  1. Whale meat from the grinds is sold in supermarkets and restaurants in the Faroe Islands, so it is bringing in money for some of the people involved which makes it a commercial enterprise.
  2. Every part of the whale killed is not used, not even every whale killed is used. The hunters have been documented discarding whole whale carcasses into the sea that they did not have time to process before dusk.
  3. It is not a valuable source of meat, it is very dangerous due to the amount of toxins (high levels of mercury and PCBs) even Faroese doctors confirm it contains. The poisonous levels would not be legal in any other food approved for human consumption and the fact that children are being given this meat to eat by parents who should know better means that they are being poisoned. There is a high incident of disease on the island related to these pollutants.
  4. The Faroe Islands have a thriving fishing industry including farmed salmon. They also have a large amount of sheep. They trade these commodities for all the benefits of a materialisic society and with this and their subsidies they enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world.

The resulting argument is that the Faroese kill whales because they want to kill whales.

Denmark has sent naval vessels to support the grind and prevent protesters from getting close to the whales in an attempt to protect them. Before 2014 Denmark remained completely separate from the hunt, but by sending their ships, they are clearly showing their support for this slaughter. These included a frigate, helicopters, small boats and hundreds of sailors at a huge cost to the Danish and European taxpayers.

Although the Faroe Islands are a self-governing nation, they are still within the Kingdom of Denmark. The Faroe Islands are not part of the EU, but Denmark is. The European Union bans commercial whale hunting and whale imports by its members. I suggest that by supporting the whale hunting in the Faroe Islands by sending their navy, Denmark has participated in this commercial whale hunting, and so broken the laws of the European Union. The Faroese claim independence, so say the EU laws do not apply to them, but they are happy to accept EU subsidies from Denmark and support from Danish police and Danish navy, which suggests a lack of independence from an EU nation. How can they have it both ways?

Current research suggests that whales and dolphins have language that they use to communicate. They even seem to have names for one another. Current research also suggests that whales and dolphins have a huge capacity for emotion, potentially higher than humans.

The grind identifies a pod of whales in a suitable area, they then go out in motor boats, surround the pod, herd them until they are exhausted and force them onto a beach where they are killed. The Faroese claim that the slaughter is humane and happens within seconds. Video footage proves that the whales die a torturous, agonising death that takes no less than five minutes and up to an hour. Pods of whales are made up of mothers and calves on the whole, they are friends and families who have usually spent all of their lives together. I appreciate it is difficult, but just for a moment, please think about this. A group of family and close friends are going about their business, doing no harm to anyone, when suddenly they are surrounded by noisy, smelly, frightening boats. They try to flee but are chased until they are exhaused. The mothers are worried about their babies, but can do nothing to protect them. They are forced into a bay already turning red by the blood from the deaths of their friends who were in front of them. Once in shallow water they have a hook in their blowhole which is used to drag them on to the beach (equivalent to a hook up a human nose being used to pull their whole body weight) where they are stabbed to death. The fear, pain, confusion and panic they must feel is incomprehensible. If this were being done to humans the outcry would be unbelievable, why is it acceptable that wild free animals who pose no threat to us can be treated this way?

I am asking that you raise this issue within the European parliament, and ensure that Denmark is held accountable for supporting an illegal action. In 2013 the Faroese were only able to kill 33 whales in three months, thanks to the actions of protesters. In 2012 without the protesters, in the same time period, more than 1300 whales and dolphins were killed in the grind. This year, thanks to the intervention of the Danes, 250 pilot whales were killed in one day. I am asking that you try to ensure that Denmark cannot support the whale slaughter in the future, even if they will not act directly to prevent this happening in the Kingdom of Denmark. If the Danish navy and police are not present, it gives protesters the opportunity to save the whales once again.

Ms Hall is quite right that the Faroes are not part of the EU, and that rules we agreed at EU level to protect whales do not apply there. Nonetheless, we can try to put pressure on Denmark, at the very least to stop sending their navy to support whale hunts. Unfortunately, Denmark now has a Conservative-Liberal coalition government, which makes it less likely to be receptive to representations from other parts of the political spectrum.

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82 Comments

  1. Dear Sir,
    I have been active in the ending of the Faroes Grinda for some year’s.I am not a member of any activist group .I am anti hunting and Animal welfare issue’s are very important to me.Millie Hall is right in all she say’s about the practice and issues surrounding it.I am currently following recent action on Faroe. I was amazed and disgusted by the image’s coming out.The drive,the Slaughter and the btute force used on the peaceful protester’s.Manhandling a young girl is never right.Making protester’s sit on a beach and watch those beautiful Pilot Whales brutally butchered was incredibly cruel.I realise that Faroe is not part of EU legislation.I know that Denmark has a new coalition and that one member is married to a Faroese woman and holidays there.I would ask you did,from the bottom of my heart.Please do all you can ,for the Pilot’s,the Cetacean they kill too and for our Planet.Thank you for this opportunity to air my thought’s .For The Ocean’s Alway’s…..
    With respect,
    Heather Woolley.

  2. It is good to see an MEP responding on this issue. I wrote to my seven London MEP representatives – including one Green MEP – about this issue a month and not a single one has responded in any way.

  3. If Denmark do not carry out the laws of the EU then they should leave. Sanctions should also be put in place by the EU countries

  4. Not the greatest response. If denmark is breaking EU law they should be held accountable no matter who is in government. It just doesnt sound right that laws are broken and we just say oh well there isnt much we can do.. would we say that if it was human beings. The world would not be where it is now without people standing up for what is right. Should we go back to having slaves? Hell no…down with the grind..up with the sea shepherds!

  5. Dear Sir thank you for replying to this lady’s post Politicians throughout Europe and indeed the world should take notice of this atrocity. In the 21st centuary in a so called modern civilisation only 250 miles north of our Shetlands is is barbaric that this is happening. In almost every country whales and dolphins on a beach would have the local population rushing to rescue them not hack them to death. Thankyou again.

  6. Great that you are willing to raise the issue. I must however correct you in the matter of the government – it is regardless what coalition it is. Former Prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt has publicly announced her support during the election this year. And the Faroese seats in the parlament, are both loyal to the social Democrats. So if its a problem that you are from different parties than the current government in Denmark, then raise the question to the opposition. Kind regards

  7. Regardless of who is in Government in Denmark, I think it is important to let them know that there are many people in the UK who find their actions in the Faroe Islands, ie protecting the killing of whales and dolphins totally abhorrent. It is offensive witnessing the savagery and barbarity which is taking place and no civilised person could let this happen without protest. The British are renowned for their fighting spirit and I suggest you make our outrage known to the Danish government

  8. Please don’t sweep this under the rug or pass the buck by saying because of their government structure not much can be done. Pull all funding and subsidies to the Faroe Islands until they agree to the terms against the killing of the beautiful creatures.

  9. Thanks for your letter. Save them and finish aids from UE for Denmark and also Feroe by Denmark money, boats, police against defenders ! Sincerely to you. Excuse my English. I’m French.

  10. Sir,

    One aspect frequently neglected is that these small cetaceans are the same population which support whale watching industries in the UK- the damage to their populations by killing every generation from calf to adult has a direct impact on the UK economy. People will not return to a whale watch when nothing is seen. The Faroes are geographically and by ecology a continuation of the British Isles and what they do impacts on us. It was of course a mistake to return them to Denmark after WWII if only from a security point of view.

    No other EU nation diverts EU funds by grant to associated territories outside the EU. No other NATO nation requires its borders and airspace to be protected by other NATO forces whilst its limited military resources are deployed on non-military exercises (in this case policing the Faroes with a guided missile warship). No other EU nation allows EU citizens to be deported on a 1st conviction and no other EU nation allows deportation for crimes which do not present a societal danger. It must be recalled that the Faroese are given Danish EU passports so have the right to free movement HOWEVER the Faroes deny that right to EU citizens within their own territory. Are the Faroes part of Denmark or not? Denmark treats them as a integral part of the Kingdom when it suits and not when it does not.

    What is also forgotten is that the Crown of Denmark (not the Faroes) ie the executive, must specifically permit this killing under its Royal prerogative , notwithstanding its contrary diplomatic agreements- pacta sunt servanda is the maxim of the law of nations.

    All this comes at a direct cost to the UK taxpayer through EU funds, NATO deployments and commercial undermining.

    How do we benefit from our generous largesse. Not at all.

  11. Thank you Mr Corbett! Denmark’s position on this is untenable. On the one hand claiming that the Faroese are self governing and hence “nothing to do with them” and on the other physically supporting activities in the Faroes that are in direct contravention of the Berne Convention, of which they are a signatory. Any pressure you can exert on Denmark to cease their support for the whaling will be of huge significance.

  12. We had enough with the behaviour of some of these Faroese people and the way they slaughter whales in the name of tradition – the cetaceans are wild animals and belong to humanity not to these blood thirsty killers…

  13. It is a shame that humans find it necessary to kill this wonderfull and intelligent animals. Many years ago I met 2 humpbackwhales. They came out near my small boat and both looked into my soul. from this moment on I understood the wisdom of these animals. Never can imagine how people can kill them.

    For me Danmark is dead, never will visit this country.

  14. I don’t understand why Denmark would be ‘less receptive’. There are clear directives for all EU countries to follow. In no uncertain terms Denmark is supporting a illegal activity – the rest of the EU should make sure that Denmark is penalised for breaching them. If this is not acted on, then the EU directives and laws are a shambles and will set a precedent for other European Nations to realise that these laws and directives are not worth the paper they are written on.

  15. Dear Richard,
    I say this with a sad voice.
    Unfortunately you have been told lies. As per usual. From the Sea Seahard.
    Her is a link: http://www.whaling.fo/ where YOU can read the real stories/facts about whaling in the Faroe Islands.

    It’s not commercial. They do NOT make money from the whales.
    The distribution is based on solidarity and has its roots all the way back to the earliest pilot whale hunts in the Faroes. The aim is to distribute shares as equitably as possible and for free

    http://www.whaling.fo/

  16. That was certainly a long letter filled with lies. You’d do well to inform yourself, and not participate in slander and emotional rhetoric. Can you really not distinguish slander from genuine information?

    If you are truly interested in this genuine issue, I’ll be more than happy to point out the misinformation. Write me an email.

  17. Sanctions ( or the threat of) might work. It seems being sensible or being empathetic is not motivation enough. Only money talks. Please help stop this atrocity.

  18. dear Sir.
    You have been lied to by the person(s) that sent you this letter.
    Please visit http://www.whaling.fo in order to get the actual factual information about this harvest of a sustainable ocean resource.

    Kindly
    Jógvan Thomsen
    A Faroese

  19. No change can be expected unless the people of Faeroes experience the real consequences of ignoring the disgust real humans feel about this savage practice. Claiming that it is a cultural tradition cannot be accepted as an excuse for its perpetuation. Sadly and although I fear boycotts are an unfair and often ineffective solution, in that they punish also those who take no part in the Grindadráp, there appears to be no other remedy in this instance, as the Faeroese are evidently legally untouchable. We should therefore embargo their exports and stop selling our products to them until the Grind is outlawed.

  20. My MEP , Anthea McIntyre ( Ross On Wye) is fully aware of this atrocity and Denmarks complicity in facilitating the grind with the use of its navy ships such as the Triton

    She has said she will raise the issue again , maybe you could both approach the Danes to make an official objection

  21. Where to begin… You are exaggerating the whole thing so I will tell you some facts.
    Fact 1. Grindadráp is not commercial. It is only possible to buy it in one supermarket in Tórshavn (not everywhere on the Faroe Islands) and in one or two restaurants – and only in small quantities. We don’t hunt to sell the meat because there is little need for that because it gets distributed equally to the participants of the grindadráp as well as the people who live where the pilot whales are killed + the elderly, orphans and hospitals.
    Fact 2. Every part of the whale is used except those parts containing too high levels of mercury and other toxins. No whale is thrown back into the sea – all of them are used so where you get those false facts from I don’t know, but don’t spread lies, please, you are a MEP after all – it is above you.
    Fact 3. It is not healthy to eat the pilot whales because of the toxins they have in their meat, but it is not nearly as dangerous as you make it sound like. No fatality has ever been caused by eating pilot whale meat, but doctors warn pregnant women to not eat it because it can have harmful consequences for their fetuses.
    Fact 4. Yes indeed we have sheep and fish which we produce and eat, but so do you and yet you still eat pigs, cattle, chickens and so on. Why is eating whales any different from that? I would say that you are just ethnocentric and therefor sees the British culture as the best in the world, but listen up: not all agree with you on that.

    Whales are sociable – of course, but almost every other animal is that as well, but you still kill them – just take cattle as an example. You say that they are more intelligent, but pigs are also intelligent and you eat them as well and why does intelligence make any difference on what we eat? I don’t get it. We just eat what we want to eat.

    The worse part is however you calling the killing for inhumane. The whales have lived all their lives in the open sea and then they are killed within seconds – another fact that you got wrong. Of course there can be made some mistakes and the whale can suffer longer than necessary, but so can there be made mistakes concerning the slaughter of pigs, cows and chickens. But we are not inhumane when it comes to grindadráp – it is actually one of the most humane treatment of animals who we humans are planning to kill. You animals have lived all their lives in captivity where they barely can turn around due to the small places they live in.

    And just FYI.. The Sea Shepherd protesters have not been successful in stopping any whale hunt – there just hasn’t been that many pilot whales in the Faroe Islands in recent years. And oh yeah, one more thing: The real monsters when it comes to the hurting of pilot whales are the large industrial nations like your beloved Britain because of your pollution of the sea which makes the whales filled with toxins.

    So remove the plank from your own eye before the mote from your neighbour’s.

  22. Dear Mr. Corbett

    I just read your statement and I want to thank you!
    Of course, it might not be in your or any non-Danish, even non-Faroese politician’s power to put a halt to the Grind. But still, thank you for not closing your eyes and trying to change the world for the better.

    Have a good weekend!

    Dominique Steiger

    • what a crappy articel. Lies, wrong facts, wrong pic, It´s a SS probaganda of bullshit. I somebody sells it, it´s not allowed by law. Danish navy was also there in 2014. In 2008 there where no whales killed, no SS or danish navy. They are food to us. nr 1 and 2 are just lies, pure and evil lies.

      The hunters have been documented discarding whole whale carcasses into the sea that they did not have time to process before dusk: LOL that video, you never see a hole whale, you see a tale, heads and skeletons. We take the meat and blubber and store it and then eat it. We never eat heads and tales are un eatable and bones, Maybe Paul Watson and richard corbett eat bones, we do not.

  23. Richard, the picture in the article is not of pilot whales, I don’t know what species that is, but pilot whales are black to dark gray all over.

  24. Don’t you think it would have been wise to do a bit of research before posting this letter in it’s entirety? It is after all written by an organisation that is currently engaged in criminal activity on the Faroe Islands. Some statements are plain wrong, others are conjecture.

  25. Issues in the letter may be well argued but are to some extent based on wrong information or misunderstandings. The fact that this is a sustainable use of a natural resource has also been notably omitted.
    Go to http://www.whaling.fo for more accurate information.

  26. As an article claiming the Faroese lie, this is one crappy article. Each and every of the four points mentioned are lies told by SSCS.
    First of: They do not kill Orcas and bottle nose dolphins do not swim in Faroese waters.
    Just to show how uninformed and straight up untruthful this article is

    • This is a lie!
      2001/ 6 Bottelnose
      2002/ 18 Bottelnose
      2003/ 3 Bottelnose
      2006/ 17 Bottelnose
      2009/ 1 Bottelnose
      ….and MANY before 2000!!!

      …Hugh number of White sided dolphins
      …and also sometimes Orcas, but there are no numbers. Richard you can watch the Videos on YouTube(Faroe and Orca slaughter…..)

      I´m NO SSCS-activist! I´m Independent!
      THX

  27. Terrible loss of intelligent life there. Thank you for the above statement. it will help I am sure and we must keep pushing these points until we are listened to about this by the EU.

  28. Thanks for bring more details to light. Denmark should held accountable for their support of these slaughters. The world should place sanctions on the Faroes.

  29. tourists on whale watches or on ferries are unknowingly participating in the Grind. If a pod is spotted by the crew, it’s location is reported to the whale killers

  30. Thank you, Richard Corbett, for sharing this information. Please do what you can to pressure Denmark to end this barbaric activity. You have the support of the world!

  31. This vile, cruel act needs to stop. When will humans realise that animals experience emotions and feel pain. How can we allow this to continue, when will we show compassion and love? Change is needed in many of the ways we act as a species, so let’s start by stopping this murder.

  32. Dear Mr. Corbette

    I would like to shed some light on the direct lies and misinformation in this “article”.
    Grind, or Grindadráp, does not translate into “the murder of whales”. This is a direct lie. Grind is a Faroese word that can mean a few things, but mostly it means a pod of pilot whales, but “Grind” can also mean the meat. Dráp means kill, not murder. The Faroese word for murder is morð . Thus “grindadráp” translates into “pilot whale kill” or simply “whale kill”. This is a blatant lie, started by Paul Watson, the fugitive leader of Sea Shepherd, wanted by both Costa Rica and Japan. The species hunted are Pilot whales, Northern Bottlenose Whale, Atlantic White-Sides Dolphin, White Beaked Dolphin, Common Bottlenose Dolphin and Harbour porpoise. Orcas are not hunted and haven’t hunted for several decades.
    Next is this little piece:

    “The Faroese insist that this meat is not sold, but every part of the whale is used and is shared amongst their community as a valuable source of meat for a region that has very little in terms of natural resources. The whole of that statement is a lie for four reasons:

    Whale meat from the grinds is sold in supermarkets and restaurants in the Faroe Islands, so it is bringing in money for some of the people involved which makes it a commercial enterprise.
    Every part of the whale killed is not used, not even every whale killed is used. The hunters have been documented discarding whole whale carcasses into the sea that they did not have time to process before dusk.
    It is not a valuable source of meat, it is very dangerous due to the amount of toxins (high levels of mercury and PCBs) even Faroese doctors confirm it contains. The poisonous levels would not be legal in any other food approved for human consumption and the fact that children are being given this meat to eat by parents who should know better means that they are being poisoned. There is a high incident of disease on the island related to these pollutants.
    The Faroe Islands have a thriving fishing industry including farmed salmon. They also have a large amount of sheep. They trade these commodities for all the benefits of a materialisic society and with this and their subsidies they enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world.”

    The meat is not sold for commercial gain. It appears in shops, though my perception is that this is generally frowned upon. And it is shared equally among the whalers and boat crews, and if there is a enough it will be shared among the local community. The fact that some people decide to sell it to restaurants and shops does not make it an commercial enterprise.
    Every killed whale is harvested for it’s meat and blubber. If it has been documented that whole whales have been discarded I’d like to see that “evidence”. If they can’t give us that evidence we can conclude that it is just another lie. The comment about the meat and blubber being “poisonous” is a lie. The meat and blubber has been proved to contain levels of certain environmental pollutants, and therefore Faroese health officials have recommended to eat it no more than once a month and pregnant women and young females planning on having children ought not to eat it at all. Mrs. Hall will have to provide more documentation and evidence of her claim that there is a high incident of related illnesses, otherwise we must assume it is just another lie. The Faroese kill whales for food.

    Highest living standards in the world, eh? I don’t think that my standard of living is any higher of the average Brit.

    “Denmark has sent naval vessels to support the grind and prevent protesters from getting close to the whales in an attempt to protect them. Before 2014 Denmark remained completely separate from the hunt, but by sending their ships, they are clearly showing their support for this slaughter. These included a frigate, helicopters, small boats and hundreds of sailors at a huge cost to the Danish and European taxpayers.”

    Denmark has done so because they are obliged to help Faroese authorities to uphold Faroese law and regulation. If an Eco Terrorist organisation like Sea Shepherds shows up with ships and smaller vessels they’ll have to respond appropriately.

    “Although the Faroe Islands are a self-governing nation, they are still within the Kingdom of Denmark. The Faroe Islands are not part of the EU, but Denmark is. The European Union bans commercial whale hunting and whale imports by its members. I suggest that by supporting the whale hunting in the Faroe Islands by sending their navy, Denmark has participated in this commercial whale hunting, and so broken the laws of the European Union. The Faroese claim independence, so say the EU laws do not apply to them, but they are happy to accept EU subsidies from Denmark and support from Danish police and Danish navy, which suggests a lack of independence from an EU nation. How can they have it both ways?”

    We are part of the Kingdom of Denmark, but we are not part of the EU. It can not be that hard to comprehend, Mrs. Hall. The whaling takes place in Faroese Waters, not Danish waters. And we are not getting any “EU Subsidies”, but they are from Denmark, not the EU.

    “Current research suggests that whales and dolphins have language that they use to communicate. They even seem to have names for one another. Current research also suggests that whales and dolphins have a huge capacity for emotion, potentially higher than humans.” Aye, but most of this research only suggests, so it does not mean much.

    The whole “imagine if it were you and your friends” scenario is futile. All animals suffer before and when they are dispatched due to the stress. Whales are no different. Again, Mrs Hall claims that they suffer for minutes or even hours. No, they don’t. If they are dispatched correctly it should take much more than a few seconds. Vets have confirmed this. I suggest that Mrs Hall takes a walk to the local slaughterhouse in order to get a healthy dose of reality.

    Last:
    “I am asking that you raise this issue within the European parliament, and ensure that Denmark is held accountable for supporting an illegal action. In 2013 the Faroese were only able to kill 33 whales in three months, thanks to the actions of protesters. In 2012 without the protesters, in the same time period, more than 1300 whales and dolphins were killed in the grind. This year, thanks to the intervention of the Danes, 250 pilot whales were killed in one day. I am asking that you try to ensure that Denmark cannot support the whale slaughter in the future, even if they will not act directly to prevent this happening in the Kingdom of Denmark. If the Danish navy and police are not present, it gives protesters the opportunity to save the whales once again.”

    The EU Parliament can not do much. Denmark is obliged to send its Police and Navy to the Faroes.
    The Protesters, Sea Shepherd, were not the reason for the low numbers of hunted pilot whales in 2014. Though they claim the opposite, this can not be proven by them or any one else. In 2008 no whales were killed, with out SSCS since it was only one of the years where pilot whales migrate via different routes.
    Imagine, Mr. Corbette, what would happen if the Navy and Police were not present. It would be a complete chaos. Sea Shepherd would go all in, most likely hurling acid at the locals, like they have done with Japanese whalers. The Faroese will not accept that cultural imperialistic nitwits come and tell them what to do and what not do to. If the Police/Navy is not present, I fear that it will cause serious confrontations and clashes between the Faroese and the protesters. So Mr. Corbette, please look more into the Faroese whaling and Faroe/Danish relations before you make any decisions.

  33. A typical politician’s response – take the politics out of it and give it a try! Even a Conservative-Liberal in Denmark may see that this slaughter of whales is wrong.

  34. Please, please take up this cause as it is totally unacceptable that in this day and age that the Faroese are still allowed to continue this barbaric and senseless slaughter. It is inhumane, and the world are calling for this so called traditional (Whale slaughter) to stop and be stopped for good. The Danish Government should not allow this to continue and should remove their navy and coast guard and help to protect the whales as they are part of the EU. It is time for this barbaric slaughter to stop now and forever as every year thousands send in petitions and it is time that the Faroese and Danish Government listened.

  35. Utterly heartbreaking ! We have to ensure this sickening brutality and murder of these amazing creatures is stopped immediately! There is no place in a civilised world for this!!!!!

  36. Dear Ricard,
    I would advise you to find a more reliable source and get your facts straight instead of falling for misunderstood rumours.
    First of all no one in the Faroes is a whaler by profession, the meat is divided between the members of the community – if a few individuals decide to sell their share is up to them. It still does not make it commercial as the country doesn’t import it etc.
    Second, everything that can be used will be used. It so happens with whales, like other animals, that some of them simply aren’t fit for consumption because of diseases etc.
    which leads us to the next point. Yes the meat has traces of mercury etc, but is moderately consumed.
    How about the rest of the food we know to be bad for us? I’ve never seen anyone outside a fast food restaurant preventing parents to buy their overweight children a burger…
    The fourth point makes no sense at all. Because the Faroes have fish and sheep they shouldn’t use any of their other resources? The archipelago is isolated in the north atlantic with a sparse vegetation but an incredible wild life around them – wouldn’t it be more beneficial for them to use their natural resources sustainably and by that minimising the amount of imported food? Shouldn’t it be possible to update and improve the old ways of living and still be a modern society?

    I would advise you to have a look through http://www.whaling.fo

  37. I have sent a couple of emails now to the UK government regarding this very issue. So far I have had no reply. But lets keep up the pressure, Denmark need to sort this out and quick, I won`t ever buy anything produced by them again and I am disgusted at their and the Faroese arrogance basically.

  38. Absolutely despicable. Shame on the people who do this. Humans are the only creatures on this planet who engage in such brutality. The ironic thing is that if for example a shark kills a single man it’s a rogue to be hunted down & destroyed. Hypocrisy.

  39. Dear Richard,
    I write to you, because I have read your post on whaling in the Faroes. I’am from the Faroe Islands my self, and that is why I react.
    I agree with you, that Ms Hall’s letter to you is well-argued, but i’m sorry to inform you, that most of the facts in her letter are wrong.
    Please visit the homepage http://www.whaling.fo where you can get all facts on whaling in the Faroe Islands.
    Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.
    Best Regards
    Jóhan E. Simonsen
    johansimonsen@gmail.com

  40. So well said. Millie
    I have signed petition today and also informed my local mp not as elequontly as you though you are 100 % right. I’m copying and pasting this to Twitter and face book

  41. Sir
    I am compelled to reply not only on behalf of the Faroese but also as a voter.
    There are so many discrepancies in Ms Hall’s message from the sublime to the utterly ridiculous.

    To begin with, “Grindadrap” does not translate to “the murder of whales” it actually means “pilotwhalehunt” or “pilotwhalekill” (all one word, you notice). The use of the word “murder” is misplaced and deliberately intended to evoke emotion.

    The Faroese do not claim that they don’t sell the meat. The meat for sale is surplus from a grind (hunt) and rather than let it go to waste, it is sold. Much like selling surplus tomatoes from one’s allotment,. (I am not likening the pilot whales to fruit, merely pointing out that the principle is the same).

    Every part of the animal that CAN be used IS used. Heads and flukes (tails) are not eaten, nor are some of the internal organs (the liver and kidneys in particular). If a carcass is obviously diseased then it will be discarded as will any that are found to be tumourous when the butchering process commences. These animals are returned to the sea to provide food for the creatures that live there. It is something of a crying shame that we cannot say the same thing about mass produced meat in our own country. If we could, then perhaps the BSE crisis would never have happened?

    For an island nation dependent on the bounty of the sea for centuries, the meat provided by the ocean is incredibly valuable. Very little vegetation of nutritional value can grow on the islands and the Islanders would have encountered extreme hardship in the past if the sea did not provide.
    Yes, the pilot whale meat IS contaminated, and there are strict guidelines which the Islanders are advised to adhere to.
    These guidelines can be found at:

    http://www.whaling.fo/media/1043/hfs-uk_0.pdf

    As for the “highest standard of living” according to figures published in 2013, the Faroe Islands (along with the UK) don’t even make the Top 20!

    The involvement of the Danish navy is a direct result of the aggressive, hostile and illegal behaviour of the conservation society Sea Shepherds. Before 2014, people who went to the islands to protest the grind didn’t deliberately break the laws of the land with “direct action”. The Danes are there to protect; not “support”. The Danish Constitution sets out quite clearly that the Faroe Islands are protected by the military and police forces of Denmark, and should be viewed as Danish territory if the Islands are under “attack”. They are protecting the citizens of the Danish Kingdom who are carrying out a completely legal activity.

    EU rules do NOT apply in the Faroes in exactly the same way that they don’t in Zanzibar. Neither country is a member of the EU, so there is no EU jurisdiction. A very similar example a bit nearer to home would be the Channel Islands. They don’t belong to the EU either, but have our Queen as their sovereign in exactly the same way as the Faroese have Queen Margrethe as theirs.

    To anthropomorphise is always highly dangerous, but to suggest for one moment that if the pilot whales were human that there would be outcry is pure wishful thinking. Look at the genocide in Bosnia, the outcry was deafening in it’s silence. It took too much time and too much waste of life before the world reacted in any productive way.
    I have no doubt what so ever that the pilot whales are traumatised and terrified, but aren’t all animals when they are driven to slaughter? No animal desires death, pilot whales are just as important as any other animal on our planet, they shouldn’t be singled out for “special treatment” especially by people who’s countries slaughter millions of animals every day for consumption. The only difference between a pilot whale and a battery hen is that we keep chickens in tiny little pens and use and abuse them until they die. Why does the fact that the pilot whales are free even enter into it? A life is a life, free or caged, and neither should be taken nor raised one species above another.

    A correctly carried out slaughter takes seconds. The slaughter is highly regulated and “policed” and only those who hold a licence can carry out the slaughter. The vast majority of the pilot whales die within a minute or less, not an hour!

    Most worryingly, the interest in continuing the tradition of the grind has raised exponentially since the arrival of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s activists. They have made the situation worse. They break the law every time they interfere with a called grind and are often deported, they have harassed pods of pilot whales that were sheltering in a fjord, their actions have actually lengthened the time it takes for the slaughter to be completed, thereby actually causing suffering, not preventing it. Add to that, during the most recent grind, the SSCS RIB actually injured the pilot whales with it’s propeller!

    it is utterly ridiculous to suggest that the SSCS are actually making a difference to the catch numbers. The Grindadrap has been carried out for centuries, and as the hunt is entirely opportunistic it is inevitable that there are going to be some lean years. 2008 was one such year. There was no grind called at all. Yet, there were no activists there either. The claims of SSCS are as outrageous as they are unsound. The activists have not saved a single pilot whale in all their time there. Nor will they. Their actions are dangerous and illegal. Surely the UK would not want to be seen to be on the side of the criminal?

    I am asking you to not pressure Denmark to remove their protection from the Faroes. It is not our place to tell other countries how to handle their own legal affairs.

    I would most respectfully ask you instead to direct your attention to the matter of the 1400 + 1700 porpoises that died as a direct result of entanglement in British fishing nets last year alone. Or the level of pollution in the world’s oceans that make the pilot whales (and everything else below them in the food chain) so toxic in the first place.

    Shouldn’t we address our own issues before we start telling other nations what to do?

  42. Please STOP this pointless killing of the Whales. It breaks my heart every year this continues. Put a Stop to it NOW regards Linda

  43. You say the Danish Government isn’t likely to be receptive to representations on this issue, however I am interested to know what you will do in response to this outrageous and disgusting practice.

  44. What a cogent and well reasoned letter against this inhuman slaughter. We are horrified when ISIL slashes the throats of innocents – why are we not horrified at this slaughter? The Danish Govt needs to be taken to task by the EU. the Faorese Govt needs to be taken to the International Court of Justice over their recently enacted anti-protest rules to prevent protesters from even being around the whales. This ‘grind’ can and should be stopped.

  45. This statement by Ms. Millie Hall is the best I’ve read about this issue so far.
    It is bringing this whole issue to the point!

    What is the EU good for if it only serves economical purposes? These whale hunting practices are inhumane and do not coincide with European values.

    European tax-payers money should not be lavished upon actions that contradict European values. Denmark should not be allowed to eat this cake – and step on it too!

  46. As an outsider, I can see that it seems brutal and horrific. I can assure you, that faroese people are 100% informed, of the toxic contents in the meat.

    The scenery inside a slaughterhouse is also probably horrific and gruesome. This is a bigger animal and more blood. Still, it is the killing of an animal. It may not be coherent with your culture and way of thinking. That being said, it doesn’t have to be wrong.

  47. a very well presented concise argument. I would like to add that Denmark should not be allowed double standards, namely as a member of the EU not allow commercial whaling, yet supporting Faroe Islands to do so. Laws in the EU should be passed that such practice is not permitted. Even though Faroe Islands are self governing and not member of the EU, they are part of Denmark and by supporting Faroese whaling, Denmark is engaging in whaling indirectly by proxy. If not much can be done about this issue, I would urge all the people with conscience and empathy, to boycott tourism to Denmark and the Faroe Islands and to send a message of utter condemnation of such medieval practices.

  48. I’m from the Faroe Islands, and what you are writing in this blog/article is notthing but Sea Shepherd propaganda. After reading all this fiction and lies, it seems to me that eighter you dont care about the truth or you are just ignorant. I dont know which is worse?

  49. I am asking that you do not support Denmark in the Whale and Dolphin slaughter. It is a horrible and barbaric practice and should not be allowed. You have the opportunity to stop this.

  50. Surely if Denmark is breaking the laws of the EU by enabling whale hunting they must be answerable to the governing body, regardless of which coalition parties are in power in Denmark? Does that body have no sway or power whatsoever?

  51. There needs to be economic pressure brought to bear on both the Faroe Islands and Denmark. Economic sanctions, disinvestment, boycotts and other creative punitive measures. The world needs to unite to stop the whale slaughter.

  52. This must stop, to send Denmark that are Anti Whaling and use un aware citizens of Denmark’s Tax money to pay this actually is insane. I don’t understand how Denmark can do this?
    I am also thinking about the rest of European Union over all, is this ok? No it’s not defently not that DENMARK do this. We’re Anti Whaling. Sweden Norway where are you in this.
    Don’t care? If that’s the case I don’t understanding why we need a EUROPIAN UNION, for all with money to go tho Brüssels and say you discuss important issues when you’re actually doing something else? What to believe when no reaction towards this is heard of ?
    Some papers and news stations have brought it up but in very small matters. This is wrong.
    Faroe Islands wants to slaughter Whales, even if I personally are against whaling I say let them but leave the whole UNION and DENMARK out if this. Neither should Faroe Islands hace anything at all from EU. if they want to have it like this let them but they have to do it themselves totally. Activists that protest should NOT be arrested for trying to save the whales if Faroe Islanders think they HAVE THE RIGHT to kill well so have others that want to leave whales in the Ocean to defend the whales and try to save them. To force protesters to look at Faroe Islanders ripping pilot whales apart is pure abuse of other human beings if arrests are done by Denmark of Sea Shepherd crew members then Denmark should arrest the Faroese Islanders for abusing other human beings.
    Leave them to slaughter their whales (which is The Oceans whales )
    Do you just go by if someone is abused? Do you try to save the abused? Of course you do. What is wrong with this picture? Everything is wrong and Enough Is Enough and Denmark you have abused your power you should be jailed not activists. They have the right to protest against this!! Denmark you are hypocrites who are helping, this has gone to far and something needs to be done immediately.
    Kind regards
    Kimberly Nicole Forssander Bergström
    Animal Rights Activist

  53. What a lame excuse to not address an important invironmental issue that is support by a huge section of society. Blaming a coalition government for not listening. Is Mr Corbett MEP a man or mouse? Is he willing to speak up on behalf of his constituents and the country in the EU he represents or does he not really want to make waves and upset the Danes. Denmark are wasting our money on an unacceptable practice, we are already bailing out Greece what country will be next? At this rate it will be Denmark!

  54. Conservative-Liberal Government or not the fact is that by sending it’s Navy & Police, and by using Danish governed courts to prosecute peaceful protestors, Denmark is breaking EU Laws and whether it wants to be ‘receptive’ or not is irrelevant.

    Laws are being broken by a member state of the EU and they MUST be held accountable or sanctions should be imposed. Do the laws of the EU mean nothing if a country decides it doesn’t want to be ‘receptive’?

    The killing of these highly evolved, sentient beings, lets reiterate that last point, these whales are sentient, they are self aware, they have higher reasoning and emotional capabilities than humans do, their ‘murder’ is not only criminal it is barbaric and ritual.

    The Danes have imposed bans on Kosher and Halaal meat because it is deemed ‘inhumane’, how then can assisting the slaughter of huge pods of cetaceans be deemed acceptable?

    One law for the Danes and another for the rest of Europe, is that what you are saying? This is just not on I’m afraid, can you imagine the outcry and backlash from the rest of Europe if the UK began whaling again?

    Something needs to be done to stop the Danish protection of this immoral and disgusting practice in the Faroes, and it needs to be done now!

    Kind regards

    Kane Guy

  55. Please put pressure on denmark to stop giving military support to the faroese who are brutally murdering whole extended families and tribes of whales and dolphins. It is barbaric and denmark is acting outside the spirit of the eu law. Are we to believe that civilised danish citizens arr paying their taxes to support this murder?

  56. the mass slaughter of these defenceless creatures is barbaric.hang your heads in shame.im going to boycott any Danish products I can

  57. The Faroese is slaughtering these intelligent animals just for the sake of tradition. It must be stopped.

    Regards

    Marc

  58. Das ist feiger Mord an wehrlosen tieren..boykottiert Daenemark..beschaemend..illegal gehoert verboten..gesetze aendern..die gerechtigkeit muss siegen!!!
    So eine schande und tierquaelerei..niemand hat da r recht einem intelligenten wesen das leben zu nehmen..sie fuehlen genauso wie wir den SCHMERZ..Wann geht es in den koepfen der Menschen das es falsch ist und mit nichts zu rechtfertigen..tierverachtend respektlos mordluestern ohne emphatie und mitgefuehl..Jesus sagte: Du sollst nicht Töten..weder mensch noch Tier..

  59. To continue to brutally slaughter these whales and dolphins is the sadest thing on the planet. We r not teaching our children to love and respect the ocean and those that dwell there in. Please stop this and learn to eat,something else. Like veggies.

  60. Basta con questa inutile crudeltà. Se continuate così, non solo è un atto barbarico ed incivile ma i nostri figli un giorno si chiederanno perché i mari sono senza balene ed altri cetacei come molte altre specie diverse. Noi chiediamo che la caccia sia abolita ovunque e che la pesca venga limitata fino al limite della sopravvivenza nonché alla sostituzione di una vita sostentata da cibo alternativo di derivazione non animale.

  61. It is always sad to see when politicians will blindly believe something served up for them as in this instance.

    Sea Shepherd recently asked their followers to contact the danish politicians and protest regarding the whaling being done in Faroe Islands. But instead of just believing everything written as Mr Corbett has done here, they actually did the research. And every single one of them came to the same conclusion! That the hate and lies being sprouted from Sea Shepherd, and especially their supreme leader, who is currently on interpols red list wanted for attempted murder, was just hate and lies!

    So Mr Corbett, please do what every politician should do before spreading the message; research the claims!

  62. “The killing is not restricted to pilot whales, it also includes white sided dolphins, orcas and bottle nose dolphins” That is not correct, there has not a single orca been killed the last 30-40 years.

    It is funny to see what Sea Shepherd supporters donate their money to.
    Sea Shepherd has at their campaign in the Faroe Islands this year and last year paid a faroese lawyer to help the organization. The truth is that the lawyer is not only a lawyer, but also an active whaler. (And Sea Shepherd knows it) So that means that the SS supporters do not only support the Sea Shepherd but also the whalers in the Faroe Islands.

    Many people talk about the 250 pilot whales that were killed some weeks ago. But nobody knows that it was an American girl that did found the pod and told others about it, so it could be chased and killed.

  63. It is also funny to see that american Sea Shepherd supporters are so much against the Grind hunt in the Faroe Islands.
    Why don´t they try to stop the killing of whales in their own country? In Alaska they are killing whales, that it just a fact!

  64. The Grind is no less but a Kill ! No excuse. Yet, those who kill are always will come up with an excuse to justify their actions.
    Yes, humans do many wrong things and it is our personal choice who do we support – Life or Extinction….
    To all Faroe Islanders – look inside and ask yourself what is in your heart…. if there is one…. Or if you have a family – do you love them? Would you bare to see them hurt? So, why do you hurt some one else? In the name of what?
    The bottom line is that the law of ‘Cause and Consequence’ is always at work and it is just how universe works.
    All you need is just to open your eyes and help to save the whales, but not to kill.
    Ask your kids would they like to see the oceans without such beautiful life creatures?

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