faroe islandsThe extremely cruel Faroe Islands Pilot whale drive hunts, known locally as the Grindatrap or the grind, have been taking place on the islands since the 1500s. In the distant past they were a necessity, as these remote islands needed the Pilot whale’s meat to survive the long winters. However in modern times that is no longer the case; their supermarkets are full of food. Whale and dolphin meat is also contaminated with mercury and women and children are advised not to eat it. Despite this every year around 900 Pilot whales, not to mention unknown numbers of dolphins, are slaughtered.


“In the Faroes, the whales are still driven into specially designated shallow bays by a line of noisy boats. Many of the whales are thus artificially stranded. The strong family bonds that exist in this species seem to ensure that others also stay around rather than heading out to sea and safety. The live animals are then secured by a hook or ‘gaff’, driven into their sides or inserted into their blowholes, and killed by being cut with a knife behind the blowhole. Although the hunt is described as traditional and meat is still distributed according to long-established rules, recent hunts have included the use of wet bikes and have been co-ordinated using mobile phones. Long-finned Pilot whales remain the focus of the hunt and some 900 are still killed in this way each year. In addition, unknown numbers of dolphins are also taken, and stranded Northern Bottlenose whales are also consumed.”

Mark Simmons, WDCS

The marine conservation organisation Sea Shepherd campaign to prevent the grind taking place with their Operation Grindstop.

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