Four months of clashes expected on the Faroes ahead of slaughter of pilot whales

Police are confident they can deal with the situation, although as many as 500 activists are expected

The article is written with Syrian refugees, among others, in mind (photo: iStock)
June 19th, 2014 6:33 pm| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Activists from the Sea Shepard Conservation Group (SSCG) are flocking to the Faroe Islands this week to begin five months of protests against the annual cultural and historical killings of 1,000 pilot whales in October – a tradition known as ‘the grind’ that has been attracting worldwide outcry for decades.

READ MORE: Denmark supports Faroe Islands in appeal against EU fishing sanctions

Some 500 animal rights activists will patrol land and sea from mid-June until the end of October, when the traditional event occurs, according to natureworldnews.com.

Police are ready
Peter Thaysen, a police inspector on the islands, told Jyllands-Posten that the action plan is something they have known about for a long time. 

We have known since September last year that something would happen here this year," he said.

"Danish intelligence services have been monitoring the situation, so we are confident we can stop [the clashes] at sea and on land.”

However, the police cannot stop legal demonstrations.

Tradition versus conservation
Since the 1700s, the islanders have surrounded, herded and killed approximated 1,000 pilot whales every year in a cultural and historical event known as grindadráp.

The meat is divided up and handed out to participants. The event is regulated by the authorities, open to everyone and supposedly non-commercial, even though much of the meat is sold in supermarkets.

However, the island authorities ruled in 2008 that eating pilot whales is ill-advised due to their high levels of mercury, and the SSCG argues that the grind is a ‘mass slaughter’ and not necessary for sustenance like the Faroese argue

The SSCG first took up the cause of the slaughtered pilot whales in 1985 and has been actively campaigning ever since.

A normally quiet country
The Faroes are an isolated archipelago consisting of 18 islands located between Scotland and Iceland in between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. 

While it is part of the kingdom of Denmark, it has been a self-governing country since 1948.

 

Danish municipalities have used words like ‘parasitic’ or ‘spoiled’ when describing autistic people (photo: iStock)
Parents of autistic children feel violated by public employees
Parents of autistic children in Denmark feel badly treated and often violat...
The article is written with Syrian refugees, among others, in mind (photo: iStock)
Humanitarian head invites asylum-seekers to seek Denmark
Michala Bendixen, the chairman of the humanitarian organisation Refugees We...
In 1979 and 1980, the Bonamia parasite eradicated the entire population of flat oysters in Europe (photo: iStock)
Dead oysters in Limfjord raising concerns
A larger number of dead oysters than normal in the Limfjord in northwestern...
Photoshop away the cables and Copenhagen is under alien attack (photo: Hasse Ferrold)
The bridge that has made the River Kwai one look like a weekend job
After six years of waiting and speculation, Copenhagen has taken a monument...
International demand is soaring (photo: Carnby)
International demand encouraging Danes to make medieval-style mead
It seems beer – even from the most obscure microbrewery – is too mainst...
At best, you end up with minus 0.5 percent less than you invested (photo: iStock)
Saving up for pension in Denmark guarantees you lose money
'Save up for 30 years and you lose a maximum of 0.5 percent on your investm...