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 demand for overseas flights is growing and growing," says SAS CEO (photo: BriYYZ)
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.

 

Well, this one has seen better days, but in general, the cod population is doing better (photo: iStock)
Cod and plaice thriving in Danish waters
Years of regulated fishing in Danish waters look to have paid off, as North...
More than ever want to go to university (photo: iStock)
Record number of higher education applications
There has been a record number of applications for the country’s higher e...
Danish 'hygge' has been trumped by the Finish sauna (photo: iStock)
Denmark slips to fourth in new happiness index
An increase in financial disparity in Denmark means the Danes have slipped ...
The well in front of the Moravian Church in Christiansfeld (photo: Hubertus)
Denmark gets two new places on the UNESCO World Heritage List
The little hamlet of Christiansfeld in south Jutland and King Christian V's...
The clubhouse is in a residential area (photo: Google Maps)
Shooting at Bandidos clubhouse could be linked to earlier gang conflict
Police in Helsingør were alerted in the early hours of the morning to shot...
The M113 G4 troop carrier dates back to the 1960s (photo: Csa76)
Army complains about outdated equipment
The exorbitant price of new cars in Denmark forces many Danes to drive arou...