Denmark must stop the Faroe Islands cetacean slaughter

22 Pilot whales lined up on the shore at Hvannasund, Faroe Islands. Photo: Rosie Kunneke / Sea Shepherd.
22 Pilot whales lined up on the shore at Hvannasund, Faroe Islands. Photo: Rosie Kunneke / Sea Shepherd.
This year's 'Grind' in the Faroe Islands was as bloody as ever, writes Captain Paul Watson, who witnessed the slaughter of a pod of 22 pilot whales with vicious hooks and long knives. If Denmark wants to be considered a 'civilised' nation, it must stop its aggressive support for the cruel and barbaric tradition.
The bodies were decapitated one by one. One supporter of the slaughter sent me a message saying, 'We could show ISIS a thing or two about decapitation, you whale-loving bastards.'

It was a beautiful Monday morning; the seas were calm and the skies were blue. Approximately 20-30 wonderful creatures - pilot whales - were swimming in the cold Northern waters enjoying life in the company of their small family group.

Though most civilized people in the world would view this as a beautiful thing, watching a pod of these unique creatures swimming gracefully through the sea, a small group of thugs on the shore above Havannasund beach on Vidoy Island gazed over the water with murderous intent.

The dolphins had been quickly spotted and driven with stones and banger poles onto the beach where their killers waited eager to extinguish the lives of these gentle creatures. The police mobilized quickly to block off a tunnel to the island and to set up a restricted zone to keep people away from the killers.

The Sea Shepherd ship Brigitte Bardot was patrolling approximately 25 nautical miles to the south and quickly raced to the site where the whales were spotted. However, the vessel was unable to proceed through the entrance of the fjord, which was being guarded by the Danish Navy vessel Triton.

The call was issued to kill. The thugs were unleashed with huge hooks and sharp knives. Soon the blood colored the water a deep red and the screams of dying dolphins echoed across the beach. Laughing and cheering Faroese whalers splattered themselves with hot blood in a perverse orgy of sadistic lust.

The bodies were hoisted onto the dock by a crane as each animal was disemboweled, unborn fetuses ripped from their mothers’ wombs. The bodies were decapitated one by one. One supporter of the slaughter sent me a message saying, "We could show ISIS a thing or two about decapitation, you whale-loving bastards."

As the mutilations continued, Sea Shepherd volunteers were surrounded by Faroese police officers charged with the duty of preventing any interference with the slaughter.

Police and Danish Navy actively assisting dolphin killers

The Faroe Islands continue to encourage the barbarity of slaughtering dolphins with the full complicity of the government, the media, the police with new authoritarian 'special' laws, and now the Danish government and the Danish Navy.

It appears that many people in the Faroes are so traditionally and morally bankrupt that they can only find identity in the bloody ritualized culture of sadistic slaughter, as if to proclaim to the entire world that they, the Faroese, require blood sacrifices to illustrate their complete lack of empathy and morality.

It is their way of spitting in the face of common human decency by declaring their uniqueness in the only way that has any meaning for them - the deliberate and prideful infliction of suffering and death on innocent, intelligent, self-aware, socially complex and sentient beings.

With the power and force of the Kingdom of Denmark defending their little backwater vassal entity in the Islands of Sheep, the whalers are intent to cowardly continue killing, believing they have God on their side ('Gud med os') and knowing they have the politicians in their pockets.

The bodies were decapitated one by one. One supporter of the slaughter sent me a message saying, 'We could show ISIS a thing or two about decapitation, you whale-loving bastards.'

The aftermath of the Hvannasund slaughter

The Danish Navy and the Faroese Police are strict in enforcing the laws that protect the whalers but there seems to be a lack of concern and enforcement in response to the violation of the laws by the killers.

Illegal killing techniques are seen in this video, shot by Sea Shepherd in the Faroes yesterday - the use of the knife and the intentional infliction of suffering to the whales. The Faroese say the whales are killed instantly and do not suffer, yet the intense pain experienced can be seen in the long, bloody thrashing of these dying whales.

This video exposes the lie of the two-second kill, the myth that the Faroese constantly parrot in their justification of this horrific slaughter. It is illegal to stress the animals, yet the driving of these whales onto the beach to be killed is intensely stressful.

Last year, Sea Shepherd crew were charged with stressing the whales by interfering with the intent to kill them and this year it is now illegal not to report sighed whales to the whale killers. Sea Shepherd volunteers - or any tourist in the Faroe Islands - can now be charged for not reporting whales to the whalers.

According to Faroese laws that govern the 'grindadráp', any person visiting the islands must report all sightings of whales and dolphins to local authorities so that the cetaceans can be targeted for slaughter. Those who do not abide by these laws may face arrest and prosecution, with penalties of 25,000 Faroese króna (just over €3,000) and imprisonment of two years.

Denmark has laws against cruelty to animals, but not in the Faroes. The killing of whales is illegal under European Union regulations, but the Faroes, despite annually receiving millions of Euros in subsidies, are exempted from these laws.

It is illegal to feed toxic meat to the public and especially to children, but despite the dangerously high levels of methyl-mercury found in pilot whale meat, the Faroese do so without investigation or warnings.

Why is Denmark financing and defending this barbarity?

Ripping fetuses from the wombs of the mothers, mutilating the bodies, hacking out the teeth, having children play upon and mutilate the bodies, carving numbers into their flesh, stabbing with knives, ripping their flesh with boat props, decapitating them, stressing the animals with banger poles and forcing these gentle, intelligent, social and 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.

Why does Denmark subsidize this? Why do the Danish Navy and the Danish police defend this? Why do the Danish people tolerate this horrific cruelty and this disgracefully primitive violence that masquerades under the pretense of culture and postures under the justification of tradition?

The world must condemn this crime against nature, and Denmark must say to these killers that as a compassionate nation such an abomination of ecological principles and common decency should be tossed upon the dustbin of history.



Captain Paul Watson is founder of Sea Shepherd.

This article combines three blog postings by Captain Paul Watson on the Sea Shepherd website.

Petition: 'Stop the Faroe Island Whale Slaughter' (Care2).

Visit Sea Shepherd's Operation Sleppid Grindini site for more information.

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