Sea Shepherd launches Grind Stop 2014 campaign as Faroe Islands hunts continue
by Jennifer Mishler
Categories: Animals, Causes, Environment.
Photo: Peter Hammarstedt / Sea Shepherd

You may be familiar with Sea Shepherd’s former campaigns opposing the drive hunts and mass slaughter of pilot whales and dolphins in the Faroe Islands from Discovery’s “Whale Wars” spin-off “Viking Shores.” Now, the organization has unveiled a new campaign that they say will be their largest Faroes operation to date: Grind Stop 2014.

The slaughters known as “grinds” (from the word “grindarap” or whale kill) involve the whales or dolphins being driven to the shallow waters of a bay, where they are pulled to the shore by ropes, or hooks jammed into their blowholes before being killed.

Sea Shepherd explains why they feel the hunts are cruel as well as illegal, “Faroese men plunge blades into the whales’ bodies until each cetacean’s spinal cord is severed, rarely on the first attempt and more often it takes several minutes for the whale or dolphin to die. The pursuit and beaching of these animals is extremely terrifying and stressful for them (in the UK, and also across Europe, the harassment of dolphins and whales is a crime in itself) and the killing looks just like what it actually is — a frenzied massacre of innocents.” The organization says no members of the pods are spared, including mothers, pregnant females and babies, adding that “the entire cetacean family is killed and the waters of the Grind bays turn blood red for hours.”

In their announcement of the new campaign, Sea Shepherd reports that 1,306 cetaceans have already fallen victim to the hunts this season, in just 63 days. Most recently, pods of 430 Atlantic White-Sided Dolphins and 120 pilot whales were slaughtered. The Sea Shepherds compare the hunts to the infamous slaughters in Taiji, Japan, but while Taiji’s slaughter takes place in one killing cove, the Faroese slaughter takes place in 23 different bays, making the killing hard to prevent.

Still, Sea Shepherd claims success in their former Faroe Islands operations, and reports zero kills during their presence in the islands in their 2011 “Ferocious Isles” campaign. The new campaign, led by Sea Shepherd UK’s Robert Read, will be their first time back in the Faroes since that time. The Shepherds say their efforts will include “public education, land-based investigations, media relations, deterrent patrols, government relations, celebrity involvement, non-violent interventionist tactics and education of the local eco-tourism industry, among other tactics.”

Read says, “The Academy Award-winning documentary, ‘The Cove,’ may have turned the international spotlight on the bloody carnage of dolphins brutally slain in Taiji by Japanese fishermen. But on the edge of Northwest Europe there are also regular drive hunts of whales and dolphins just as needlessly destructive, equally barbaric and perhaps even more merciless in our very own ‘Taiji of the North’ — The Faroe Islands.”

“2014 will mark three years since Sea Shepherd has made its presence known in Faroese waters. The last time we patrolled there, no whales or dolphins were killed on our watch. Our clients need us — it’s time to return,” Read says.

Sea Shepherd adds that while the Faroese say they hunt the pilot whales for meat, and Faroese law requires that the meat and blubber from the slain whales be divided amongst local residents, some of the meat ends up in restaurants where it is consumed by tourists. Other remains are discarded back into the ocean. The group has previously found pilot whale remains underwater. Faroese officials have also warned against the consumption of pilot whale meat for certain people, like women of child-bearing age and children, due to contamination by “mercury, PCBs, dioxins and DDT derivatives.”

Updates on Grind Stop 2014 can be found on the campaign Facebook page.

sscsgrindstop

About Jennifer Mishler

Jennifer Mishler is a writer, and a vegan and animal activist. When she's not writing, you can often find her volunteering or advocating for animal, environmental and human rights causes. Along with writing for Ecorazzi, she has contributed writing for nonprofits like Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and enjoys blogging. She resides in the Washington, DC area (and loves all the vegan food it has to offer). Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @jennygonevegan.

View all posts by Jennifer Mishler →
  • Sloan

    In before all of the eco nutjobs chime in with their delusions that IWC agreements are actual laws in regards to activities in the southern oceans. And if you’re not attempting to uphold a law, but rather a voluntary agreement, then you’re just a pirate and condoning illegal activities yourself.

    • Rolf

      Not saying this has anything to do with IWC, but Denmark is a member of the EU, the Faroes is a protectorate of Denmark, and EU has banned whaling. Thus making the Grinds in the Faroes illegal.

      • Magnus Petersson, Sweden

        As strange at is may sound, the Faroe Islands is not a part of the EU. When Denmark joined the EU, the Faroe Islands was specifically excluded from that membership. Also the Faroe Islands is not a protectorate, it is an autonomous and self-ruling country with its own prime minister. The Faroe Islands voted against EU membership, and are therefore NOT a part of it. EU law does not apply in the Faroe Islands, it only applies in countries and territories that are part of the EU.

      • Rolf

        Then they should not be able to receive the Benefits of the EU, like the import agreements that come because Denmark is part of the EU, and it should not be allowed to take subsidiaries from Denmark.

      • Magnus Petersson, Sweden

        That can be argued, but it does still not mean that the Faroe Islands is a part of the EU, and it does not meant that their whaling is illegal. It’s fully legal since the Faroe Islands is not a part of the EU and because pilot whales and other small cetaceans are not recognized by the IWC.

        Furthermore, I see the EU giving benefits and money to many countries that does not follow EU laws, guidelines or policies, such as Botswana etc, infact a nation does not have to follow EU policies to recieve those benefits. I wonder if you also protest the EU giving benefit to every other country in the world that does not follow EU policies.

        I can tell you that there is tons of countries outside the EU that takes subsidiaries from EU members, and none of these follows EU law, cause they are not part of it. The Faroe Islands is no exception to that.

        The only thing the EU demands is that those nations and territories that are part of the EU follows it.

      • lee

        you mean Subsidies?

  • SSCS4EVER

    We will be there with the strongest team ever and I can assure you that we will NOT back down from threats against us from the faroese!
    We will enlighten and educate people (the 99% of the Faroese people who doesn’t participate in or support the grind!)

    • romika3

      The fine people of the Faroe Islands do not need enlightenment nor do they have to be educated. Watson is noted for running away with his tail between his legs. He has stated many times publicly that he will give his life for whales. I wonder where he is now?….he’s been on the run for over a year….. he can’t event stand up against a charge that he states is false.

      • SSCS4EVER

        LOL Romika when did they release you from the mental institution ? Your stupid comments has been missed by all the intelligent people in here!But let me answer your comment ! At this time there is a growing amount of Faroese who publicly fight against the grind and they (along with the rest of the intelligent people who fight against the whaling and the grind) will win in the end putting a stop to the outdated and insane tradition of animal abuse called Grindedráp !

      • romika3

        “LOL Romika when did they release you from the mental institution ? Your stupid comments has been missed by all the intelligent people in here!” Sounds like you have been brainwashed by Watson…..judging by your reply…..typical of members of this organization. The bottom line is that Watson is exploiting an opportunity for it media and money making potential….this is his trade mark….

  • The GRIND killer

    Dream on! Come at me!

  • Rodney Martin

    Well done to all the Sea Sheperd crews. This slaughter has to stop. It is Barbarous in the extreme. Please keep up the great work your doing for those of us that are unable to.

    • romika3

      “Well done to all the Sea Shepherd crews”…what have they done well? Most of the crew are young and ill informed about how Watson exploits youth to meet his own end and to satisfy his ego.

  • That makes no sense

    How is it cruel that they get killed in minutes?

  • romika3

    Watson must be running out of money…the word on the street is that he is sitting back counting his stash in either one of his Alaskan or Florida real estates. Again, he likes to go where he can exploit and demonize a people…and by the way pilot whales are not endangered. I am hoping that the fine people of the Faroe Islands stand up and hold their ground against the SSCS thugs…as that’s all they are….

    • PokerRay

      No, that’s not what the word on the street is. It is only the voices in your head.

      • romika3

        Again a typical reply from a SSCS supporter…..if that’s not the word on the street then perhaps a response that shows me incorrect in terms of the information I received.

      • PokerRay

        You’ve danced this dance too many times before. You make the stupidest of claims and challege for proof that you are wrong. Churchill defines a fanatic as someone who can’t change their mind and won’t change the subject. You are a fanatic whose only mission in life is to spread manure using any spurious claim that you can dredge out of your feeble mind. You have no inside information, you have no information at all.

      • romika3

        Frank Trinkle

  • Rodney Martin

    Considering the impact from my last comment, I’d like to add that I don’t give a toss what you people who support these slayings have to say. I have watched the Whales of the world be decimated by a few countries who refuse to change their barbarous customs,and from what I’ve read after my comment, you will not be content until there is NOT another Whale left to bring you some kind of sick pleasure at the slaying thereof. Whether it is those of the Faroe Islands, the Japanese or any other people who continue your slaying of these magnificent creatures, in my humble opinion, you are all scum who don’t deserve to breathe the same air as the Whale. Your rambling about who is a member of the EU has nothing to do with these slayings, in real terms. You are simply satiating your thirst for bloodletting, be it Whales, Seals or any other creature. If those animals are listed as being endangered, you are turning your noses up to the World and saying ” F**k you. We will do what we want. ” I stand by my original comment and say,Well done Sea Shepherd. At least someone is making the World aware of this senseless slaughter. For your information romika3, I am a 58 year old who is neither wildly enamored of Watson or what he has to say, but as an avid naturalist, I believe all Gods creatures have a right to live as you, yourself have a right to live.

    • Faroese Guest

      Why why and why…. I have eaten whalemeat since I was born. Once a month. We are the only people left on the earth, that are hunting and killing for food – AND we also live in harmony with nature. We teach our children how to survive! WHY on earth to you want to destroy that? I cannot understand you comming to these beautifull islands with your bags full of conserves and vacum packed food and i am guessing: longlife fruit? We live in a contry where the winters are extremly difficult, long and dark. All our food is imported! No fruit plant grows here! Please let us have our meals for the winters in peace?

  • TERESA BONELLI

    Quien acepte aquí que las ballenas pueden ser asesinadas de esta forma cruel y además mostrando a los niños semejante acto de barbaros de la prehistoria solo pueden pertenecer a los asesinos de ballenas de las mismas islas Feroe.

  • Seal team member

    Let’s send some drones to the Faroe Islands and kill the bastards. People without any respectable brains don’t deserve to live on this planet…..End of story…. They never will know what hits them so fast….
    Keep your hands from nature, let nature take its own course.

  • lee

    just lovely how they parade their children through the massacred carcasses with their guts and blood spilling out and in-utero babies hanging out, as some sort of badge of honour… absolutely disgusting and how traumatic for a young mind to bear witness too….