25th February 2020
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Steve Irwin in Lerwick en route to confront Faroese whale slaughter

, by , in Fishing & Sea

Click on image to enlarge.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s flagship vessel Steve Irwin is in Lerwick Harbour as it prepares to set sail for the Faroe Islands for the campaign group’s efforts to prevent the annual slaughter of endangered pilot whales.

Named after the late Australian TV personality and conservationist Steve Irwin, known as “The Crocodile Hunter”, the 59-metre ship arrived in Shetland on Tuesday and is due to be joined by the society’s smaller 10-crew Brigitte Bardot on Friday.

The Steve Irwin features in Animal Planet television show Whale Wars, which follows captain of the ship and founder of the SSCS Paul Watson as he and his international crew of volunteers campaign to stifle the activities of the Japanese whaling fleet in the southern Antarctic.

She and the Brigitte Bardot, named after the French fashion model, actress, singer and animal rights campaigner, have also been in the Mediterranean this summer trying to protect blue fin tuna off the coast of Libya.

The SSCS is planning to deploy acoustic devices to establish a wall of sound in the path of migrating whales to deter the cetaceans from approaching the Faroe Islands, where locals each year conduct the slaughter of around 1,000 whales, known as the “Grind”.

Captain Watson said: “We’re going from Lerwick to the Faroe Islands and our objective is to do what we can to protect the pilot whales up there. The vessels will meet up in Lerwick and get prepared, get our provisions in and head out after the 15th.”

The “Grind” consists of the Faroese locals corralling pods of migrating pilot whales into shallow coves as they travel in family groups past the islands. Men, women and children await the arrival of the herded whales and drive them towards the shore where, according to the SSCS, they “bludgeon, spear, slash and scissor them to a slow death”.

Speaking to The Shetland Times from Jersey where he was attending the International Whaling Commission’s meeting this week, Captain Watson said the slaughter was not a commercial operation but was done for reasons of cultural tradition. After the whales are mutilated their bodies are not eaten or used in any way but instead are “tossed into a mass grave underwater”.

Captain Watson said it was wrong for the Faroese to benefit from EU money through the subsidies it receives from Denmark, of which Faroe is a constituent country, while at the same time claiming exemption from European laws banning the slaughter of whales. “If they’re going to receive subsidies they should abide by the regulations,” he said.


  1. Aron Stevens

    Hi Guys, thanks for reporting on SSCS good work. I’m sure the Sea Shepherds will receive a warm welcome form the islanders on Shetland.
    Oh and by the way Brigitte Bardot is still with us.

  2. Nick Blowfield

    Although I agree to protecting against the mass slaughter of Whales, it does concern me that, and I quote ‘ The SSCS is planning to deploy acoustic devices to establish a wall of sound in the path of migrating whales to deter the cetaceans from approaching the Faroe Islands’

    This action in itself is distressing to cetatceans, can lead to disorientation, possible drownings and in cases where land masses are in close proximity, mass strandings.

    By all means protect the whales, but do it sensibly, and not with such folly as is usually assiociated with ‘The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s ‘ methods

  3. Nick Fulham

    Seriously, does anyone honestly believe that: “After the whales are mutilated their bodies are not eaten or used in any way but instead are “tossed into a mass grave underwater”” ?? Come on, we’re smarter than that!

    I have been to the faroes myself, and know for an absolute fact that they do indeed make use of every part of the whales that catch. Large parts of the meat are even given to care homes, hospitals and the elderly.

    The only grain of truth in what Watson argues, is that the faroese do not, in fact, hunt whales for any commercial reasons. All parts of any whale they catch is divided equally amongst those who care to sign up for it, at no charge what so ever.

    And, trust me, they do eat it. I’ve seen dried whale, fried whale, cooked whale, stews and whatnot…for crying out loud – they even eat the blubber!

    There is an irony to the fact that the mammals around our waters, and therefore their waters, are so polluted that they are in many cases deemed non-edible. See for example: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2362-extreme-mercury-levels-revealed-in-whalemeat.html


    Earthrace Conservation, a new marine conservation organization, currently has a small team of volunteers on the Faroe Islands.

    They are there on a peaceful mission to establish how widespread knowledge is amongst the Faroese of the major health risks to humans is of eating pilot whale meat and blubber. The team report that they have been talking to whalers who say there is increasing support, even amongst themselves, for an official quota to be introduced by the Government to reduce the number of pilot whales allowed to be killed each year.

    Several ’grinders’ have confirmed that often, there is so much meat and blubber available, that it simply gets get dumped – from freezers where it has been stored since the previous year’s grinds – to be replaced by new stock. In addition, Earthrace have discovered quantities of pilot whale meat and blubber openly (and illegally) on sale in shops and restaurants in and around the capital, Torshavn, again showing that there is too much of it available because too many whales are being slaughtered.

    The Earthrace spokesperson said, “A number of the hunters have said to us that although they believe they should be allowed to continue the grinds, in view of a combination of the wastage and the health risks of eating pilot whale (proven through research carried out by Dr Pal Weihe, the Chief Physician from the Faroese Department of Occupational Medicine and Public Health), they would understand if the Government were to bring in a quota to reduce the overall numbers of pilot whales allowed to be killed each year.

    The research into the health risks of consuming pilot whale was carried out by a team of scientists from Syddansk University Denmark which included Dr Weihe. It revealed the extensive, long term damage that can be done to humans who consume pilot whale meat and blubber from methyl mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s) stored in the animals. Since publishing the research, Dr Weihe has consistently called on the Faroese Government to introduce a total ban on consumption.

    To date, this advice is being ignored by the Government although in June this year, the Faroese Food and Veterinary Authority (FFVA) halved the recommended consumption levels from a previous 1998 advisory notice. The Government recommendations say that 4kg per adult per year is the maximum quantity that should be consumed.

    Figures provided by the Faroes’ own whaling website (www.whaling.fo) say that around 500 tons of meat and blubber can be obtained from 1,000 pilot whales (on average, more than this are killed each year). If shared equally amongst the entire population of 50,000 Faroese, this would work out at 10kg per head per year – much more if one takes into account the numbers of girls, women and children who no longer eat it and the increasing number of younger people who are against the grindadraps.

    Earthrace Conservation believes talk of a quota is a major breakthrough. A spokesperson for the organisation said, “Whilst we’d like to see the grinds stop immediately, that was never going to happen. They are too entrenched in the culture of the country and are carried out by people who won’t be bullied by outsiders. A quota that would reduce the number of pilot whales legally allowed to be killed would be a huge step forward.

    “Ultimately, however, we believe that it is the health risks to humans posed by the pilot whale meat and blubber, rather than any international condemnation or physical interference with the grinds themselves that will eventually bring an end to them altogether. If no-one is eating the pilot whales, there can’t be any justification for continuing the grinds.”

    There are more updates on the work going on in the Faroes on face book http://www.facebook.com/Earthrace

  5. Kraig Sercombe

    I would like to clarify that the reason SSCS is deploying acoustic devices is to make the whales and dolphins think they are getting close to the shore. They would then go further out to sea making it harder for the faroe whalers to spot them. Yes these devices do scare whales and dolphins but that is not how SSCS will be using them

  6. Jan Ebert

    Surely, the Faroese eat the meat, but Sea Shepherd could prove that they do dump some of the killed whales:


    As for the acoustic devices: As far as I know they use sounds of Orcas to deter the pilot whales from the beaches.

  7. Jonhard Magnussen

    To Jan Ebert: All you can see in the pictures on SSCS website, are the skeletons, flukes and heads of the whales. Nothing gets thrown away, that can be used or eaten.

  8. Ragnar Jacobsen

    What is this ?????? What does Watson know about whale killing in the Faroese ?? i am from Faroe Islands and i saw the article and i must say: I am numb!!! a lie , all of it……..Killing a whale with a scissor ?? come on….that´s not possible, not that i have tried, but it´s done on a humane way…it´s about 3 sec to kill a whale,if you know what to do and the thing he say´s about a massgrave ?? BULL S**T!!!!! it´s food for us. Everything is eaten and the ” grind” has saved many lives in the past in the winter…in the past on the islands who had no ship or otherway of transport, they used rowingboats to get food and other things and they were away for several days at a time but when a “grind” came, it saved many lives. Men where able to stay home with the wife and children because many men lost the thiers lives, just trying to breedfeed there family…..and everyone say´s that a whale is an endangered spiecies??? that´s also a lie….there are approx 800.000 whales in the north atlantic and what damage does it do ,that we take up to a 1000 pr year ??? some year there´s not been a single whale killed here on the faroe islands and some other year there is only killed 200-300 whales……so to you people who belive watson ??? get your act together….He is building all of his life around a Big MASSIve LIE……i mean…why would we kill 1000 whales,just to put them to mass graves ???? where´s the sense in that ??? And did anyone of you know that when Paul Watson were in the Faroe Islands in 1985,he ate “grind” ?? his answer was “that it tasted very good”…but then….he didn´t know what he was eating…..but just that example?? Watson know that it´s a big lie when he say´s that we don´t eat it…..HE Ate It Him Self!!!!

  9. Páll Poulsen

    This is rubbish. Whale meat is distributed to the suffering people, hospitals and centers. Paul Watson should rather blame those people who pollute our waters.
    He´s obviously getting sponsor money from the social injustice of the americas. For him this is business, cooking an old crumbled biscuit again and again. Pete Bethune and Ady Gil were here, and they told us about this unreliable person. He´s a bad joke.
    Apart from all this, the people of The Shetland´s also used to eat Grind, and they were all great people.

  10. Johan Hentze

    As a Faroese person living in Glasgow, I can assure you that most of what Paul Watson says, is untrue. I have even seen Documentaries on British television that are factually inaccurate (VERY!!!). The truth is, WHY would WE want the pilot whales to die out? We wouldnt! We have people keeping a close eye on the stock! For those who think that the killings are inhumane?? The whales are killed quicker, or just as quick, as cows are in slaughterhouses! Do you eat burgers? The nonsense about us dumping the meat is just a pathetic attempt of getting you onboard his sick and twisted campaign…. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!! He is a grade A scumbag! Thrown out of Greenpeace….. why???

    I hope you come to your sences and ban this man from your shores!!!


    Faroe Islander in Glasgow!

  11. Johan Hentze

    @Jan Ebert – That article about the ‘whale graveyard is complete propaganda! There is NO SUCH THING! I hope you take these guys for what they are.. They feed you lies about a culture that you know little about.. you would like to believe them, but the truth is, that it is complete nonsense!

  12. Jákup Olaf Jacobsen

    oh my god… really??? do you belive this nonsence???? I truly hope and belive that our great neighbors to the south, the Shetlands, are smarter than this, where is the professional journalism.
    how about chekking your facts before publishing anything?????

    please tell the truth next time.

    with regards a Faroe Islander

  13. Jón Einarsson

    How can someone still believe what Captain Kangaroo says??
    He is a proven eco-terrorist by the many countries and even has been wanted for attempted murder in Costa Rica. The man i a lier, terrorist and is in this only for the money that Bridget Bardot and Animal Planet pour into his wallet.

    Come on Shetland people, stop “grinding” his wallet! And remeber the motto “By law this land shall be built” “Með lögum skal land byggja” and not threats and violence

    Here are two statements made by Captain Kangaroo:

    “There’s nothing wrong with being a terrorist as long as you win.”
    – Paul Watson, Animal Rights 2002 Convention, June 2002

    “If you don’t know an answer, a fact, a statistic – make it up on the spot.”
    – Paul Watson, Earthforce: An Earth Warrior’s Guide to Strategy

    A proud Faroe Islander and a many time visitor of Shetland, which i love to visit many more times

  14. Jan Ebert

    The fact that the Faroese allegedly eat all the whale meat doesn’ t make the grind humane. How can causing mass panic to hundreds of SENTIENT and SOCIAL animals while driving them ashore, ramming gaffs into their blowholes and slashing and stabbing them to death be called HUMANE?

    The statement that the grind is as humane as killing cows in slaughterhouses is nothing but ridiculous. Quote from wikipedia:
    “[…] Then they drive the whales slowly into a bay or to the shallows of a fjord. When a whale is in shallow water a hook is placed in its blowhole so that it may be dragged ashore. Once on land or immobilized in knee-deep water, a cut is made across its top near the blowhole to partially sever its head. […]”

    How long does it take to get one animal on land that weighs about 1,300 – 2,300 kilos, measures about 6.5 m and which struggles in panic to keep its life? You just have to use common sense to realize that the long process of driving, gaffing, dragging and finally killing the pilot whales could never be humane in any way, because it’s impossible to do it quickly. Apart from that: How can the intentional killing of a sentient living being be called humane?

    The faroese grind is even more disgusting than the slaughtering of dolphins in Taiji (Japan), given the fact it is a big festivity for the islanders. Quote from wikipedia:
    “[…] The hunts, called “grindadráp” in Faroese, are non-commercial and are organized on a community level; anyone can participate. […]”

    It is a known fact that whales, being at the end of the food chain, contain high levels of mercury. Quote:
    “[…] In 2008 the Faroe Island’s chief physician, Dr. Pál Weihe, and chief medical officer, Dr. Høgni Debes Joensen, recommended that pilot whale meat should no longer be used for human consumption because of the significant threat it poses. […]“

    Having a high standard of living, the Faroese are not dependent on the grind for surviving. It’s nothing but an old and despicable tradition. There’s nothing wrong with traditions in itself. However, you just have to use common sense and be empathetic to realize that the grind is morally wrong. The fact that the Faroese have killed whales for centuries doesn’t make it right. Bull fighting in Spain isn’t right either, just because the Spanish have done it for ages. The list could go on… These kind of traditions have no place in the 21st century.

  15. ian tinkler

    Jón Einarsson, Keep your brutality in Faroe. Many a Shetlander would rather you do not visit us. Good luck and God speed Steve irwin and all who sail in her.

  16. Colin Hunter

    In my opinion, there is nothing morally wrong in killing any animal as long as it is used and consumed. The Faroese claim that this is the case and there is no reason whatsoever to disbelieve them. After all, it seems highly unlikely that anyone would go to all that trouble just to throw it all away! Just because we don’t do it any more ourselves doesn’t mean that we should automatically see it as being “Barbaric”. It’s part of our history, like it or not.
    I also fail to see how anyone who’s forebears systematically murdered the North American Bison, from aproximately 60 MILLION in 1830 to less than 1000 by 1889, in an attempt to starve the indigenous tribes into submission, can possibly take the moral high ground on any aspect of wildlife conservation.
    The Shetland name for a pilot whale is a “Caaing” whale, so called because it was possible to drive or “caa” them onto shelving beaches where they were slaughtered and distributed among the people, in exactly the same way as the Faroese still do. Perhaps the most famous whale “Caa” in Shetland was in Hoswick in 1888 where the local Laird tried to claim a percentage of the catch. However, a recent change in crofting law meant that the courts found in favourof the people.
    More details can be found here http://shetlopedia.com/Whaling_in_Shetland
    From what I can see, this once proud little ship is now housing a bunch of unemployed, insufferable busy-bodies with little else to do but go round sticking their neb in where it’s not welcome. I’m 100% behind the Faroese on this one. It’s not as though they are driving the species into extinction for no good reason.

  17. John Kryton

    Oops Colin you have ruined your chance of going for a drink with Ian now. This guy Paul Watson sounds like a bit of a pirate to me I have copied and pasted part of an article on him off the internet. I hope the Faroese have a couple of gun boats handy to give protection to their own people as they go about their legitimate business.

    Paul Watson is considered by many to be the originator of environmental terrorism; what he refers to as “passionate activism.” Watson was one of the founders of Greenpeace, the largest environmental rights organization in the world, with over 5 million members claiming allegiance in over twenty countries. Watson left Greenpeace, which originated as a splinter faction of the 1960’s anti-war group “Don’t Make a Wave Committee,” due to the passivity of that group. Because Greenpeace has objected to the use of excessive violence in protests, Watson has disparagingly dubbed his former group the “Avon ladies of the environmental movement.”

    In 1977, Watson founded the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS), which he describes as a “policing organization,” but which is in fact a radical terrorist outfit that travels the oceans of the world perpetrating violence against the fishing industry. Watson oversees a small fleet of ships outfitted with cement-filled bows built for the sole purpose of violently ramming and sinking ships they deem enemies of the environment; this could include everything from large whaling ships to small commercial fishing vessels. Each of Watson’s boats is armed with high-powered water cannons and is protected by electrical barbed wire. His group has used acid, explosives, and a host of other means to disable and sink “enemy” ships. Watson himself has been known to brandish an AK-47 assault rifle that he has used to fire on fishing vessels. Painted on the sides of his ships are the names of those boats he has sunk.

    Paul Watson’s method of operation is not all that different from that of the nineteen suicide highjackers of 9/11. Instead of airplanes, Watson uses his boats to ram and sink the objects of his disdain. Of his 1979 sinking of a commercial whaling vessel, Watson stated, “I set out from Boston in the Sea Shepherd with a crew of 19 volunteers…I hunted down, rammed, and disabled the pirate whaling ship Sierra…[We] fired up the engine and made for the Sierra, which was in the middle of the harbor. I hit her at full speed….” Although this attack failed to sink the Sierra, Watson and his crew returned for a second attack on the vessel and “blew the bottom out of her and permanently ended her career.”

  18. David Palmer

    Jan Ebert, you may want to reconsider your choice of reference sources. Anybody with an internet connection can edit any Wikipedia page at any time. And for a topic like whaling both sides are know to edit the entries to paint the other side in as bad a light as possible.

    Your one non-Wikipedia source is about mercury in whale meat. This is a know fact and that is why the Faroeses government issues guidelines on restricting the eating of the whale meat. Just like governments all over the world issue guidelines about eating other seafood, like swordfish, that also have high levels of mercury. But like many other hazards (i.e. smoking, alcohol, cholesterol, etc.) many people, knowing the hazard, make the decision to continue the activity despite the risk. It is known as living your life, rather than huddling in fear of everything that could possibly kill you.

    This very paper published an article in April of 2010 that said the life expectancy in the Shetland Islands is 75 years for men and 81.5 for women. While the CIA factbook says in the Faroe Islands it is 75 years for men and 82.8 for women. Sure doesn’t look like the mercury is causing any serious health affects.

  19. Jan Stefan Ek

    Well, Colin, what’s puzzling me is the question I was once asked: In case those aliens come here, who are superior to humans in all matters, and they treat us, like we treat animals. Would that be morally ok? And, come on, we know we’re not alone and it is possible that one day we might be visited.

  20. Gordon Harmer

    There are environmentalists and there are environmentalists, does anybody really want to support this group who are more akin to terrorists. Just look at this groups boat, they are glory hunters in pirates clothes. Iv’e watched this bunch of morons on the TV they are off their trolleys. Paul Watson is quoted as saying “There’s nothing wrong with being a terrorist, as long as you win. Then you write the history.” I don’t like whales being killed for what ever reason but I have never had to rely on them as a food source. Supporting this group of psychopaths is not the way to put a stop to this fishing.

    Paul Watson is one of the fathers of environmental terrorism. The group he founded and leads, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS), is a pirate organization that sails around the world, terrorizing fishermen. Wearing a long bowie knife and carrying AK-47s on board, he threatens to ram any ship that won’t give in to his demands. Watson was a founder of Greenpeace, but the group banished him in 1977 in disapproval of his violent tactics.

    Watson, who has spent time in the jails of Canada and the Netherlands, was born in the Canadian Maritimes in 1950. At ten years old, he was already a budding terrorist who shot another kid in the rear end who was about to shoot a bird. He worked for the Canadian Coast Guard and Norwegian and Swedish merchant marines before becoming a professional environmentalist / terrorist.

    Watson is a misanthrope who has said that “earthworms are far more valuable than people.” Perhaps that explains why he has started the careers of some of the most violent animal-rights activists. SHAC terrorists Rodney Coronado and Joshua Harper have both served as crewmembers on SSCS expeditions.

  21. Brydon Goodlad

    Well Colin I’m 100% behind the Steve Irwin, what right does anybody have to slaughter whales in this day and age? As you point out it is part of our history, it is our past, back then the people of shetland had to kill whales to survive. Why are you bringing up the American bison being murdered, well that must mean the whales are being murdered too doesn’t it. I’ve watched a video of a Grind in faroe last year and it is barbaric, maybe a hundred pleasure boats thats right PLEASURE boats forcing the whales ashore, the whales trying to get away from the boats terrified and heading to shallow water. Then when the whales are ashore hundreds maybe a thousand people run down the beach into the water and start slaughtering them. It is a massacre and truly horrific but you sensed the Faroese enjoyed it.

    My wife was in Faroe on a sunday school trip many years ago and they tried to get her to eat whale meat by saying it was reestit mutton. She felt very saddened that they had to lie, to get her to eat it, she refused to eat the whale meat.
    Watching the grind reminded me of watching clips of fox hunts, which were very cruel and thankfully outlawed.
    If the whale hunts continue in Faroe, Antartica and elsewhere in 30 years time there will be no whales left in the oceans. We must make a stand now to stop the slaughtering of whales,dolphins,sharks and anybody who has seen footage of the Canadians clubbing seals to death must be sickened by it.
    In this day and age there is no justification in killing defenceless animals, the Faroese don’t need to kill whales for food, those days are long gone. I will support the Sea Shepherd in all the campaigns it goes to, mankind does not have the right to kill every animal on the planet, we must learn to live together before its too late.

  22. Colin Hunter

    In reply to Jan and his aliens, I thought they had already arrived and were tied up in Morrison dock! Seems they’ll be here longer than they thought if the Maltese have their way! But to be serious, I can see where you’re coming from, in as much as you should treat other poeple (and things) as you would expect to be treated yourself. Noble thoughts indeed, but I don’t think it works like that in the real world. I fact I know it doesn’t!
    I am not a religious man, but I can remember certain passages from my childhood, from Bible studies and Sunday School. One such passage is Genesis 1:28

    And God blessed them. And God said unto them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”

    It is unfortunate that the act of killing these creatures probably causes pain and distress, unlike farm animals killed humanely in controlled conditions in abattoirs, at least in this country. Halal killed livestock, on the other hand, are not so “fortunate” and have their windpipes, carotid arteries and jugular viens severed by a very sharp knife, presumably without first being stunned by a humane killer. And this on a daily basis! I don’t see many people protesting about that! Do you?
    One of the letters above claims that the animals are killed as swiftly as is possible. Another claims the opposite. All I know is, that it is the business of the Faroese, and them alone. It is their country and they should have the right to go about their business without interference or hindrance from any outside party. Least of all a bunch of self proclaimed “Eco Terrorists”! I wonder if they expect to be treated as they treat others??

  23. Lyn Faull

    What worries me about the footage of the grind, among other things like its brutality, are the number of little kids who watch and marvel at these brave Vikings boldly going out into the water to hack trapped animals to death.

    Whether they use all the carcasses, including the unborn, is irrelevant. There is evidence that they don’t, which would make it even more unforgiveable than it already is. There are other sources of protein now ( has no-one heard of imports?) so the fact that the meat from pilot whales was once necessary is not important. Nor is the cultural appeal. Why don’t we have witch-burning, public floggings and executions, bull and bear baiting etc etc? Times and people’s attitudes change, thank god, and this should go the same way.

    But the children who watch!?! What sort of attitudes to cruelty, barbarity, savagery are they forming? That it is something good? That so many adults participate in this massacre so it must be good? That the wonderful creatures of the oceans are only there to satisfy human appetites? Unlike Taiji, this is done in public, in full view of the rest of the watching world, and with little kids observing the practices of those people in their community they respect and admire.

    THAT to me is the most dreadful part of this dreadful business.

  24. Kevin Hall

    A fair question to be asked is if Shetland is a community founded on law, or is to be associated with a pirate state providing for an organisation which publicly on worldwide television are performing illegal acts and are wanted for crimes in various countries.

    If the latter is the case, anybody with a cause can use Shetlands harbours or soil as base of terror without having to worry about legal issues.

    As a community of law Shetland ought to have a clear politics on that and not let its reputation getting smudged by assisting and accommodating uncivil organisations who think they, “in the name of a holy cause”, are not subject to the law. Organisations that deliberately use violence or threats to force or scare governments or society’s to fulfil their ideological goals.

    Organisations that are bypassing the methods of a law-founded civil society and set up both their own rules and enforcement, should not be supported in any way by Shetland.

  25. Kevin Hall

    Jan Stefan Ek
    Your analogy of superior aliens eating human beiings is just raising the general moral question of humans eating animals. So if you eat meat this is adressed directly at yourself and all people on earth eating meat.

    In that perspective it is unfair and out of proportion to use that story to exclusively point towards Faroe Islands and the grind. After all FI is probably one of the smallest consumer of meat in the world there is.

  26. Ian Tinkler

    Can this really be what Colin meant to write or was he making a perverse joke? “It’s not as though they are driving the species into extinction for no good reason”. Whatever one feels about ancient traditions and customs, hunting for food or blood sports, forcing a harmless species to extinction is an act of utter and complete stupidity. I can think of absolutely no reason that could justify such an action. Once a species is extinct your tradition is gone, no food source left, sport over, game over forever. Can anyone justify forced extinction of a harmless species?

  27. Maya Mayr

    @ John Kryton:“ I hope the Faroese have a couple of gun boats handy to give protection to their own people as they go about their legitimate business.”

    Who are the terrorists? Fire at human beings? At those of all who never injured people, but risk their own life for protecting sentient beings and our all planet from the stupidity and irresponsibility of a few? Sounds a bit insane…

    And “morally”?
    @ Colin Hunter:“ In my opinion, there is nothing morally wrong in killing any animal as long as it is used and consumed.”

    Forming an opinion means serious reflection of the matter in concern. Who allows you to kill sentient beings and to “use” their dead bodies? Aren’t you alone inside your head? Is this voice inside your brain mightier than God, to allow you “morally right killing”? Or is it yourself being mightier than anyone else? Uh…
    Most people here are believing in “traditions”. As traditionally known God demanded “Thou shalt not kill”. In case you don’t believe in God, what you are absolutely free to do, you won’t almost be able to find any instance that could allow legitimate killing.

    “…we should automatically see it as being “Barbaric”. It’s part of our history, like it or not.”

    I don’t like it. It’s part of human history to break each other’s skull, to sell slaves, to invade countries, rape and pillage and even to eat each other in former cannibalism. In case your line of argument was logically consistent, this way of primitive behaviour had to be maintained and endorsed. In fact, it isn’t. Civilized and cultivated nations have overcome these “traditions” because they are regarded as barbaric in modern times. There is absolutely no need for whosoever to eat the dead bodies of endangered species, especially not with the consequence of ruining the oceans, the climate, the whole planet and with that the welfare of all other beings. Maybe it was during the Stone Age (when there where considerably much more whales and much less people) – but Stone Age is over in most parts of the world, no?

    @Ragnar Jacobsen: “…there are approx 800.000 whales in the north atlantic…”

    All serious scientists confess it’s not possible to estimate the true population of whales. What really means that, like in most cases, reality is rather worse then assumed. You “think” you know it better? Surprising, in that case you should be famous the world over.

    @Nick Blowfield: “…acoustic devices… (are)… distressing to cetatceans, can lead to disorientation, possible drownings and in cases where land masses are in close proximity, mass strandings…”

    Oh! A Grind is heaven on earth in comparison with that? Every danger signal leads to short distress – to avoid major damage. Simply stop the slaughter, then it won’t be necessary to deploy acoustic warning signals any more.

    @ Páll Poulsen: “ Whale meat is distributed to the suffering people…”

    It’s a shame, yes, and they are made victims again by being fed with polluted stuff. To poison the poor is a sad tradition, too…
    “Paul Watson should rather blame those people who pollute our waters.”

    That’s exactly what he does. PMIGBOM, hem?

    “people of The Shetland´s also used to eat Grind, and they were all great people”

    Great people are morally high standing, responsible, compassionate and foresightful ones. Guess you rather meant big people…

    @Johan Hentze: ”Do you eat burgers?”

    Quite certainly not. What a silly idea to “think” animal protecting people would kill their protégés and eat their dead bodies.

    @ Jón Einarsson: “ The man i a lier,…”

    No. It’s you who doesn’t understand true and obvious facts.


    The one protecting others is a terrorist. The ones killing without rhyme or reason are not?? What sort of logic is this?

    “..and is in this only for the money that Bridget Bardot and Animal Planet pour into his wallet.”

    That’s nonsense. SSCS is a non-profit organization. Highly honoured by the rest of the civilized world.

    “A proud Faroe Islander…“

    You can be proud of having delivered an outstanding performance. What have you done for being born there and nowhere else?

  28. Samantha Jack

    The faroese no longer need to kill pilot whales for food. In 2008 the cheif medical advisor concluded that mercury levels in the whale meat make it not fit for human consumption. Is this mass slaughter now just for the up keep of tradition and sport? To link to a point made above if the meat is being distributed to care homes & the poor that is irresponsible as it has been advised against for good reason.

    You can download the pdf to read by clicking the link below.


  29. Brydon Goodlad

    Well said Maya Mayr,Samantha Jack and Lyn Faull we do live in a civilized world now,where most people are against this barbaric killings of defenceless animals. People calling the sea shepherd organisation pirates or terrorists are a disgrace. At a faroese grind you will see many children watching the massacre of whales, so the majority will grow up thinking it is perfectly ok to slaughter whales.
    I have to admit not everybody in faroe is in favour of grinds and are trying to get the faroese government to stop them and i totally support them. The people of faroe should be very worried because the eyes of the world will be on you, just like the japanese whalers.
    All those people who are in favour of killing defenceless animals go and watch THE COVE and tell me you think that is acceptable in this day and age.

  30. David Palmer

    @Brydon Goodlad
    “…thats right PLEASURE boats…”

    No you are wrong. The Faroe Islanders use the same boats for fishing, whaling and traveling between the islands. They are multi-use. Maybe you have separate fishing, whaling and pleasure boats but the Faroe Islanders aren’t that wasteful, most of them get by with one all-purpose boat.

    “If the whale hunts continue in Faroe, Antartica and elsewhere in 30 years time there will be no whales left in the oceans.”

    Try and look at the facts. None of the cetaceans currently being hunted show declining populations, they all show stable or rising populations. It is called sustainable hunting. They set a limit based on species population, fertility and life span. It has been done with innumerable hunted species for well over a century and done correctly can see a resurgence like the American Bison from close to 1000 animals in 1900 to over 500,000 today.

    @Lyn Faull
    “…are the number of little kids who watch and marvel at these brave Vikings boldly going out into the water to hack trapped animals to death.”

    So all the children of farmers who grow up watching animals be born, raised and slaughter must really pain you.

    “…has no-one heard of imports?”

    Have you not heard of money? Are you willing to pay the cost of importing food to the Faroe Islands?

    @Ian Tinkler
    “…forcing a harmless species to extinction is an act of utter and complete stupidity.”

    Yes it is. That is why it is a good thing that pilot whales aren’t being forced to extinction, they are not even listed as vulnerable or threatened much less endangered.

    @Maya Mayr
    “Fire at human beings?”

    No one said anything about firing at human beings did they? Are Navy and Coast Guard vessels armed? Of course they are, but so are the police and saying you hope the police are present to protect law abiding citizens from criminals doesn’t require the police to shoot the criminals. It is hoped that the presence of law enforcement will discourage the criminals from even showing up, but if they do non-lethal means will be the preferred method of detaining the criminals.

    “All serious scientists confess it’s not possible to estimate the true population of whales.”

    No they don’t. They will say it is difficult, just as it is difficult to get an accurate estimate of the population of any wild animal species. But scientists are pretty smart people and have developed methods that gave reasonably accurate estimates of populations. Otherwise how could they decide if a give species was endangered if they don’t have any idea how many of them there are?

    “Quite certainly not. What a silly idea to “think” animal protecting people would kill their protégés and eat their dead bodies.”

    Paul Watson does. He eats meat when not on the Steve Irwin.

    @Samantha Jack
    “…mercury levels in the whale meat make it not fit for human consumption.”

    And mercury levels in many types of seafood make it dangerous to eat more than occasionally. So most countries issue warnings and suggest limits on those types of food. Just like the Faroe Island’s government does.

    Also have you ever heard of cigarettes? They are also unfit for human use, but many people still decide to use them. Riding a motorcycle is more dangerous than a car, but people still decide to ride motorcycles. It is know as free will. You give people the information about the dangers and let them decide if the risk is worth the benefit for themselves.

  31. Kevin Hall

    I don´t have the exact number but it´s safe to say that 98% of the worlds population are omnivores. That is virtually EVERY person on this earth consumes living creatures( which they obviously have to kill first)

    It is therefore a contradiction and double standard beyond comprehension, that any person on earth (besides the 2% who are vegans), has the nerve to think he is in a position to say to faro-islanders that it´s not ok for them to do the same. (kill animals for consumption)

    How can persons/countries responsible of trillion gazillions of animals death´s , even form the thought in their minds???

    Since, – as I’ve pointed out above, virtually EVERYBODY is into animal killing and consumption, -the ones opposed to killing animals but just not the ones they kill themselves , obviously have the burden of proof and are obliged to tell the world why they discriminate animals!

    They have to tell the world exactly why the billion gazillions of animals they kill are not worthy of a life. Why do they kill these animals? What have they done? Are they not innocent? Are they not clever enough? Not beautiful enough? not social enough? not magnificent enough? not special enough?

    First when these people thoroughly have explained why they kill innocent animals in astronomic numbers, they are free to explain why just ONE specie is worth their mercy and can go free.

    Personally I don´t give much for the empathy of people who claim to be animal protectors, but reserve it exclusively to just one animal specie.

    What I’ve just said is so obvious that those lines should never had to be written, but the double standards and illogic are so crying to heaven stupidifying, that this simple appeal to common sanity and sense is maybe appropriate afterall.

  32. Brydon Goodlad

    David Palmer you obviously love hunting animals? In Shetland we have fishing boats that go right out into the north sea to catch white fish, we also have fishing boats that go for herring and mackeral, but we don’t have WHALING boats in shetland or the rest of the UK. I don’t know what planet you are on, the point most people are making is, that it’s not just the population of whales we are worried about, but how they are killed which is totally barbaric.

    On our planet there are plenty of animals which are in danger of becoming extinct thanks to humans. What is your feeling on cutting off shark fins and then throwing the sharks back into the sea still alive? What about the japanese slaughter of dolphins, have you watched THE COVE? What about the seal clubbings in Canada or the Chinese fur trade, i could go on and on about animal cruelty.

    In the United Kingdom not so long ago fox hunts were outlawed, the only people who complained were the pro hunters, but the majority were against the hunts which was so cruel on foxes. The faroese grind is just tradition and that is why they still do it, they don’t need whale meat anymore, in the old days yes but not now.

  33. Samantha Jack

    @David Palmer

    There is a big difference in that ‘free will’ it may be to continue to do things that you know harm you, my point is that having a smoke isn’t the same as slaughtering hundreds of innocent creatures. There are tobacco products that are no longer tested on animals so the freedom to do it is entirely down to the person. The whales have no choice in their slaughter. People can take the risk to eat the meat but when trying to defend the age old tradition it was said that the whale meat is given to care homes and the poor and vulnerable. In this case it concerns me that some of these people might not be able to decide to take that risk and might be in danger. I can only conclude this from knowing the wide range of people that are likely to be in a care home. It comes down to what is morally acceptable. I can see absolutely no benefit from killing these whales in this day and age. Your comparison to smoking and drinking to me is a difficult one to understand as only the person doing the drinking and smoking will be harmed. Even if you smoke around non smokers it’s not like you are herding them in to a tiny room then poisoning them with nicotine just because you happen to use your ‘free will’ to smoke.

  34. Samantha Jack

    @Kevin Hall

    As a vegan I am against all killing of innocent creatures so it is not favouring any species. It also comes down to what effect we are having on the population of certain species that would not naturally have diminished so rapidly.

    Also to comment on the point made

    ‘…has the nerve to think he is in a position to say to faro-islanders that it´s not ok for them to do the same. (kill animals for consumption)’

    the issue is that it isn’t all for consumption. Here lies my point.

    Also just as the residents of the Faro Islands that still support this tradition (which obviously isn’t all) have the right to defend it we also have the right to express a counter point. So ‘has the nerve’ is maybe not the best way to word it.

  35. Ian Tinkler

    There can be little doubt there is a dark side to human nature. Evolution and genetics have programmed us to hunt ant kill for food and survival. All higher predatory species behave in a similar fashion. Often extreme cruelty occurs in nature, a cat playing with a captive bird or mouse, before killing. An Orca tossing captive seal around for hours as if in some sadistic game, before consuming or leaving… There is purpose here, honing hunting skills, teaching young to hunt and kill prey species. Unfortunately some human cultures have turned these somewhat primitive instincts into play. Blood sports are the result. All can be considered cruel and in reality serve little purpose apart from leisure and fun. Most have strict rules and in “civilised society” wherever practicable, humane practise is the rule. Captive prey returned to the wild. Animals only killed for food, or culled to reduce overpopulation. Excessive cruel practise outlawed with prison beckoning for law breaking (Shetland seal pup killer). Rare and threatened species protected, even food species where over kill is deemed to threaten numbers, by often inane quotas and rules. However to make my point, when a people, for no other reason, than tradition, wantonly embark on killing on a mass scale, in an entirely brutal and inhuman way, purely for self gratification and sadistic fun, there can be no justification or excuse. All decent humanity must protest in any peaceful way they can. SSCS are not threatening any lives; in fact their own crews are often at risk. I am embarrassed and ashamed that some Shetland folk call them pirates and throw insults and abuse at these crews, however seeing whom these folk are I am not at all surprised. Strange how those whom support whaling and are most strident against SSCS, are often the most ill-informed and stupid in their argument.

  36. Colin Hunter

    In reply to Brydon Goodlad, I made an analogy with the Bison because they were slaughtered, not to provide food, but to deny it to others, namely, the people who actually depended on it for survival. They were almost driven to extinction in the process, hence “For all the wrong reasons”, unlike the Faroese who take limited numbers of caaing whales in a sustainable “fishery” to use as a foodstuff.
    The fact that other sources of food are plentiful nowadays is immaterial. Caaing whale numbers are reportedly healthy, and they are NOT being driven into extinction by the Faroese taking a few here and a few there. Once more Mr Tinkler, you take my statements out of context and turn them around to suit yourself.
    Where do you draw the line? It is apparently acceptable to shoot rabbits, deer, wildfowl etc for the pot and also to go out and catch fish. It would now appear that the only genre of creatures which are sacrosanct are cetaceans! Why?? Anything else is fair game! The fact that some game birds are actually bred specifically for the gun and shot for “sport” I find bizarre in the extreme! But that’s making money for someone so it must be alright!
    Also we now have the situation where some of the children (and adults) in this country have absolutely no idea where their food comes from. A news article I once read said that 25% of children in a certain inner city school class thought that eggs came from cows! I wonder if they have twigged that their KFC used to be a cute fluffy little chicken, or that their MacDonalds burger used to be a little calf. No! scrub that! The last one I had tasted nothing like beef! At least the children in Faroe are under no such illusion! And probably the better for it!
    To Maya, If you had read my first letter you would have got the answer to your questions. No I am not religious, as already stated, but when God said “Thou shalt not Kill” I’m pretty certain he meant other people. Why else would he have said what I quoted earlier from Genesis 1:28. If he gave us dominion over every other living thing then it is to be assumed that he meant them to sustain us. You seem to be following the example of another correspondent by cherry picking sentences from other people and using them out of context. I actually wrote,
    “Just because we don’t do it any more ourselves doesn’t mean that we should automatically see it as being “Barbaric”. It’s part of our history, like it or not.”
    Not, “we should automatically see it as being “Barbaric”. It’s part of our history, like it or not.” That, by itself alone, is a sentence which I grant you has a totally different meaning. It’s a bit like the way some TV news presenters stop the answer of an interviewee in mid flow by shutting off the sound when you can see that they are still talking. It makes it sound like they said something completely different from what they meant. We heard it or saw it so it must be true!
    I have been a seaman all my working life, and I have yet to hear another seaman actually support this kind of behaviour on the worlds oceans. Anyone who deliberately puts people at risk by piratical actions, no matter how “noble” their intentions are, deserves the full weight of the Law to descend upon them from a great height. We should not be harbouring or encouraging this outfit. We should send them packing with a flea in their ear!

  37. Ian Tinkler

    Colin, you really must check you facts unless you wish to appear an ignorant fool. I am a seaman and support SSCS, so do many I served with, so, I believe, is Brydon Goodlad. Your statement “I also fail to see how anyone who’s forebears systematically murdered the North American Bison, from approximately 60 MILLION in 1830 to less than 1000 by 1889, in an attempt to starve the indigenous tribes into submission, can possibly take the moral high ground on any aspect of wildlife conservation” is so ignorant and dim-witted as to be laughable. The Bison and indigenous tribes you mention lived on the great plains of the USA. Steve Irwin was an Australian, Paul Watson is is Canadian and Locky MacLean is French born Canadian. Incidentally the persecuted plains Indians, the indigenous tribes you mention, took refuge in Canada after the Little Big Horn under the protection of the Canadian police, whom turned back pursuing US cavalry… who’s forbearers are you referring to? A further extraordinary statement by yourself “It’s not as though they are driving the species into extinction for no good reason.” is so inanely stupid to be below contempt. Better to write nothing and appear a fool than to write rubbish and dispel all doubt. A motto for you Colin Hunter?

  38. David Palmer

    @Bryon Goodlad

    Why didn’t you actually respond to any of my comments? You claimed they used pleasure boats and I explained to you that you were wrong, yet your response was that the Shetlands don’t have whaling boats. No kidding, Really?

    “What is your feeling on cutting off shark fins and then throwing the sharks back into the sea still alive? What about the japanese slaughter of dolphins, have you watched THE COVE? What about the seal clubbings in Canada or the Chinese fur trade,”

    I have a problem with finning it is a massive waste, but this article is about whaling. I don’t have a problem with the Japanese hunting abundant dolphin species, but this article is about whaling. And lastly I have no problem with the Chinese fur industry, but this article is about whaling.

    “The faroese grind is just tradition and that is why they still do it, they don’t need whale meat anymore, in the old days yes but not now.”

    And I don’t need bananas, there are lots of other fruits I could eat instead but I sometimes decide to eat bananas. The Faroe Islands can and do eat other foods, but sometimes they decided to eat whale meat.

    @Samantha Jack
    Your original complaint was that the whale meat had high levels of mercury, no mention of any other issue. So that is what I addressed. Now you raise other issues.

    Here is an idea. Why not tell us what all your complaints are so they can be dealt with all at once rather than piecemeal.

    “It comes down to what is morally acceptable.”

    And that is the problem. You believe your morals are the only right ones and that everyone should have the same morals as you do. But I am sorry to tell you that the world doesn’t work that way. In France (and other countries) they eat horses and in Korea they eat dogs, most Americans are disgusted by these actions but that doesn’t make them morally wrong.

  39. Brydon Goodlad

    Colin i think we have a major problem in the oceans, there is nobody policing them and that’s why the oceans are being stripped bare. You say the sea shepherd deserves to feel the full weight of the law, well that works both ways doesn’t it? You say they are pirates and put everybody at risk at sea with their campaigns, by ramming other boats etc, well what about the Shonan Maru smashing into the ADY GILL?
    The captain Pete Bethune tried to get justice for that, by boarding the Shonan Maru down in the antartic, to make a citizens arrest. He got held on the boat for two months, then got taken to japan and jailed for 4 months before being deported to New Zealand. Yet there is no action taken against the skipper of the japanese boat, double standards i do believe by a country that will do what it wants.
    Don’t think for one minute that the japanese whalers don’t throw things at the sea shepherd boats, flash grenades etc have been thrown and been filmed. The Faroese people claim to have the right to kill whales, Faroe gets subsidies from Denmark of which Faroe is a constituent country. Then that means Faroe has to abide by European law and not claim exemption from that.
    I will support all the Steve Irwin crew in what they do, they are volunteers and are willing to go to prison for what they believe in. Somebody has to look after the oceans, there is no point waving banners about because nobody will pay any attention to that.
    Remember Colin it wasn’t long ago that spanish fishing boats were ramming british ones.

  40. Brydon Goodlad

    Well David you say faroese people are not wasteful in their use of boats? Are you then having a go at shetland people? The video i watched of a Grind clearly shows what people in Shetland call smaa boats, pleasure boats. In Shetland there are only so many boats that work with creels etc, the rest of the boats are used mainly for a spot of fishing now and again ie yes you’ve got got it pleasure or fun.You are right, lets stick to whaling for now, the Japanese are exploiting a loophole so they say they can kill whales for research, what a load of bull. The Faroese get subsidies from Denmark, so why do they think they are exempt from European law, the Faroese government should then be made to stand up in a European court and explain why they are different from everybody else.

  41. David Palmer

    @Brydon Goodlad

    Do you mean the accidental collision of the Ady Gil and Shonan Maru? The collision that the NZ Maritime Authority investigated and found both vessels equally at fault? Of course the NZMA first had to retrieve one of the SIMRADs from the Ady Gil that someone in the SSCS threw overboard for some reason. It couldn’t have been to try and hide their culpability could it?

    Peter Bethune illegally boarded a vessel at sea. He had no right to board the ship and he had no right to make a citizens arrest. By boarding the vessel he committed a crime and since the incident occurred in international waters and vessel was registered in Japan, then Japan was the country with jurisdiction. So of course he was taken to Japan and of course that is why the trial was held in Japan.

    He was not charged for the collision and neither was the Japanese captain, it was an accident. So what is your complaint?

    The Faroe Islands is not a constituent country, despite what Wikipedia says. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Denmark; the Faroe Islands legislate and govern a wide range of areas in accordance with the Home Rule Act of 1948. These include the conservation and management of living marine resources within the 200-mile fisheries zone, sub-surface resources, trade, fiscal, industrial and environmental policies, transport, communications, culture, education and research. They are not technically part of the EU and are not bound by EU law.

  42. Colin Hunter

    Yes Ian, fair point. I was under the impression that Watson was a citzen of the USA. Wrongly it appears, seeing as how Sea Shepherd are USA based. I really should have “googled” him, first. However, the person who has never made a mistake has yet to be born, and I don’t imagine for one minute that there’s not an American or two among their number. I don’t support whaling per se, and certainly not the thinly disguised whaling effort of the Japanese, masquerading as scientific research. What I do support is the right of an Island people to go about their business in their own homelend, without hindrance or interference from outsiders. The statement regarding driving the “species” into extinction “For no good reason” had more to do with the bison than the caaing whale and was meant to indicate that the Faroese were NOT driving anything into extinction, merely taking a few for food without drastically reducing their ability to sustain numbers. The Japs probably make similar claims, but they are pursuing their quest in international waters, not their own.
    In common with many Shetlanders of my generation, I had older relations who went to the whaling in the ’50s, and that effort, as we well know, almost did drive certain species into oblivion. Fortunately it came to an end before that happened.
    Brydon, regarding the analogy to piracy etc, why else would they have a stylised jolly roger painted across the bridge front unless they wished to be thought of as such? Also, it is not so much the sentiment which I dislike, rather the methods employed. The key word is “Anyone” who puts people at risk etc, so yes, the Japs or anyone else using such tactics should also be taken to task, however had there not been interference, there would not have been retaliation. When such incedents take place in international waters, it is one sides word against the other. One of Sea Shepherds tactics is to steam close to another ships path towing a rope in an attempt to wind up the propellor, so was this a case of cutting things too fine? It could be said that Pete Bethune showed a singular lack of judgement in boarding his adversaries ship. Daniel and the Lions Den so to speak, although Daniel reportedly fared somewhat better! You do have a point about the banner waving however but I still don’t think confrontation is the answer.

  43. Ragnar Jacobsen

    Why are you all talking about a whale as endangered??? it´s not….A fact is that Faroe Islands is the only country in the world who has had a whale count and that can be documented.

    A Little fact: In approx 1991 the were population was approx 800.000 whales and we have hunting facts,how many whales that are killed here and how many people that have survived because thay had whale meat to depend on . we have documentation back too year 1503.
    And some years we maby get a 1000 whales, but studies show that for every 1000 we kill, another 24000 cups a born….so people…please stop saying that it is an endangered spiecie

    You can look it up

    Well im from faroe island and i am a whale hunter. I like eating whale meat. I have always eaten whale meat and it´s one of the best meals you can get but this is my point of view

    I understand that you feel this way about the whales,but please before you are talking about right and wrong, do put you in our position . we have done it for centuryes and you have not

    and if you are fighting for the whales..PLEASE use Facts!!! and do not use all of this lies

    Is a Lie the only thing you can use ??? studie the faroese nature and habbits and how many people are saved by whale meat before you say more

    I know you are going to answer back on this with rubbish,because almost every answer here a based on a lie and not facts….Paul Watson is a known Lier and use every dirty nasty lie too get you all envolved…..so do me a favor get you heads together and collect some facts

  44. Samantha Jack

    @David Palmer

    I do not think that everyone shares my moral stand point as if they did the world would be a very different place. I think that fact that I am actually in the minority with my beliefs is reflected in the number of vegans vs the number of meat eaters.

    You make the comparison…

    “In France (and other countries) they eat horses and in Korea they eat dogs, most Americans are disgusted by these actions but that doesn’t make them morally wrong.”

    …for FOOD, the grind is no longer for food so it is ending the lives of these creatures for no benefit to the people, actually it is proving to be detrimental, dividing the community and causing health problems.

  45. Samantha Jack

    @David Palmer

    Deciding to eat a banana and slaughtering hundreds of animals because some people sometimes fancy a wee bit of whale meat are hardly in the same league. I think arguments like this take away from the strong points that you do make even if I disagree with them.

  46. Dian Thompson

    “(…) research on the impact of the pollutants on the Faroese themselves has shown that mercury, especially, causes lasting damage.
    The work has revealed damage to fetal neural development, high blood pressure, and impaired immunity in children, as well as increased rates of Parkinson’s disease, circulatory problems and possibly infertility in adults.”


    “The researchers call on the government to impose tighter regulations on the consumption of whale organs. In particular, they warn that pregnant women risk poisoning their unborn children. In the 1950s and early 1960s, hundreds of children around Japan’s Minamata Bay were born with horrific birth defects after their mothers ate seafood contaminated with mercury compounds, which had been poured raw into the bay since the 1930s. Thousands more suffered brain damage.”

    “On average, concentrations of mercury in whale and dolphin livers were 370 micrograms per gram, 900 times the government limit. Average levels in kidneys and lungs were also high, about 100 times the limit. None of the samples was below the limit.
    In work not yet published, Endo’s team has shown that rats suffered acute kidney poisoning after a single mouthful of the most highly contaminated liver. While levels were lower in muscle, Endo told New Scientist that on average it still contained 2.5 to 25 times the limit.”


  47. Mike Charles

    I fear for the long term biological future of this planet when reading some of the dim-witted comments posted on here by the pro-whalers.

    I must say I am saddened that some British people are taking sides with the whale torturing brutes.

    Whales (and dolphins) are not killed – they are tortured to death.

    Imagine the scene if a group of thugs were to go into a field, laughing and shouting and attack a group of horses/cows/sheep with knives and machettes, with each animal writhing in agony for up to half an hour (which is the case for fin whales) before it finally died Any onlookers would be disgusted and appalled. The police would be called, the perpetrators would be arrested, charged and eventually imprisoned for animal cruelty.

    Now, because whales cannot scream, their torturers seem to overlook the mass cruelty they are causing. I have even read reports where whalers themselves have said that whaling would never happen if whales could scream, because no sane human could bear the sound of a whale screaming in agony for many minutes.

    So yes, the most violent, sadistic and cruel method of slaughter is reserved for some of the world’s most sentient, intelligent and sociable creatures.

    Just because these species may not be endangered (very disputable – just look at the past record of whaling) does not make it right and acceptable – it is not.

    Indeed, the Icelanders are despicably now targeting fin whales, a listed endangered species, the Japanese are targeting humpbacks, another endangered species.

    I recently visited Svalbard, and read about how when those islands were first discovered, it was almost impossible to get a boat to shore because there were so many whales. Within a space of 200 years, they had all been wiped out. I did not see a single whale or dolphin during my time there.

    Given humanity’s appalling record on whaling, given the fact it is totally unnecessary now, that it is the most cruel way of slaughter possible, that the animals themselves (especially dolphins) are extremely intelligent, it is nothing short of disgraceful that anyone can condone this activity.

    As a marine biologist myself, I am ashamed of the actions of my fellow species towards the oceans. SSCS do amazing work in tackling illegal poaching at sea, and in highlighting what is going on.

    Some have questioned who gives them (SSCS) the right to police the seas? Well, actually the UN does.

    The question should be reversed, who gives anyone the right to target listed endangered species or to flout an internationally recognised whaling ban?

    The pilot whales the Faroese kill are the very same ones that other countries marvel over, try to protect when they accidentally beach themselves.

    As for those people who call SSCS terrorists – well I think they need to look up the meaning of the word. The people killing endangered species (fin and humpbacks), torturing these amazing animals to death even when there is a worldwide ban on doing so – these people are the surely the real eco-terrorists. They are the ones terrorising these and other animals. SSCS are simply trying to stop it.