Order No Rainbows

Life as an expat, Photography, Crafts, Vegan Food, Music, Art, Animals…..

The bloody Faroe Islands

on June 30, 2015

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One year ago today I landed in the Faroe Islands for the first time. I was there to join Operation Grindstop, to help to protect the pilot whales that are killed in large numbers during the summer and early autumn.

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My first impression of the Faroes as I was driven from the airport to my team’s area was that the islands were beautiful, but also that the islands, especially the beaches, are tainted by the horrible killing that takes place there, and which has haunted me since I first saw reports about it on tv when I was a teenager. Spending two weeks on campaign with an awesome group of people and going on patrol all day every day to protect the whales was probably the most intense experience of my life so far.

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Thankfully no whales were killed while I was in the islands, but I remember feeling devastated in August when a group of 33 whales were killed. At the beginning of June I was horrified when another pod of whales was brutally massacred, and again yesterday a further 22 whales lost their lives. The photos below from yesterday were taken by Rosie Kunneke

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One of the crew wrote this about the murdered pilot whales on Facebook last night “The worst thing is: they still smile when they are dead”

All in the name of a tradition that should have been abandoned years ago. The people of the Faroe Islands are not poor, they do not hunt whales because they need to for economic or subsistence reasons – they do it because they enjoy it. They call it a traditional practice, but they use modern boats and methods to locate the whales and drive them to the killing beaches, where they carry out a massacre of such brutality that the blood flowing from the whales turns the water red.

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I feel so sad that this is continuing to happen. Sad for the whales that lose their lives. Sad for my friends watching the campaign from afar, as well as for the crew members who are there on the ground doing their best to stop the whaling. And I feel sad for the Faroese people who do not support the hunt but who are afraid to stand up in the face of this practice and say ENOUGH. I even feel sorry for those involved in the whaling, because they are too stuck in their ways to see that there is a kinder way to survive and thrive in this world, and who are missing out on the major economic opportunities that could come their way if they abandoned this horrible outdated tradition in favour of investing in whale watching and using the whales as a means of promoting this beautiful part of the world. The Faroe Islands have a lot to offer, but until they abandon this awful tradition they will continue to be seen in a negative light by the civilised world.

One day there will be an end to whaling in the Faroe Islands. Until that day comes, all we can do is support those who are trying to stop it. And the only organisation that is making any real effort to do this is Sea Shepherd. They are there, on the ground doing their best to bring an end to this sordid tradition. And although I can’t physically be there this year I am there in spirit, as are many others.

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Please support the Sleppid Grindini campaign. You can make a donation on the Sea Shepherd website. You can support Sea Shepherd by sharing the reports and photos of the campaign, and spreading awareness of the campaign and why it must succeed. You can leave a message of support on one of the Sea Shepherd Facebook pages voicing your support for the crew and your opposition to the whaling. You can sign petitions and ask your political leaders to speak out against the Faroe Islands for continuing to allow this practice. And if you’re in Europe you can contact your local MEP and ask them why the Faroe Islands are allowed to benefit from the EU money they receive via Denmark while flouting the very EU regulations that ban whaling in its member states. But please do something. Doing nothing will just allow this practice to continue. And that’s bad news for the whales.

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