Stop the Whale Massacre in the Faroe Islands!
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Sponsor: The Rainforest Site
Tell the Faroe Islands government to put an end to this brutal slaughter now!
Every year on the Faroe Islands — a semi-autonomous country consisting of 18 islands off the coasts of Norway and Iceland — a barbaric whale massacre takes place. Hundreds of pilot whales are lured to the shallower waters of the Faroe Island bay, where they are then killed with knives. Locals slash and stab the whales' outer skin until the surrounding waters turn red with their blood1.
The annual Faroe Island whale slaughter, known as the grindadráp2 or Grind, dates back to the medieval period and is steeped in tradition for the Faroese. Many people come from all over the world to watch the slaughter, and when it's done, they eat the whales' meat. Whatever is not consumed at the end of the slaughter is simply thrown away.
In previous years, an average of 1,500 whales and dolphins have been slaughtered in the event3.
The Faroese are all but decimating an entire species4 of precious marine mammals and it must be stopped now. Not only do these innocent whales need to be saved from slaughter, the hunt needs end to protect the health and lives of the Faroese themselves. High levels of mercury and heavy metal toxins in the whale meat can cause neurological damage, birth defects, and other harm5.
Whales are also social animals, which goes hand in hand with their intelligence. They live in structured groups, or pods, and work together for feeding, protection, and social interaction. These beautiful, precious marine mammals should never be murdered — they are far too intelligent, caring, and wonderful to be hunted for their meat. How could anyone do such a thing to a creature so smart and loving?
Not only do these innocent whales need to be saved from slaughter, the hunt needs end to protect the health and lives of the Faroese themselves. High levels of mercury and heavy metal toxins in the whale meat can cause neurological damage, birth defects, and other harm6.
It's time for this barbaric tradition to come to an end. Sign the petition imploring Faroe Islands Prime Minister to put an end to this barbaric event once and for all!
- Revesz, R., The Independent (20 June 2017), "Faroe Islanders' ritual slaughter of pilot whales turns sea blood red."
- Lee, J. J., National Geographic (20 March 2015), "Faroe Island Whaling, a 1,000-Year Tradition, Comes Under Renewed Fire."
- Richard Orange, The Guardian (14 September 2021), "Outcry over killing of almost 1,500 dolphins on Faroe Islands."
- Jóhannsson, K., Ice News (7 May 2017), "Annual pilot whale killings in the Faroe Islands — An ongoing debate."
- Whale and Dolphin Conservation, "How Intelligent Are Whales And Dolphins?"
- Carnegie, J., Earshot (20 November 2016), "Faroe Islands divided over whaling tradition."
Faroe Islands Prime Minister and the Minister of Fisheries:
I am appalled to learn of the dolphin and whale slaughter that takes place in the Faroe Islands every year. While I understand this is linked to tradition, such an inhumane practice must not exist in today's world.
To have hundreds of these precious marine mammals lured into a shallow bay where they become confused and disoriented, only to have them be victims of a mass slaughter is unthinkable. Faroese who participate in the grindadráp use large knives to kill and dismember the whales — even killing pregnant mothers and removing the babies from their wombs postmortem.
Geographer Russell Fielding pointed out in an interview with National Geographic that while "other cultures in the Arctic and Europe started whaling long before the Faroese — but they have either stopped or changed their techniques quite a bit."
There is also the good of the Faroese people to think about, with the health concerns connected to consumption of whale meat containing mercury and heavy metal toxins.
The grind is nothing short of savagery and it must be stopped now. We cannot continue to allow these hunters to decimate a species so vital to the ocean's ecosystem. Please do the right thing and put an end to the whale slaughter now. The Faroe Islands will not be losing part of its identity or culture, it will be growing into a more humane one.