© Sea Shepherd

Dolphin slaughter: the hunt starts again in the Faroe Islands

Pilot whale slaughter in the Faroe Islands

Every year, a tradition in the Faroe Islands involves a brutal slaughter of tens of cetaceans. Today the hunt begins again, and more than a hundred long-fined pilot whales are going to be killed in an actual bloodbath.   This tradition exists since hundreds of years ago, but while in the past it was practiced by several nations with the aim of surviving, inhabitants of the Faroe Islands are the only ones that still keep on doing it without any real need.

Grindadráp consists on cornering entire pilot whale families into the shore with the purpose of killing them. This procedure is observed by numerous inhabitants, including children, who are growing up with the images of this brutal tradition. For young hunters this is the occasion to ‘try their hand at it’ and prove their ‘virility’.

dolphin slaughter

© Sea Shepherd

Dolphin’s meat is however dangerous for health

When the hunt is over, its meat is distributed among the inhabitants for free. However, more and more Faroese people cast serious doubts on the tradition after knowing the dangers of its consumption. Pollutants, heavy metals and toxic substances that are inside the organism of these marine animals due to industrial activity indeed represent a real danger for human health.

Therefore, this hunt, besides being purposeless, is also terrible for health. Yet this tradition persists and is still passionately defended by the local government.

Blackfish, a species to protect

Pilot whales belong to the Delphinidae family. Blackfish form groups of more than one hundred individuals. Normally, sub-groups of about ten individuals with a strong bond are formed. This species is classified in the Appendix II of the Bern Convention. This appendix gathers all flora and fauna species whose exploitation or degradation in any form is prohibited.

Nonetheless, this European convention does not affect the Faroe Islands, as they are independent. Denmark, which has been urged to take it into consideration in various occasions, does not react and does not seem to want to intervene and put an end to this murderous custom that takes place and dyes the sea red every year.

dolphin slaughter

© Sea Shepherd

Take action to protect the cetaceans

EVI firmly opposes this pointless and dangerous practice to which every year young people attend in the Faroe Islands.

If we cannot directly intervene to change the current system, we can express our indignation to the local authorities and share this message! Let’s not wait to another slaughter. Let’s all take action and demand the end of this tradition.

Write them:

Prime Minister’s office: info@tinganes.fo 

The Parliament: logting@logting.fo  

Denmark’s Embassy in France: paramb@um.dk

Feel free to use your own words to express your indignation. Here is a standard letter in English that you can use as a model if you need to:


Dear Prime Minister,

Every year, hundreds of cetaceans are killed in the Faroe Islands as a tradition.  These slaughters are particularly cruel, but most importantly to your concern, it serves a dangerous purpose. Those animals are exposed to high contamination in the ocean. While you let your population, including children, eating the meat of those cetacean, you let them as well be exposed to high risk for their own health. This fact is sadly not taken into serious consideration. As so, we are deeply sad and outraged to know that the whale slaughter keeps taking part in your islands.

While the population of the Faroe Island was hunting hundreds of years ago with the aim to survive, it has become a tradition that is no longer a necessity.

Our nature, your nature, should not be victims of human avidity. We wish to show you respect, for the islands and its population. But whales, which are very intelligent, useful, self-conscious life being, suffer. They live in the ocean peacefully and have an important part to take in the ecosystem. In such a period of consciousness about our environment, it is time to show the world that you as well, make a step in that direction.

Let’s end this massacre and move forward to a healthier world. Please, take position and hear us, hear the people worldwide, hear the facts and the danger in which you let your own people get exposed to.