Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Faroes: Ferocious Isles?

+ Sea Shepherd is en route to the Faroes.
It's safe to say they won't be welcomed with open arms!
Using two ships Steve Irwin and fast-interceptor Brigitte Bardot, and a helicopter, SS plans to scare the pilot whales away from the shallow coves along the Faroe Islands.
Capt.Paul Watson: "We'll deploy acoustic devices to lay down a wall of sound in the path of the migrating whales, to prevent them from approaching the islands. Some of the devices are floating, some are dragged behind a ship and some are sunk in the ocean."
Operation Ferocious Isles will last two months. SS has intervened before in the Faroes (in 1985, 1986 and 2000), but this is the first time they'll attempt to block the whales from the bays where the killing historically takes place: there are 17 locations legally allowed to beach whales.
Joan Pauli Joensen (Pilot Whaling in the Faroe Islands) wrote that in a study of 40 whale hunts over two years, the shortest grindadrĂ¡p lasted just eight minutes (for 136 whales), while the longest took two hrs 30 minutes (118 whales): the average killing time was around half an hour. So with that speed of killing, well-organised herding system and wide-spread killing sites, compounded by local hostility, SS will face a major interception challenge...
Update: Just as SS was about to depart the Shetland Islands to launch the campaign, officials served them with a detainment notice, because a Maltese fishing company had filed a civil suit alleging SS had damaged their property. This relates to damage SS did to bluefin tuna fishing gear last year in the Mediterranean. SS was able to send Brigitte Bardot to the Faroes as planned, but Steve Irwin will be delayed until a US$1.4m bond can be posted...!

+...meanwhile Japan confirmed at the just-concluded IWC meeting in Jersey, that it intends to send its whaling fleet back to the Antarctic this year. Finding a way to deal with SS is the main obstacle Japan sees to continuing for the next season and beyond.
PS: 29 July 2011 - ...and now the Japanese saying "maybe we won't go after all..."


Anonymous said...

lol they think that sailing around faroe island will do anything abouth it. before they came they only catched 1 in a year. and they use something so the wale dosent hurt when they dies.

Writer Of The Purple Sage... said...

SS's presence reminds the rest of the civilised world how barbaric the grindadrap is.
And they don't plan to just merrily sail around the islands: they plan to drop sonic beacons in an attempt to scare the whales away.
As for the islanders "using something so the wale(sic) doesn't hurt when they dies"...research shows the whale can take several minutes to die with its throat cut open and its spine severed. Lovely stuff.
Hopefully the supposed civilised and friendly Faroe Islanders will make SS very welcome...