Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Faroe Islands' Dark Underbelly

On the surface, the isolated Faroe Islands are beautiful in a rugged windswept way - certainly worthy of a National Geographic film or an eco-tourism trip.
But beneath the surface (literally) lies something the islanders didn't want environmentalists to find. Sea Shepherd’s crew aboard the Brigitte Bardot discovered a massive underwater graveyard where pilot whale carcasses are discarded after grinds in Leynar and Vestmanna, on the main island of Streymoy.
SS France President Lamya Essemlali found the site: "Many of the locals deny the existence of this dumping ground, but the images speak for themselves. Carcasses of pilot whales are dumped into a secret crevice between Vestmanna and Leynar where they can then be secretly swept out to sea."
SS divers swam down 20m into a crevice in the side of a monumental cliff face to confirm the dirty secret hidden in this fjord. What they found corroborates previous reports of a mass grave of horrific proportions. There were whale skulls, vertebrae, and ribs - some with blubber still attached - scattered across the bottom of the ocean as far as the eye could see. One diver said it was the first time
FI: recognise this?
he'd ever cried underwater.
The pilot whale remains have been thrown from the same cliff that's also used to dispose of local household and industrial waste, including tractor and generator parts. And there're bound to be other dump sites too.
SS's Brigitte Bardot continues its patrol of the Faroes in search of pilot whales during Operation Ferocious Isles, however a Faroese vessel is now tailing it. UPDATE: Steve Irwin is expected there soon, having just been freed from the Shetland Islands after paying a reduced bond.


Guilty As Charged said...

Haha Interesting that none of your regular Faeroe Island readers have defended this dumping. Reading your blog, they'vre claimed the remains are safely buried. They don't admit to contributing to ocean pollution, but are very happy to accuse the rest of the world of polluting the oceans and therefore putting toxins into the whale meat!! Bloody hypocrites!!

Anonymous said...

Hey why kan't u leve us alone!!! Take you stinking terrorist boats away or we will do to u what u do to others and ram u.Bewarned!

Anonymous said...

The tractor parts and generators are old waste. It was common intil somtime in 1990 to trow waste in the sea, but of course it´s illlegale now. The sad thing is that metal and other kinds of waste do not dissepare, it stays there, so of course there is garbage there. As do whale remains. Imagine severale years of dumping whale remains in the same site. It will build up. The remains, bones, skulls and so on are of course not eaten, and why burn it, when it can be given back to the sea, that gave them

BigMac said...

Where did you expect the remains to be found? Up on a mountain? Or maybe even better: no remains, - just vanished into thin air?

You know Faroe islanders slaughter and eat grind don’t you? Since you are a meat eater yourself (know this since you were referring to your favourite butcher on another tread) you know that not everything is edible on an animal. Without knowing you personally I think it’s safe to assume you don’t eat the bones, guts, or head, tail, feet, horns etc.

Since you are a self-proclaimed expert on grind you probably are familiar with the fact that the same is applying to grind. In other words you are perfectly on terms with the fact that the bones, head, tail, guts can not be eaten by faroe islanders.

So now we beyond any doubt can conclude that you are familiar with the self-evident fact that not everything on an animal can be eaten and therefore a part needs to be disposed,- it is a mystery to me how you can think of that as a secret!!??

Of course the remains of whales are disposed somewhere, what did you think?? How could that be a secret??

Most commonly it’s done on open waters but obviously on Leynar they have done it close to land. One-way or the other it’s organic and is not polluting the ocean.

Why you choose to present public knowledge as breaking news, is also a mystery to me??

You should seriously rethink your approach to journalism, The way I see it you have moved from being into “truth and facts” to be a sensationalist, closely following the script of Sea Shepherd where most of your “news” are mostly directly copied. Such openly one-sided noncritical choice of sources is hardly a desirable path of somebody wanting to be seen as an objective serious journalist.

When you have so much to say about faroe islands and grind, you are at least expected to know that grind-remains are disposed at sea and not on land.

You are also expected to understand that handling of grind is about big animals, heavy equipment, cranes, trucks and boats, all in broad daylight in front of thousands of people - nothing about it could ever be a secret. To state otherwise and dream up some conspiracy, one has to live on the other side of the planet……..oh wait do!

You have previously on several occasions stated it’s merely the method you are opposed to, - but instead of discussing that exact subject, oddly enough the emphasis seems to be on anything useful to undermine the Faroese integrity (I reason this with a.m.o. your excessive use of swollen rhetoric like barbarism, senseless massacre, mass graveyard - involving legitimate Faroese fishery politics, -insinuating commercialism against better knowledge, -and now this completely nonsense non news).

If killing method is your worry, than talk killing method and be constructive and solution-minded, stick to your subject and leave the hate speech to the true believers of the holy whale church who have seen the light and therefore are not obliged to follow the rules or laws of this world but can justify any means by their divine goal.

NB: There is maybe theme for discussion if the remains could be disposed in a better way, maybe crushed into bone meal or something, so nothing goes to waste. See that would be an honest and constructive discussion!

Carlos Mendez said...

In reply to that last comment -
civilised countries think about environmental pollution and don't dump metal in the ocean.
But then, thinking about the butchery of the whales, yours is NOT a civilised country, is it!

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

Firstly, I'm not a self-proclaimed expert on your grind, and have never claimed to be. But as you know, I set out to clarify the information 'out there'. In doing so, I found many errors ON BOTH SIDES of the argument.
Regarding the whale remains, I was told by several FI the remains were buried. Those people may be been under that understanding, or misled or liars. Regardless, to find the massive undersea dump was no doubt a sad surprise.
Yes, why NOT process the remains into fertiliser for the land?
And why NOT recycle the metals instead of polluting the ocean? (However I accept that this dumping MAY have happened before such awareness grew.)
"Most commonly it’s done on open waters" - are you saying you actually transport rubbish out into deeper waters and dumped there?
Info like this is generally regarded as "breaking news" if it's been concealed in the past - concealment leads people to believe that locals regarded it as a secret worthy of keeping quiet about. Now you're saying you transport rubbish into the deep ocean for dumping! As THAT's never been heard by me before, that sounds like a secret, and thus "breaking news".
Sea Shepherd's press releases (though undoubtedly biased) are the only info coming from FI. This is natural, given that FI do not want the world even more angry about the unnecessary killings than now. Perhaps you might like to establish a site, where every grind is documented (numbers, photos etc), every sale of whale meat is noted, every restaurant serving grind is listed, every importation of whalemeat is recorded...just to prove everything is legitimate! That would be open and transparent, and would show the world you have nothing to hide. Ah, but DO, don't you!
Yes, I do not believe the amount of whales killed will decimate the overall population. And yes, my issue IS with the brutality of your grind. You want a solution? It's so easy that the world is amazed you can't SEE it. The simple answer to the to STOP THE GRIND.
Everything I and many others have written about the Faroes is interlinked. Stop the killing, and suddenly you'll find favourable articles, increased eco-tourism, positive feelings towards your people and your beautiful country.

BigMac said...

I don’t know which civilised country you come from Carlos Mendes, but the pollution that fills whalemeat with mercury is not exclusively coming from the Faroe Islands as you can imagine.

If you by chance are from one of the so-called civilised country’s like US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, NZ, Australia, Japan etc it is actually your country who is the main source to pollute and threaten the whales and all the life in the ocean.

I’ll let your question/statement that my country is not civilised because of its sustainable harvest of natural resources, stand in contrast to the question of your country’s degree of civilisation as main responsible of polluting the whales and ocean.

Carlos Mendez said...

Don't be silly. I did not say ocean pollution was the fault or responsibility of the Faroe Islands alone - all countries have responsibility for that. But now I read you've admitted to deep sea dumping of rubbish, so THAT is YOUR responsibilty alone!
I said the way you butcher those whales, hack them up with knives with such brutality, it's not civilised. It's the sort of thing that happens in Asia with cattle. The world expects far more from a "civilised" European country like yours.

Anonymous said...

No need for this senseless slaughter. Its a cruel and outdated 'tradition'. There is no lack of food or money to cause a need for it. Sick sick people. Children climbing on carcasses and being taught that murdering hundreds of wild animals is a fun family day out. I just hope that the rest of the civilised world has an influence of the upcoming generation and they see what all the ignorant callous cunts now cant see. That this should stop. Good luck to the Seashepherds and their tireless campaigning to sabotage this barbaric practise. I will absolutely spread the word when the list of fishing boats involved in it is released to stop the uk taking in fish from them.