Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Grindadrap: Beginning Of The End?

The Faroe Islands' first grindadráp of 2013 took place on 22 July.
125 pilot whales were killed in the bay of Viðvík, one of the 23 allowable grind bays according to govt regulations.
However, the slaughter came hot on the heels of an announcement by the Minister of Fisheries on the Faroe Islands, Jacob Vestergaard, that as from 01 May 2015, all those taking part in the Faroe Island's whale hunts (or grindadráps) must participate in a course in the laws and correct procedures relating to the grinds, and possess the relevant pass certificate.
Training will be given in the use of the only grind tools permitted as of 2015 (nostril hooks and spinal lances), the ability to recognise whales' death signals, and understanding all legislation before they can take part.
Use of the grindknife and also the grinding hook (sóknarongul) will only be allowed by special permit from the foreman of the grind or the local police chief. The Pilot Whalers' Assn has agreed with most of the changes.
Runi Nielsen, Earthrace Conservation rep on the Faroes: "A large majority of the participants who at the moment just show up and take part, will not bother to take these mandatory courses and by doing so will exclude themselves. The fewer people taking part, the less a part of the Faroese way of life the grinds will be."
Nielsen believes the new legislation will prevent repetition of one of the worst grinds in Faroese history that took place in 2010...
"Inexperience, a lack of authority and direction, an unsuitable location and the sheer number of pilot whales led to the deaths of 228 whales in completely unacceptable circumstances that shocked even Faroese supporters of the grinds."
[The infamous Klaksvík grindadráp on 19 July 2010 (as told by a local eye-witness) was the largest drive of the previous six years. 228 pilot whales were beached, even though officially there was only space to beach about 100. This lead to chaos and a massacre. Very few men attending had proper knowledge on how to kill pilot whales quickly. They were overwhelmed by the numbers on the beach and the rocks. Many young men literally slit the animals open with their knives to kill them, but did not succeed quickly at all. The drive left many Klaksvík residents appalled, even though most of them are (or were to that point) in favour of the grindadráp.
Sadly, this is not the only shocking incident. Reports prove that locals in various areas of the designated 22 killing beaches killed dolphin species that're protected even by Faroese law, such as Rissos' dolphins and orca. (In 1978, a unique hunt involving orca did occur in the Faroes: it has never been repeated).
In at least one case, almost the whole catch of 62 pilot whales had to be dumped out at sea unused, because the meat had gone bad. The whales had been killed relatively late at Víðvík on 10 Nov.2010, and were abandoned without being gutted when night fell. The next morning most of the meat was spoiled.]

Despite islanders' claims to the contrary, things DO go the announcement of these changes in the Faroes is a welcome one. In Newfoundland in the 1960s, similar rules were issued. The first killing that took place there under the new rules was also the last to ever happen.
This will not be the end of grindadráps in the Faroe Islands, but it may be the beginning of the end...


Anonymous said...

Hell, i'm amazed its taken THIS long for these people to see the light. I reckon theyd make so much more money and friends if they stopped this insanity and got into tourism inbstead. They have a lovely country, but this killing is a major boil on their arses.

Anonymous said...

You people make me sick. You're even stupider then a piece of shit. I hope you all die!!!

Writer Of The Purple Sage said...

Dear Anonymous:
I seek clarification of your nebulous comment, to ascertain on which side of the argument you stand.

(1) By "you people", do you refer to those who draw global attention to the grindadrap, or those who take part in such slaughters?

(2) How sick have you been made by "you people"? Do you require medical attention for your malady? Should "you people" be reported to the Centre For Contagious Diseases, as one or more of them has by your own admission transmitted an illness to you? As you wrote this in the present tense, do I assume the action of 'making you sick' happens on a regular basis? Should you consider modifying your social contact accordingly, to avoid such infections in the future?

(3) By "even stupider", I assume you mean "even more stupid". This is a common grammatical error.

(4) Please advise how you have calculated the intelligence of excrement, as this information may be of immense benefit to science. Also, in your equations, what quantity did you allow for your "piece" of shit (as there is really no regulation size)?

(5) Everyone dies - that's a given. If "you all" have the aforementioned illness already, it is possible they may die earlier than the gods intended. Therefore your wish will eventually come true.

Intelligent comments on this blog are always appreciated.
Get well soon. :-)

Victor said...

I do so hate autrocities committed under the guise of "old traditions"! The hunting of whales is understandable in regions where they are the only source of food for survival of isolated peoples with few other alternative sources. These people use every part of their kill in their lives for food ,clothing tools etc. they hunt only for what is needed. I am against any group that wants to hunt out of tradition that has long been outdated but is ceremonials exercised by some groups with the excuse that "we want our youth to learn their heritage and ways" example the Macaw Indians on the Northwest coast of North America suddenly demanded to exercise their right to hunt a whale per year even though there is absolutely no need for it . This old right had been abandoned for some eighty years. It was brought back in recent years , not because they were hungry but to teach the young their traditions! Totally absurd ; the whale was cornered by speeding motor boat and shot with a high powered harpoon gun neither of which are historic Indian methods or tools. I doubt the modern youth had much appetite for whale blubber either! The heritage and tradition would have been much better taught if they learned their songs took part in carving the cedar canoe,made costumes --then maybe paddle the canoe out to the whales and ceremonially thank them for their part in their history --but now happily there was no further need to kill! All done, tradition respected and taught !
Now we have the Danish activities supporting the grindadráps in the Faroe Islands, killing schools of pilot whales as part of their heritage! I'm of Nordic descent what if I wanted to exercise my Viking heritage and travel the coasts of Europeean countries rob murder rape and pillage and take slaves etc as any good Vikings did! Shame on Denmark for allowing this autrocity to continue!!! Thank you for comment section to let me vent!
Victor vonReventlow