Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Following a weekend that saw 120 pilot whales slain in the Faroe Islands, Sea Shepherd Global is gearing up for Operation Grindstop 2014, the most wide-ranging, determined and longest-duration Faroe Islands campaign in SS history.
This year alone in the Faroes, 1,306 cetacean lives have been destroyed in a 63-day period. Recently, 430 Atlantic White-Sided Dolphins were slaughtered, and just last Sunday (22 Sept.) in the second massacre at Hvalvik Bay this year, another 120 pilot whales were butchered.
"Hehehe! What fun, Sven!!"
Faroese grind hunts have been around since at least 1584 (when records started of such hunts). However, the medieval hunts (so necessary then) are as cruel today as when they first began. The pursuit and beaching of these animals is extremely terrifying for them (in the UK and also across Europe, the harassment of dolphins and whales is a crime in itself) and the killing looks just like what it actually is: a frenzied massacre of innocents. The Faroese who take part in the slaughter do not spare any lives: mothers, babies, pregnant females - the entire cetacean family is killed and the waters of the bays run red for hours.
The 23 grind bays are assigned to six whaling districts across the FI, within which the meat and blubber is supposed to be divided among locals. However, some of the whale meat ends up in restaurants or aboard ferries for consumption by tourists.
In recent years, Faroese officials have warned women of child-bearing age and children, not to eat the meat - it is laden with mercury, PCBs, dioxins and DDT derivatives and is therefore not fit for human consumption. As a result, after large grinds have taken place, SS believes much of the meat and the carcasses are distributed to businesses for profit or dumped back into the ocean, further compounding the environmental and moral tragedy.
The campaign will mark three years since SS made its presence felt in Faroese waters. The last time it patrolled there, no whales or dolphins were killed.  It's obviously time to return...

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