Monday, July 11, 2016

2016 Grindadráp Begins

In the Northern Hemisphere, it's summer.
A time for family fun in the sun, frolicking at the seaside, running helter-skelter into the waves...and for some Faroe Islanders, hacking trapped pilot whales to death. Their local media confirms up to 50 whales were killed on 06 July.
The pod of pilot whales was initially spotted near Svinoy (an island in the NE of the Faroes), before boats forced them south about 11km onto the killing beach of Hvannasund...Sea Shepherd activists were not present at the grindadráp, as the group has been barred from entering the FI.
The 2015 summer saw 501 whales butchered, 14 SS volunteers from across the globe arrested, and SS's vessel Bob Barker barred "in the interests of maintaining law and order." A new law was brought in, forcing all visitors - not just SS activists - to report sightings of whales to authorities, or face a possible 2yrs.jail.
There were also claims that the navy was involved in preventing protests. As actor Martin Sheen wrote to the Danish PM: "I was appalled to see the Danish Navy being used to defend the killing of hundreds of defenceless pilot whales. Does it really take a frigate, a patrol boat, commando units and a helicopter along with Danish police officers and a Faroese patrol boat to stop a group of compassionate, non-violent people?"
The Faroe Islands govt claims there's no special legislation regarding entry visas for members of Sea Shepherd. But from April 2016, a new executive order allows a Faroese minister to ban foreign vessels if they're expected to "disrupt lawful activities".
As a result, SS has modified its tactics. It's 2016 pilot whale defence campaign Operation Bloody Fjords will take its battle to the heart of the Faroese and Danish institutions that support this bloody dated practice. It plans to pursue a legal complaint in the European Union Parliament, and to promote the boycott of Faroese farm-raised salmon and other fish products.

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