Thursday, November 26, 2009

What Happens in Faeroe Island

I was clearing my over-flowing email box at work today (mostly work-related stuff of course…yeah right), when an email from a colleague caught my eye. The subject page on the email screamed “The Shame of Denmark – Disgraceful – Keep List Going Around”. Curious, I opened it and out streamed a dozen or so photos of a blood-red sea, filled with slaughtered dolphins; some of which had their guts spilling out. Re-produced below are a few photos from that email.

 This is a truly shocking an awfully sad sight. The email goes on to describe how this mass slaughtering of dolphins happens each year, in Faeroe Island - Denmark, where most of the participants are just teens. I couldn’t imagine how any sane, civilised person could commit such a heinous act of crime, and thought that the email was probably a hoax - so I wiki-ed it. This is an excerpt of what I found on Wikipedia:

“Whaling in the Faroe Islands has been practiced since 1584. It is regulated by Faroese authorities but not by the International Whaling Commission. Around 950 Long-finned Pilot Whales (Globicephala melaena) are killed annually. The hunts, called "grindadráp" in Faroese, are non-commercial and are organized on a community level; anyone can participate.

Most Faroese consider the hunt an important part of their culture and history. Animal-rights groups criticize the hunt as being cruel and unnecessary, while the hunters claim in return that most journalists do not exhibit sufficient knowledge of the catch methods or its economic significance.

Islanders in motorboats first drive the whales into a bay. The chase may be lengthy. The whales are eventually driven into the shallows. The islanders hammer 2.2 kg metal gaffs into the flesh of each whale until the hooks hold. A 15 cm knife is then used to slash through the blubber and flesh to the spinal column. Next the main blood vessels are severed.

The Faroese treat the hunt as a festive occasion. Children are often given a day off school. According to Faroese legislation it is also permitted to hunt certain species of small cetaceans other than pilot whales. These include: Bottlenose dolphin; Atlantic white-beaked dolphin; Atlantic white-sided dolphin; and Harbour porpoise (There are also specific regulations for the hunting of harbour porpoise. Harbour porpoises are killed with shotguns).”

Perhaps the Faroese have been misunderstood but for whatever reasons they have, the final result remains inhumane and unacceptable. There are many petitions on the web aimed at stopping this madness and it’s comforting to know that scores of people around the globe find it equally disgusting. I found one such petition and have signed my name to it. If you feel deeply about the cause and wish to sign-up too, do follow the link below:

Perhaps with this, we can all make a’s hoping….

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