Quantcast

5 Beached Bottlenose Whales Slaughtered in Faroe Islands, 14 Sea Shepherd Volunteers Arrested

Update, Aug. 31: According to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, 14 volunteer crewmembers of Sea Shepherd pilot whale defense campaign Operation GrindStop 2014 arrested on Saturday in the Faroe Islands have been released today. The members of the onshore team led by Sea Shepherd USA and the offshore team led by Sea Shepherd France were arrested as they attempted to protect a pod of 33 pilot whales from the brutal mass slaughter known as the “grindadrap” or  “grind.” The six volunteers from the land team must return to court tomorrow, Sept. 1. The eight members of the boat team have been told to return to court on Sept. 25. Postponing the court date until that time allows the police to hold the three Sea Shepherd boats until the end of September, as they are being held for "evidence." All video and still camera data cards were removed by police and are still being held.

In the early hours of yesterday morning, five bottlenose whales were found stranded on the Faroese island of Suduroy. In most places around the world, cetaceans who are stranded in shallow waters are given a helping hand by humans and ushered back out to sea. However, rather than make an attempt to rescue the beached pod, knife-wielding Faroese whalers killed and butchered the stranded, helpless whales, turning the bay to a sea of blood.

The whales were found by fisherman around 5:30 a.m. on the beach of Hvalba on Suduroy Island where they were brutality killed. Their enormous heads were lined up in bins and trucked off. Photo credit: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society—with a crew of offshore volunteers led by Sea Shepherd France and a team of onshore volunteers led by Sea Shepherd USA, all present in the Faroes to defend pilot whales from the brutal mass slaughter known as the Grind—could have helped in any efforts to save these whales from a needless death. Unfortunately, they were blocked from approaching the scene. The whales were found by fisherman around 5:30 a.m. on the killing beach of Hvalba on Suduroy Island.

Sea Shepherd volunteers eventually got through the barriers and were able to take photographs and film as the whales were butchered onshore. According to reports, the whales were still alive when they were found, as the whalers severed the whales’ spinal cords to kill them before they were towed for butchering. The same method is used to kill pilot whales and other species in the Faroese grind hunts.

The shocking images and footage captured by Sea Shepherd show the brutality of the whale killers, who smiled as the whales were reduced to butchered meat and their enormous heads were lined up in bins. After the bodies were butchered, the heads were trucked to Torshavn for what is believed to be rendering, with Operation GrindStop volunteers following and filming the entire way.

Read page 1

“The population of these rather rare Northern bottlenose whales is believed to be no more than 10,000. The loss of any of these vanishing whales is tragic,” said Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson. “If they could have been saved, to slaughter these whales in need was the ultimate betrayal and, frankly, nothing short of murder.”

Rather than make an attempt to rescue the beached pod, knife-wielding Faroese whalers killed and butchered the stranded, helpless whales, turning the bay to a sea of blood. Photo credit: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Faroese regulations allow for the killing of beached bottlenose whales only if they cannot be rescued and driven back out to sea. Sea Shepherd is consulting with an attorney and police to determine if the whalers have violated these regulations.

Faroese locals have told Sea Shepherd that it is common for bottlenose whales to strand at Hvalba, and it is believed by some that ocean currents in the area could cause this to happen. It is also more difficult to rescue stranded whales of this size than it is for dolphins or pilot whales, and their organs can be crushed under their weight if the whales are in shallow waters for too long. We cannot be certain that the whales could be saved, but it appears that there were no attempts to do so.

Another possible cause of the stranding is seismic testing. Currently, extensive seismic testing is being conducted between the Shetland and Faroe Islands. Many species of marine mammals are vulnerable to the effects of such testing and sonar, but the family of beaked whales, of which the Northern bottlenose whale is a member, is particularly susceptible.

It is possible, due to the large number of bottlenose whale strandings that occur in this region and the current seismic testing, that there will be more strandings in the Faroe Islands. Sea Shepherd is calling for the Faroes to take a reasonable and compassionate route in response to any future strandings on their shores. In the case of any beached whales who could not be saved, a necropsy should be performed to determine the cause of death if possible. Everywhere in the world, it is standard that strandings are investigated—and seismic testing being conducted in the region should be a red flag.

Especially in the case of these Northern bottlenose whales, members of a vanishing population, to slaughter them for human consumption without any attempt at rescue—or even a necropsy—was shamefully irresponsible.

Sea Shepherd is ready and willing to offer assistance to the Faroese in any attempts made to save whales if a stranding should occur.

Sea Shepherd has led the opposition against the slaughter of cetaceans in the Faroe Islands since the 1980s, and today our goal remains the same: to bring the archaic grind to a complete stop. Launched in June, Operation GrindStop 2014, is Sea Shepherd’s largest Faroe Islands campaign to date. The multi-national land- and sea-based campaign features hundreds of volunteers who will be present in the Faroe Islands over the course of four months to defend pilot whales and other species of small cetaceans from the brutal and archaic mass slaughter known as “grindadrap” or the “grind.” To date, no grinds have taken place while Sea Shepherd has patrolled the islands. Should a grind commence at any time during the campaign, Sea Shepherd volunteers are prepared to intervene to save our clients.

Sea Shepherd is seeking additional volunteers to join the team in the Faroe Islands for the last month of campaign. The deadline for campaign applications is Sept. 10 at 5 p.m. EST. Anyone interested in volunteering should complete and submit the application.

You Might Also Like

Pamela Anderson Shines Spotlight on Brutal and Archaic Mass Slaughter of Pilot Whales

Sea Shepherd Founder to Bill Maher: ‘If Oceans Die, We Die’

Shocking Court Documents Expose SeaWorld’s Continued Cruelty of Orca Whales

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Dan Nosowitz

It's no secret that the past few years have been disastrous for the American farming industry.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Gavin Van De Walle, MS, RD

Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil and coconut oil are fats that have risen in popularity alongside the ketogenic, or keto, diet.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By Bijal Trivedi

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on Nov. 13 that describes a list of microorganisms that have become resistant to antibiotics and pose a serious threat to public health. Each year these so-called superbugs cause more than 2.8 million infections in the U.S. and kill more than 35,000 people.

Read More Show Less
Rool Paap / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Inflammation can be good or bad depending on the situation.

Read More Show Less

By Joe Vukovich

Under the guise of responding to consumer complaints that today's energy- and water-efficient dishwashers take too long, the Department of Energy has proposed creating a new class of dishwashers that wouldn't be subject to any water or energy efficiency standards at all. The move would not only undermine three decades of progress for consumers and the environment, it is based on serious distortions of fact regarding today's dishwashers.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Emily Moran

If you have oak trees in your neighborhood, perhaps you've noticed that some years the ground is carpeted with their acorns, and some years there are hardly any. Biologists call this pattern, in which all the oak trees for miles around make either lots of acorns or almost none, "masting."

Read More Show Less

By Catherine Davidson

Tashi Yudon peeks out from behind a net curtain at the rooftops below and lets out a sigh, her breath frosting on the windowpane in front of her.

Some 700 kilometers away in the capital city Delhi, temperatures have yet to dip below 25 degrees Celsius, but in Spiti there is already an atmosphere of impatient expectation as winter settles over the valley.

Read More Show Less

The Dog Aging Project at the University of Washington is looking to recruit 10,000 dogs to study for the next 10 years to see if they can improve the life expectancy of man's best friend and their quality of life, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less