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Actor/filmmaker Ross McCall debuts documentary about pilot whale slaughter in Faroe Islands

Friday, Jun 24, 2016

Scottish actor and activist Ross McCall released his 22-minute documentary short on YouTube this week chronicling his experience in the Faroe Islands.

“Rape and pillage was once a tradition. Slavery too.”

Ross McCall
Actor and activist Ross McCall on board Sea Shepherd’s MV Bridgitte Bardot, at the Faroe Islands in 2015. Photo Sea Shepherd.

Scottish actor Ross McCall released his 22-minute documentary short on YouTube this week chronicling his experience in the Faroe Islands. The actor was on board the MV Bridgitte Bardot last year for Sea Shepherd’s 2015 Pilot Whale Defense Campaign, Operation Sleppid Grindini.

Every year, the Danish Faroe Islands partake in what is known as The Grindadrap. Locals in boats drive pods of pilot whales and dolphins on to their beaches where they are brutally slaughtered with retractable spears.

The Faroese insist the slaughter is a cultural tradition and affectionately refer to it as The Grind. This practice has been going on for hundreds of years on the Faroe Islands, wiping out entire family groups of dolphins and whales at one time. The Grindadrap literally translates to “the murder of whales.”

Sea Shepherd has been working to shut down The Grind in the Faroe Islands since 1983.  McCall – known for such TV work as “White Collar,” “24: Live Another Day” and “Band of Brothers” -  first joined Sea Shepherd on a mission to the Faroes in 2014. He travelled back a year later, cameras in tow. The result is a powerful 22-minute film, “The Grind of the Faroe Islands" (below).

In an essay published in the Huffington Post this week, McCall wrote about his time in the Faroe Islands and debuted his film on the world-renowned blogging site through an embedded link.

Since 1983, Sea Shepherd has sent ten campaigns to the Faroes, saving hundreds of whales and dolphins while dealing with the arrest of Sea Shepherd volunteers and the seizure of the organization’s boats.

Faroese law states it is illegal to interrupt the killing and illegal to sight a pod of whales and not report it. To further protect their beloved Grind from outside interference, this year the Faroese enacted laws that prohibit Sea Shepherd crew from entering their waters and wearing Sea Shepherd shirts on land.

This week, in response, Sea Shepherd Global announced Operation Bloody Fjords, a new operation targeting the massacre of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands.

With years of footage of this bloodshed, Operation Bloody Fjords will include culling together decades worth of photographic and video evidence to target the Grind in legal, political, commercial and economic arenas.  A full-length documentary feature will also be produced.

“The Grind has no place in the 21st Century,” said Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson. “Slaughter and cruelty based culture and tradition should no longer be tolerated….The Grind is ecologically destructive and offensively barbaric and Sea Shepherd is relentlessly dedicated to tossing this obscene tradition into the dustbin of history through education, direct action, economic pressure and legal challenges.”

61 pilot whales were slaughtered at the Sandavágur killing beach in the Danish Faroe Isles. Photo Mayk Wendt/Sea Shepherd.
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