Operation Bloody Fjords Eyewitness Account: Team 1
Thursday, 09 Nov, 2017
As part of our ongoing Operation Bloody Fjords campaign to end the slaughter of dolphins and pilot whales in the Danish Faroe Islands, Sea Shepherd coordinated ten weeks of covert land-based patrols from July to early September. Centrally coordinated by Sea Shepherd UK, the crews were based in six different Faroese towns covering 19 designated whaling bays. During the ten weeks our volunteer crew, who used their personal vacation time to blend in with other tourists, managed to document nine separate grindadráp. We are now sharing the personal accounts of six of these teams and the images they recorded, one each day for six days.
Team 1, based in Tórshavn, witnessed the Hvannasund grindadrap on 5th July 2017 (70 Long-finned pilot whales killed)
"I am at home by my desk but I can still smell the sickening and pungent smell of death when I remember my time in Hvannasund...
Men are carrying knives and ropes getting high on blood with the ritual killing of magnificent sentient beings for the sake of tradition.
The entire community are enjoying the massacre! Danish tourists are considering themselves so damn fortunate.
After the brutal killing they move the dead bodies from the beach to the opposite harbour. Several generations of whales are lying on the floor framed by this idyllic and bloody little town.
Two hours before swimming free, these beautiful whales are eviscerated and mutilated, not only in front of me but to my despair, in front of children.
The Grind turns even more evil when grown-ups involve and encourage young minds to be insensitive. From a distance I can see a five-year-old jumping on the bodies. Others, a bit older, carrying little knives are stabbing the bodies of the whales and kicking the little foetuses.
One killer encourages me to photograph a foetus still attached by the umbilical cord to the dead mother while he is moving the baby with his feet. I am told many times how blessed I am for the privilege of witnessing a Grind. Only a sadistic mind could see beauty in murder and suffering.
A horrific and sad experience of senseless destruction. It will haunt me until I see the end of this obsolete and bloody tradition. Only then, I would be able to let them go in peace, knowing that no other whale or dolphin will suffer in their hands."
2017 has proved to be one of the worst years for the grindadrap since the mid 1990's with 1203 pilot whales and 488 dolphins killed during 24 individual hunts in the Danish Faroe Islands.
Check back tomorrow for the second report and images from Team 3.