For the third time this year, pilot whales have been slaughtered in the Danish Faroe Islands. The ordeal began at 7am today when a pod of 40 pilot whales was reported to local authorities off Skálatoftir, on the island of Borðoy. The pod was then driven by 12 Faroese boats to Hvannasund for slaughter.
Although most of the pod was able to escape, Faroese media has confirmed nine whales were killed. They were forced to beach and had blunt hooks beaten into their blowholes to drag them onto the sand where locals crudely cut their spinal cord resulting in a stressful and drawn-out death.
“Though the hunters claim the kill is ‘quick’, the drive hunt can take hours to complete. This is an extremely long and stressful process for the whales, who are then led to slaughter.” said Operation Bloody Fjords campaign leader, Geert Vons.
A total of 28 Sea Shepherd volunteers were arrested during the 2014 and 2015 Pilot Whale Defense Campaigns in the Faroe Islands. Many of those were subsequently deported for the ‘crime’ of defending pilot whales.
During the same period, Faroese and Danish authorities confiscated a total of four Sea Shepherd small boats used to defend pilot whales, and arrested Sea Shepherd Captain Jessie Treverton on charges of ‘harassing’ dolphins by guiding them away from a killing beach. Earlier this month Captain Treverton successfully evaded border security and returned to the Faroe Islands to demand her day in court and the return of her vessel MV Spitfire.
Sea Shepherd has led the opposition to the grindadráp since 1983. The 2016 pilot whale defense campaign, Operation Bloody Fjords, sees Sea Shepherd take its battle against the grindadráp to the heart of the Faroese and Danish institutions that continue to promote this outdated practice.