Operation Bloody Fjords

Defending pilot whales and other dolphins in the Faroe Islands

What is the Grind?
A Cruel and Outdated Tradition

Every year in the Danish protectorate of the Faroe Islands, an archipelago just 230 miles north-west of mainland Scotland, entire families of small cetaceans -- primarily long-finned pilot whales and Atlantic white-sided dolphins -- are massacred each year in drive hunts called ‘grindadráp’. When a pod is spotted, motor boats and jetskis are used to chase the cetaceans, sometimes for hours, "driving" them into one of the many shallow bays of the Faroe Islands, where locals on the beach use hooks to pull them ashore and kill them with spinal lances and knives. 

The Issue
A cruel and outdated slaughter in the name of 'tradition'

The ‘grind’, as the hunts are commonly called, can happen at any time at any one of the 26 designated killing bays around the islands, with the majority of the hunts statistically occurring between July and September and an average of 1156 pilot whales and dolphins killed each and every year over the past 40-year period. The grindadráp has no season, no quota and no restrictions on killing pregnant females or juveniles. Entire families are killed in the name of tradition...a tradition that has no place in a country where today the standard of living equals its Scandinavian neighbors, and even the Faroese doctors say the meat is too toxic for regular human consumption. 

The Campaign Mission
Fighting the Grind Locally and Internationally

Increasing restrictions prevent Sea Shepherd volunteers from bringing ships into the Faroe Islands or from making any attempt to physically stop the slaughters. But they can't cover up the horrors of the grindadráp. Our volunteers in the Faroes continue to gather photographic and video evidence to help us fight the grind in the judicial and political arenas, in commerce and industry and -- as always -- in the media. What was once hidden from public view is now being seen around the world, prompting international action. 

Learn about the Stop the Grind Coalition
Myth Busting!
All You Need to Know about the Grind

Thanks to Sea Shepherd's careful documentation of the slaughters, the Grind is often in the headlines. Yet misinformation still abounds about these drive hunts, so we wanted to share a few facts to help audiences differentiate truth from fiction.


Read to learn about the top ten myths, including: 'Whale meat is an essential source of food in the Faroe Islands'; 'The hunt only involves wild animals who have lived long and free lives', 'The Grind is the same as a slaughterhouse', and 'The Grind is sustainable.'

Read Myth-Busting Article
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