A reader of Cruise Law News asked me last week what I thought of cruise lines sailing to Denmark’s Faroe Islands (sometimes called Faeroe Islands) where they slaughter pilot whales. I didn’t know anything about the issue, but I promised that I would look into it.
This weekend I read up on what I now feel comfortable calling the evil, murderous Faroe Islands. I am absolutely disgusted by what I read and by the horrific images I saw.
Around 1,000 pilot whales are killed each year in the Faroe Islands. But these are not far out at sea murders by huge Japanese ships away from civilization. These are well attended sporting events where the whales are chased into a harbor and killed by the locals with knives while their family members cheer them on. The locals call it the “Grindadráp Grind.” I call it the killing of defenseless mammals for fun by sick sociopaths. Here’s what one person described:
The whales “are dragged to the shallow water, where participants in the kill then wade in the sea to around waist height. There they are slaughtered with traditional knives whose blades are usually 16 to 19 cm (6.3 to 7.5 in) long. Usually two deep cuts are made on either side of the animal’s neck, just behind the blow hole, causing the head to drop forward; a third cut is then made through the middle of the neck down to the carotid arteries and spinal cord, which are severed. After a period of violent thrashing the animal is paralyzed and loses consciousness, dying of blood loss in most cases. With this the sea turns bright red with blood.”
Think this is horrific? The images are far, far worse. (warning – graphic images!)
How do we stop this evil? One way is to boycott the islands. There are numerous cruise lines which still cruise there, notwithstanding efforts to persuade them to call on other ports.
Change.org has a petition to stop Carnival-owned Holland America Line from stopping at the islands. They have branded their efforts as #GRINDSTOP, a term started I believe by the Sea Shepherd organization. The petition is addressed to Stein Kruse who is, in my opinion, the epitome of a pompous, indifferent cruise executive if there ever were one. The petition is also directed to other uppity-ups at HAL who obviously could care less about whales as long as the money generated by cruise excursions to the islands is an issue.
Care2petitions also has a petition to stop cruise lines from supporting the slaughter in the Faroes. It is addressed to Carnival-owned Cunard and P&O Cruises, as well as Fred Olsen Cruises and Cruise & Maritime.
The Dodo also has a campaign against the hunt and a petition which you can sign.
To donate to the official Sea Shepherd Anti-Grind campaign click here.
There are other cruise lines which have scheduled port call in the Faroe Islands. Travel agents tell me that Royal Caribbean Cruises and Royal Caribbean-owned Azamara, as well as Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) sail to the Faroe Islands and showed me itineraries confirming that they sail there.
Disney took the Faroe Islands off its schedule recently and was smart enough to see the storm of public opinion forming against cruise lines supporting such a place.
Pilot whales are highly intelligent. They sense fear when they and their pods are under such a vicious attack. Mother whales are gutted and their baby whales ripped out. The violence is unconscionable. So is cruising there on a family vacation.
Please take a moment and sign the petitions. Make a promise to yourself not to sail on a cruise there. Complain to your travel agent, and tell the cruise lines to stop supporting the Faroe Islands. It’s the least we can do to stop the carnage and suffering.
Photo Credits: GreenTravelife – above; Sea Shepherd – bottom.
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Update: Faroese law actually codifies this barbaric practice.