Denmark’s Faroe Islands Continue Dolphin Slaughter

(Warning: Graphic Images)

The Cove won a well-deserved Oscar (and several other awards) this year for uncovering the slaughter of dolphins in Japan.  While it was being made, another discovery put the Japanese people on notice: the flesh of the dolphins is toxic, highly poisonous due to mercury content from them ingesting mercury-tainted fish.  Similar levels of mercury poisoning have caused horrible birth defects in the past, right there in Japan.  The Cove demonstrates how doing the right thing by other animals on the planet is the right thing for humans as well.

Apparently that message was lost on the people of the Faroe Islands, a holding of Denmark.  Their dolphin and whale slaughter continues.  The consumption of the flesh also continues.  What will it take for an otherwise civilized Western European nation to grow up?

Slaughter.  That’s a strong word… but not strong enough.  How else could one describe these images?

This is a rite of passage?

This is a rite of passage?









And a spectator sport
And a spectator sport










This is the Calderon dolphin's repayment for trusting men and coming near them to interact with fellow sentient beings.

This is the Calderon dolphin's repayment for trusting men and coming near them to interact with fellow sentient beings.










Gaffing Hook in Pilot

The butchery is neither painless nor silent. Dolphins scream out, sounding very much like a human child, as they are sliced and hacked apart while still alive and conscious.










This is not the action of civilized men. This is barbaric and hostile violence towards a peaceful sentient, sapient, and sovereign species.










While the Faroese claim Tradition, does this LOOK like any sort of tradition? Hundreds of powerboats herding the peaceful cetaceans towards their death?









Thousands of people have signed petitions.  The government of Denmark / Faroe Islands ignores them; petitions go unheeded.  It is time that we, citizens of this planet, called upon our own governments to tell Denmark / Faroe Islands that the whales and dolphins they slaughter are not theirs to kill.  It is time that we fought back for the sake of those who cannot speak at our courts.  We must demand that our government put Denmark and the Faroe Islands on notice: We will NOT passively permit you to continue this vulgar practice!  We will place sanctions against you until it stops.  We will not buy or sell with you.  You are shunned, unwelcome, until you stop slaughtering these fellow residents of the earth.

This is our planet, the earth is our mother, and all of the creatures who share it with us are our fellows, brother and sister inhabitants.  It is not ours to do with as we please.  We’re only here borrowing it for a while.  The Calderon dolphins may very well be led to extinction by this killing, and extinct is forever.  They are just one of the species of cetaceans killed by these people.  NO intelligent creature should be treated this way.  Despite claims to the contrary, the Faroese do NOT need to do this to survive.   Please, do all you can to make it stop.

P.S. Apologies to any Danes who feel they are being unjustly singled out, but the fact remains that the Faroe Islands are a territory of Denmark.  If Denmark wants to sever all ties to that territory, we will be glad to change the title of the article.   Until then, the title remains accurate.

PPS: It has been nearly 2 years since this article was written.  We have invited the Faroese into a discussion, and they participated.  When it got circular and there was nothing more to be gained, I ended the discussion.  There have been many comments submitted EVERY DAY about these ongoing horrors.  Many of them are emotional, reactionary, and have at least some of the facts wrong.  But the facts that they’re mistaken about are not foundational; their position isn’t any less right, for example, that they thought Pilot “whales” are endangered, or if they’re called Calderon or something else.    For the past year or so, I’ve censored out many posts that called for violence to the Faroese.   I have just release them all, editing out only the most offensive of them, allowing people’s own words to “speak” for them, for better or worse.

Thanks to all of you for your passion and involvement.  Though the Faroese have turned down offers to supplement their income in lieu of continuing the Grind, it remains our most fervent hope that they will do so of their own will.

Children of the Faroe Islnds, showing no respect for the slaughtered pilot whales.

Children of the Faroe Islands, showing no respect for the slaughtered pilot whales.

Faroese Boys In Bloody Waters








Comments are now closed for this post. I’m taking the liberty of having this last word:

If the Faroe Islands are so horribly barren as you Faroese apologize/defend, that you (Faroese) cannot grow food in hothouses, cannot raise eggs, etc., and the (over)fishing that you’re already doing still cannot support your people, then it is far better to leave that place (or redouble your efforts to grow vegetables in hothouse environments) than to continue killing these sentient, sapient, sovereign beings, just to survive. It’s not 200 years ago anymore. Relocating would be easy enough to do… if it were actually a matter of survival.

There is no good excuse for this… and the powerboats that drive hundreds and thousands to their deaths are NOT part of any tradition, even if tradition were to be given some special importance. (Slavery was a tradition, too.) It is time for the Faroese to end these horrible atrocities, the deaths they bring, and the poor health and shame they heap upon themselves by refusing to do so.

Protect The Ocean

29 January, 2012


PTO sounds S.O.S. in the North Pacific; Can The Flotsam!

We wrote about the flotsam whirling about in the middle of the Pacific a few years back.  Guess what?  It’s still sitting there, killing wildlife.  But it’s degrading as well, turning everything toxic.  Not only are the Algalita’s famous Nikes still out there, but they seem to have been joined by a couple BILLION plastic shopping bags, plastic oil bottles, plastic nets, and tiny balls of gunky plastic.  Collectively, they’re taking huge tolls on everything from the common seagulls to endangered turtles and Monk Seals.  

We’re calling for a full ban on plastic shopping bags, and will provide you with a list of unsavory facts, and reality below.  But more than that, Protect The Ocean is calling for a massive clean-up.  We’re talking about something bigger than any shoreline clean-up ever.  We want to net up and haul in as much of the Eastern Garbage Patch’s flotsam as is humanly possible — and we want to do so now.  

The Eastern Garbage Patch’s continued existence at the current and increasing concentrations can only serve one good purpose: It reminds us that we must stop being so careless about the deadly plastics.  Meanwhile, its very existence means that it continues to kill and poison literally trillions of sea creatures.  But guess what else?  That toxicity, which is being picked up and ingested by all that marine life?  It’s making it to your dinner table at this very moment. 

Plastics aren’t biodegradeable.  They break down into even smaller (and increasingly more toxic) pieces, but they don’t EVER go away.  As they sit in the ocean, they last even longer.  In this one case, that may prove a good thing for us, because it’s a lot easier to scoop out pieces that we can readily see than to try to filter out pieces of plastic the size of plankton.  Already, there are millions of pounds of plankton-sized particles out there, and it’s only going to get worse if we don’t pick  it up.

Algalita’s research informs us that “broken, degraded plastic pieces outweigh surface zooplankton in the central North Pacific by a factor of 6-1.” SIX pounds of tiny pieces of plastic for every one pound of plankton.  Just imagine what that does in a whale’s gut.  It’s worse than non-nutrition, because the stuff is toxic, poisonous.  When marine life swallows it, they ingest the poison.  

That’s not the only danger.  Those shopping bags are just strong enough to tangle up marine mammals, fish and birds, wrap them up and drown or suffocate them.  Pieces of plastic look just enough like potential food to be eaten… and the death toll is staggering, the numbers unbelievable.

Our sloppiness is coming home to roost.  The plastic isn’t just killing off marine life “out there somewhere” anymore.  Its toxicity is affecting us here on land as well.  

The battle needs to be fought on two fronts.  We need to start using fabric (preferably cotton or other natural renewable resource) shopping bags.  It’s really not that difficult.  Just fold ’em up and put ’em back in the car when you go out again, and you’ll have them with you next time you go shopping.  MANY other nations have either banned the bags altogether, or taxed them so heavily that they’re seldom used anymore.  China made it illegal to give them away and now uses 37 million less barrels of oil each year by having done so.  Much of Europe has given them up, often voluntarily.  Bangladesh and Rwanda gave them up long ago, and many other African nations have since followed suit.  What are we waiting for?  

The other step also needs to happen now.  That war is one we need to wage on the high seas.  We need to go out and collect our trash, police ourselves as best as we can.  Not next year, not the year after.  Not after our ship comes in.  Now.  RIGHT now.  This year, by whatever means necessary, whatever it takes.  When you’ve got that kind of toxic waste sitting out there, growing larger by the minute, there’s simply no more time left.  This is plastic.  It’s not going away by itself — Not this year, not this century. The only way that pile of trash is going to get cleaned up is if we go out there and do it ourselves.  It’s not going to be an easy job, nor a pretty one.  It’s downright disgusting, but somebody’s gotta do it, and we here at PTO are tired of talking about it.  

We’re issuing a S.O.S.  We need all the help we can get.  In the near future, Protect The Ocean will be calling upon all environmental groups, including Sea Shepherd, Greenpeace, Algalita, the Ocean Conservancy, Surfrider, and the governments of the world.  We’ll be petitioning the plastic makers and shipping companies as well, asking them for their assistance and cooperation in what will be the single largest environmental clean-up effort ever undertaken.  It’s going to be a very big, very messy job.  Some have described that area as being twice the size of Texas… but no matter how big it may be, it simply has to be done.  

We need your support — both in contacting your representatives and urging them to help us in our efforts, and in your contributions.  Let them know that you want them to help us Can The Flotsam.  Please, we can’t do it all by ourselves.  We’re going to need volunteers of all kinds.  This is HUGE.  Will you help us clean up the Eastern Garbage Patch?

Here’s a few quotes to consider:

“Plastic bags do not biodegrade, they photodegrade; over time they break down into smaller, more toxic petro-polymers” — CNN, Nov. 16, 2007

“A plastic ‘stew’ twice the size of Texas has formed in the Pacific Ocean. Scientists have dubbed I the “eastern Garbage Patch,” and its volume is growing at an alarming pace.:  Best Life Magazine, Feb. 20, 2007

“Plastic bags have been found floating north of the Arctic Circle near Spitzbergen, and as far south as the Falkland Islands.” — British Antarctic Survey

“Plastic bags account for over 10% of the debris washed up on the U.S. Coastline.” — National Marine Debris Monitoring Program

“Nearly 200 different species of sea life including whales, dolphins, seals and turtles die due to plastic bags… They die after ingesting plastic bags which they mistake for food.” — World Wildlife Fund report, 2005

We’re sending out an S.O.S.  on behalf of the oceans.  Will you heed the call?

Malama-Pono; Live Well!