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Faroes Whale Kill – Danes Put To Test

  • April 8th, 2010
  • Posted by 7thmin

dolphins-faroe.jpegOPINION: A global campaign against the trapping and slaughter of pilot whales on the Faroe Islands has picked up speed once again — with thousands of pictures circulating on line, and petitions to the Danish authorities to stop it.

Many were feeling disingenuous about erroneous messages, that it was happening in Denmark itself, on the mainland, in the European Union, in broad daylight ; so one enterprising blogger did some background work, confirming it was happening out on the islands:-

“The Faroe Islands are an autonomous part of Denmark, and the annual long-finned pilot whale slaughter really happens.  For some Wiki background, follow the link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whaling_in_the_Faroe_Islands  .”

Another, in Australia, last month emailed the Danish Embassy in Canberra about the reported mass slaughter of “dolphins”, and received a considered response, see below.

In part it disowned what was happening as the work of an autonomous community, not really under Copenhagen’s authority, although within the Kingdom (sic) of Denmark. (Might be an idea in that case to write to Princess Mary).

dolphin-faroes-2.jpegThe hard problem here is what the pictures show, a large mob assembling as the animals are herded into a cove, some wading in to start the slaughter, others just there – watching.

Objections:

•    It looks like an unsustainable activity in the precarious ecology of the seas in this Century; sustainability measures need constant review.

•    It is cruel.

•    It is a sad commentary also on the human imagination; people may set out on a course to compromise their humanity in such a way.

Letter last month from the Danish consulate; see what you think:

“The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has received your e-mail in which you express your feelings caused by an e-mail you have received containing pictures of alleged dolphin killings in Denmark. The pictures may have been accompanied by inflammatory and misleading comments, for example that they depict a rite of passage for young men.

“We take note of the fact that you have found the above mentioned pictures, and the accompanying text, disturbing.

“The pictures are from catches, not of dolphins, but of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands. The pictures are very selective, and partly outdated. As you seem to be interested in the subject, you are advised to find more information about the Faroese pilot whale drive fishery on the homepage www.whaling.fo [.] In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia on the internet, you may also find an article called “Whaling in the Faroe Islands”.

“The facts which you will find include the following:
•         The purpose of the catch is to produce food,
•         The hunt is regulated by the authorities,
•         The catch is biologically sustainable,
•         The Faroese authorities are making continuous efforts to improve the killing methods.

“The Faroe Islands are an archipelago in the North East Atlantic. The economy of the islands is heavily dependent upon the sea and its living resources. The islands are an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark. Affairs regarding industry, agriculture, the environment, fishing and whaling, are subject to Faroese autonomy.

“If you, after having acquainted yourself with the facts of the matter, should wish to address the Faroese authorities regarding pilot whaling, the relevant e-mail address of the Government of the Faroes is [email protected] .”

Regards,
Catharina Moltke
Cultural and Consular Officer

Pictures

Saainternational.org; paws.org.au

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