The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) will make frequent visits to the Faroe Islands over the coming two months to continue their campaign against the annual slaughter of whales by the local Faroese.
Sea Shepherd currently has two vessels in the area ready to disrupt the Faroese hunt or “grindadráp” which kills around 950 long-finned pilot whales every year during summer. The hunts are non-commercial, traditional and anyone can participate. The hunters surround families of migrating pilot whales as they pass the islands and forming a wide semicircle of boats they drive the whales slowly into shallow coves or to the bottom of a fjord.
Although traditionally the whales are hunted as food, in November 2008 the chief medical officers of the Faroe Islands recommended that pilot whales no longer be considered fit for human consumption due to the high levels of toxins present in the whales.
Last winter, the Sea Shepherd’s ships the Steve Irwin and the very fast silver metallic Brigitte Bardot, by constantly stalking, filming and interfering with the Japanese harpoon ships’ activities, forced Japanese whalers to give up their annual ‘harvesting’ of whales for ‘scientific research’ and return to dock empty-handed, provoking much anger from the Japanese government.
Both ships are crewed by dedicated volunteers and captained by Paul Watson (SSCS founder) of the Steve Irwin, and Locky MacLean of the Brigitte Bardot. Both crews are determined to stop the Faroese whaling.