LocationFaroeIslands Undercover Op by Sea Shepherd Exposes Slaughter!

Faroe Islands

On the 19th of July, some 236 pilot whales met a rather ruthless demise in the town of Klaksvik, located in the Danish Faeroe Islands. Thanks to the excellent work of an undercover operative of Sea Shepherd, who was amongst the locals to document “the grind”, the whole thing was caught on tape! The grind is a very inhumane practice of whaling which involves herding the pods of cetaceans in coves, before stabbing them in the back with a knife!

Peter Hammarstedt, a Sea Shepherd undercover operative who also happens to be the First Mate of Sea Shepherd’s vessel the Bob Barker, had been deeply undercover with these barbaric islanders for seven days when he heard the news of a grind taking place in Klaksvik over the radio. He jumped into his car and raced off to the scene. Unfortunately, he was badly outnumbered, and wasn’t in any way able to stop the massacre, so he caught the whole thing on video instead.

“Pilot whales are known to travel in pods of 200-300 members. Two hundred and thirty-six pilot whales were slaughtered last night in Klaksvik: bulls, pregnant and lactating females, juveniles, and unborn babies still attached to their mothers by the umbilical chord. An entire pod that once swam freely through the North Atlantic has been exterminated in a single blood bath,” explained Hammarstedt.

pilotwhales 203x300 Undercover Op by Sea Shepherd Exposes Slaughter!

Pilot whales - Picture by: Clark Anderson

The local government is claiming that the deaths of these whales are over quickly and painless, however the footage Hammarstedt captured begs to differ.

“One whale had five to six brutal chops to her head,” Hammarstedt began, “The islanders basically used her as a chopping board. Her death would have been slow and extremely painful. Some whales are hacked repeatedly for up to four minutes before they finally die.”

It was also painfully apparent that “the grind” is indiscriminate as well as gruesome.

“Babies had been cut out of their mother’s dead bodies and left to rot on the docks,” reported Hammarstedt, who got quite a few shots of dead babies and even fetuses. “Pilot whale groups are strongly matriarchal; I can’t imagine the fear and panic that these mothers must have felt as their families were wiped out in front of them.”

The Faroese pilot what grind is very similar to the yearly Taiji dolphin slaughter perpetrated in Japan. The slaughter of dolphins is very well documented in the bone chilling documentary, “The Cove”. The thing that sets apart the two activities is that there are more than 18 different coves in the Faeroes where the grind can happen, as opposed to the single cove in Taiji. This makes it almost impossible to find out where the killings will take place, or to get there in time to help prevent this heinous act.

Now that this barbaric act has been brought to light, and into the public eye, one can only hope that there will be steps taken to help avoid this kind of thing in the future.

Anyone who wants to know more or see pictures from the slaughter can visit http://www.seashepherd.org/