The slaughter of dolphins in Denmark in the Faroe Islands

The slaughter of dolphins in Denmark in the Faroe Islands


The massacres of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands (Denmark):
the horrible slaughter that is perpetuated every year

For years now we hear about it every now and then, almost like a whisper, as if the news were to pass over in silence.

Let's talk about pilot whales (species Globicephala melas) or as the pilot whales (so called because more than resembling dolphins are similar to whales) belonging to the family ofDelphinidae, known in Spanish as calderones.

They are very peaceful creatures who like to live in packs made up mostly of females with their young. They reach 5-7 m in length and a weight of over 2t and live on average 50 years.

They have a very meek character, they are sociable so much that they calmly approach boats and people without any reservations. They live in almost all the seas of the world where there are not too cold waters (in fact the only area in the world where they are not located are the waters of the pole).

(If you want to know them better, read the marine biology article dedicated to them)

Before telling what happens I want to show you some pictures because more than every word they explain what I want to talk to you about.

I'm talking about a real massacre that for many years has been carried out in the Danish islands Feroe (or Faroe) at the expense of pilot whales.

The Faroe Islands (which in Danish is written Fær Øer Islands) are an archipelago made up of 18 islands halfway between Iceland and Norway which since 1948 are an autonomous region of the Kingdom of Denmark (like Greenland) with ample autonomy for all internal political issues and are not part of the European Union with which they only have bilateral trade agreements.

The official estimate of the catches declared by the Faeroese it is about one thousand whale dolphins per year, a figure as they claim is "sustainable", while unofficial estimates speak of 1500-3000 per year. If we consider that these peaceful creatures live on average 50 years and the females reach sexual maturity around 7 years with very long gestation periods (15 months), such a massive killing, if added to the others that occur in the rest of the world, especially in Japan must cause serious concern for the conservation of this species.

The official reasons that push this people to carry out these slaughters we can read them from the website of the Faroe Islands: the killing of these cetaceans is a very ancient tradition that dates back to 1200 years ago and is linked to subsistence: to obtain food (considered an essential food for their diet), skin to make ropes , fat to obtain oil as fuel, stomachs as floats and so on.Now, again from the same site we read that the economy is governed by a thriving fishing industry, which produces high quality fish products for export, sheep that supply up to 60% of all meat products, seabirds are hunted, dairy cattle are raised to meet all internal milk needs, as is the cultivation of potatoes. In short, from what we read it is not clear why there is this need for hunting for subsistence of pilot whales.

This motivation, which could have been valid centuries ago, certainly appears somewhat anachronistic today, considering that the Faeroese now enjoy high standards of living and that it takes a lot of imagination to imagine that to illuminate their homes they use lamps powered with whale oil! Among other things, it is not explained why, despite being scientifically established that the meat of globicephala melas contains high levels of mercury, extremely harmful to human health, this hunt continues. In fact, always on the same site we read "this fact is a source of concern but it is not a reason to stop hunting because the health risks must be offset by the fact that whale meat is rich in polyunsaturated fats, is lean and rich in proteins ".

So what is the real reason? Maybe a hunt that has now become a sport?

But how does this hunt happen?

The calderones, peaceful animals, very curious and that move in herds, during their migrations, pass near the Faroe Islands, especially in the summer. hunting (the working daters give permission to participate and even a daily allowance). In practice, the whales are surrounded in a semicircle by boats and conveyed to small pre-established bays that are located close to the cities, towards the shallow water, where their slaughterers await them.

According to official sources, a clean cut would be made in the neck to sever the spinal cord and arteries so the animal would remain paralyzed and lose consciousness in 5-10 ". According to the testimonies of the people who witnessed this slaughter, the videos and photos that are on the net, things do not happen exactly in this way: the whales, to be taken to the shallow water would be hooked by the tail, dragged ashore and then brutally stabbed to death while they struggle and scream in pain and the sea turns red with their blood.

Foreigners cannot watch this hunt, so I ask myself: if things are really so "human" as described by the Faroese, why is it forbidden to watch it?

A big complaint about this situation is made by the

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

the company founded in 1977 by Captain Paul Watson, at the time, co-founder of Greenpeace, always in the foreground to try to stop these atrocities, which entitles the article "There is something very rotten in Denmark" of which we report some passages translated from 'English:

"The horrific annual slaughter of thousands of defenseless pilot whales each year in the Faroe Islands, in the Danish language Faroe Islands, is just as cruel as the slaughter of the dolphin carried out by the Japanese in Taiji. I heard the screams of the mortally wounded pilot whales screaming for their lives as they bathed the avinated faces of their slaughterers with their hot blood, laughing as they raped them with their blades. It is a monstrous spectacle and it is an obscenity fully embraced by the Danish government and by many Danish people (...) ».

Although there is no evidence that they are endangered

as the IUNC Red List 2008 classifies it among the species of which there is no news (at this address you can find the card), so it is not possible to estimate their population, there is no doubt that their main food , squid, are constantly decreasing with the consequences that this entails on the population of this species as well as the fact that they are seriously threatened by environmental pollution.Now the question that arises is: given that these islands, although belonging to Denmark, are not part of the European Union,

is there a possibility of intervention that can put an end to this massacre?

To a post to the European Commission on this issue, Stavros Dimas, the EU Commissioner for the Environment replies that the European Union bans the hunting of all species of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) according to Council Directive 92/43 / EEC , of 21 May 1992, on the conservation of natural and semi-natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora known as the Bern Convention on the basis of which it is also forbidden to sell or trade cetaceans and the introduction for mainly commercial purposes pursuant to Regulation (EC) no. 338/97 of the Council concerning the protection of wild flora and fauna species by controlling their trade. However, this legislation does not apply to pilot whales that are hunted on the Faroe Islands as they are not part of the European Union. It is also true that Denmark has signed the Berne Convention but declaring that this agreement does not apply to Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Therefore the European Union cannot legally intervene towards these countries. Same goes for the IWC (International Whaling Commission) in fact, while protecting whales internationally, pilot whales, being part of the "small cetaceans" category, are not of their relevance.

At its meeting on June 5, 2008, the European Commission reinforces the above: "Whaling is not authorized in European Union waters. Under Community environmental law, all whale species are protected in EU waters. However, the EU does not oppose whaling by indigenous peoples for subsistence purposes - as provided for by the IWC Convention - provided that this activity respects catch limits established on the basis of scientific advice. (…) The Commission, on the other hand, condemns disguised whaling in the form of scientific research, as practiced in Japan. "

Now the fact that this archipelago does not join the EU it means that it is bound in this sense so that the European Union itself cannot be an authoritative voice, also considering that the Danish government does not enter into the matter.

But then if neither at the community level nor at the international level there is no control over the killing of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands, what can be done to put an end to these massacres?

If you do not acquire a cultural awareness but continue to think that the human being, as a dominant species, has unconditional rights over what is different from his nature and can dispose of them at will; whether economic interests continue to prevail; if the pleasure as an end in itself of a hunt made for pure sport and fun does not cease, the problem will never be solved.

The civilized world with people of good will is working hard to try to find a solution. But the road is long and difficult. The same IWC meeting that was held in Santiago de Chile in June 2008 did not produce concrete results on the problem of whaling: they will still be the object of hunting for scientific purposes and Aboriginal hunting for subsistence purposes.

The United Nations, on September 25, 2008

in their annual progress report towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, they included "significantly reducing the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010". Progress will be monitored by measuring the percentage of species threatened with extinction (calculated with the IUCN Red List) which, among other species, also includes Globicephala melas.

The most disconcerting thing is that today a new motivation for these hunts is taking over

: whales, like dolphins, eat too much fish and therefore are depleting the seas and for this reason they must be hunted! Thesis supported above all by Japan, Norway and Iceland (the largest whale hunters in the world).

Unfortunately, we know the ferocity of the Japanese and the massacres they carried out off Taiji in Japan: every year they hunt and kill about 20,000 dolphins destined, the less robust, for food industries and restaurants while the best specimens for dolphins and water circuses. In this regard, I point out the interesting questions / answers of the Japanese Institute of Cetacean Research that are very "illuminating" regarding the motivations that push these people to these mass killings.

Environmental associations around the world are fighting, each in their own way, to stop these massacres at all levels and in all countries of the world. Many projects aim at creating marine reserves and strengthening the IWC's provisions on commercial hunting. Unfortunately, there are not enough funds to support all the campaigns that should be carried out, so it is "the voice of the people" that must be heard, become more aware of the subject, stop eating whale meat, put pressure on it. on governments to adopt conservative policies.

Some time ago, driven by curiosity, I started doing a search to understand who and what was dealing with this problem, so I started searching the net to see how many associations, organizations, commissions, sub-commissions, control bodies, companies etc. . etc. (and allow me etc. which in this case is a must) that in the end I had to give up because the situation is so vast and tangled that it is not possible to find a common thread: it is a universe. Now, I am firmly convinced that each in its own way is important and gives its small / large contribution but perhaps if there were a little less organisms and that money were spent to do more in-depth studies, to create natural reserves, to carry out some awareness campaigns, perhaps some more results could be obtained today

At this point the initial question returns: why even though the massacres of the Faroe Islands have been perpetrated for years, do we hear about them only occasionally, in a whisper, as if it were to pass over in silence?

I believe that among the many environmental issues that anguish our country, and more generally the world, this is in fact considered an infinitesimal drop and therefore is considered as such, that is to say in a totally irrelevant way.

I do not consider this fact a justification because in the era of globalization, the declaration of the millennium (the most important declaration in the world that has ever been made) proclaimed by the United Nations and to which 189 countries (out of 191) have joined. Denmark and also Italy where, among other things, we talk about the conservation of the species, biodiversity, the protection of the sea and the oceans, even this small drop must have its own voice.

I point out this YouTube address, which shows this massacre and given the cruelty of the images I don't feel like putting it online on the site as it is also read by children.

In this article there is a lot of blood and I don't want to end it like this but with this image and this song by Roberto Carlos El progreso "Progress", so that they are a hope: that man finally becomes a human being.

Translated text:

"I wish I could tame a fierce beast,
I wish I could transform many impossible things,
I would like to decide many things that could make me feel good about myself,
I wish I could embrace my worst enemy,
I ask not to be able to see so many dark clouds in the sky,
sailing without finding so many oil stains in the sea and whales that are disappearing due to lack of commercial scruples.
I ask to be civil like animals. Lara la, lara la .... (twice)
I would like not to see so much green in a land that is dying and in the waters of rivers the fish that are disappearing,
I would like to shout that such black gold is nothing but black poison, we already know that for all this we already live less,
I can't accept certain things that I don't already understand,
the trade in weapons of war of the undead,
I would like to talk about happiness instead of sadness but I am not capable,
I ask to be civil like animals.
Lara la, lara la .... I ask to be civil like animals (twice)
I am not against progress if there is a good consensus, mistakes do not correct other mistakes, this is what I think (twice) "

If we can really do something, if you have any suggestions, advice or collaborations, write to us at [email protected]

Dr. Maria Giovanna Davoli

Online bibliographic sources:

  • (en) The IUCN Red list of Threatened Species
  • (en) Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (from which the photos are taken unless otherwise indicated)
  • (en) IWC (International Whaling Commission)
  • (en) Foroya Landsstyri
  • (en) European Parliament
  • (en) European Union


The geographical map was taken from De Agostini geographical atlas, Geographical Institute de Agostini Novara, 1998 edition

Massacre of Calderones dolphins in the Faroe Islands (Denmark)

Every year, a brutal and bloody massacre takes place in the Faroe Islands, which belong to Denmark.

Denmark, a supposed 'civilized' country, a member of the European Union, too few people in the world know of this horrible and deplorable event that repeats itself every year.

This bloody massacre is the fruit of young men who participate in it to prove that they have reached adulthood: it is absolutely incredible that nothing is done to stop this barbarism.

A barbarism against the Calderones dolphins, a super intelligent and sociable dolphin who approaches people out of curiosity.

Give us our daily horror today.
Personally I believe that first of all it is necessary to turn this link to inform as much as possible, sending to everyone, friends, relatives, colleagues, discussion forums and blogs, contacting the local offices of the associations for the defense of animals, ANPA, LAV, the ministries and politicians you can harass, inviting them to write letters and emails of indignant protest and requests for intervention at the Danish Embassy in Rome.
The collection of signatures is an excellent idea, but to give greater resonance and dissemination to the initiative it would be better if it started from an association with a pool of users certainly larger than the contacts of a single person.
In any case, the e-mail address to write to is.
I wrote in English, but I think that if they are in Rome they will also understand Italian.
Act, act, act, otherwise it is useless to complain and be indignant at all the distortions in the world.

I add a link for an online petition.

And I also wrote to the embassy. If there are any other good ideas, get them rolling.

you can sign the petition if you want
I did it. I found this:

I add a link for an online petition.

And I also wrote to the embassy. If there are any other good ideas, get them rolling.

To death all the Danes.
Why when you receive an email "Bloody" do people stop thinking?
You hear only one bell, "give it to the greaser" people shout!
Read up on it!
do you think international organizations against vivisection and the like would ignore this if it were completely true?

interesting link that DOES NOT deny but adds information about it: i-dolphins.html

Read up on, ask questions! don't believe everything, be super smart like dolphins!

And in fact it is true, even your very active one says so: "This article does NOT state that the appeal described below is a hoax"

But sorry, who is your very active one: Jesus?
If you also look in the comments, you will find statements that are in contrast with the information given by Beppe Grillo. and who is right then?

In my opinion, the purpose of this article is not to be the "Gospel", but to open our eyes to this situation, to make the reader reflect on this cruelty so that he can take the measures he deems most appropriate (inquiring, participating in the petition or writing emails. or why not, boycott some products from the supermarket or change your lifestyle by becoming for example vegetarian or vegan)

As many already know, a particularly bloody tradition has been in place for a long time in the Faeroe Islands, in Danish territory.

You can read here about the latest massacre that took place a few days ago and documented by Sea Shepherd:

On 19 July 2010, a pod of 263 pilot whales dolphins were mercilessly exterminated near the city of Klaksvik in the Danish Faeroe Islands. Sea Shepherd was able to document the massacre thanks to the efforts of an agent who operated in secrecy and who had been staying for some time among the locals in order to be able to resume the "grind". Grind is a cruel method of whaling where whales are pushed into bays and then cut their backbones with knives.

"Pilot whales are known to travel in flocks of 200 to 300 members. Two hundred and thirty-six pilot whales dolphins were slaughtered last night in Klaskvik: males, pregnant and nursing females, unripe animals and unborn pups. , still attached to their mothers by the umbilical cord. An entire herd that once swam freely in the North Atlantic has been exterminated in a single bloodbath. "

Unfortunately, this is a barbarism that has been going on for a long time and which cannot be put to an end.

We write to the Danish embassy in Italy to make our voices heard. Of course they will reply that the islands are independent and Denmark cannot intervene, but this is clearly just an excuse.

Standard message to send (remember to put your name and surname at the bottom):

Dear Embassy of Denmark,

I am writing to join the protest against yet another massacre of dolphins which took place a few days ago in the Faeroe Islands, in Danish territory.
This barbaric and bloody practice, which horrifies the whole world, is in no way excusable!

I ask the Danish government to step in forcefully to ban this kind of horrific slaughter forever.

Waiting for your reply, best regards,

We write to the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands:
[email protected]

2 lines in English are enough, something like this, which asks you to ask
end the massacre and ban these cruelties (always remember to sign
at the bottom with name and surname):

Please, stop dolphin massacre in Faeroe Islands!
Ban this cruelty!

Stop the slaughter of calderon dolphins in the faroe islands in denmark

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because it is a cruel act, even Leonardo da Vinci said that man can feed himself, there are many possibilities, without resorting to this uncivil and barbaric torment

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  • 1 Origin of the name
  • 2 History
  • 3 The hunt
    • 3.1 Sighting
    • 3.2 Location
    • 3.3 Regulations
    • 3.4 Districts
    • 3.5 Supervision
    • 3.6 The actual hunt
    • 3.7 After the hunt
  • 4 Transformation into food
  • 5 Cultural importance
  • 6 Statistics
  • 7 Threat to whales
  • 8 Criticisms
  • 9 Notes
  • 10 Bibliography
  • 11 Related items
  • 12 Other projects
  • 13 External links

In the Faroese language the word grind (prefix of grindadráp) can have several meanings. With the expression ein grind we can mean a pod of whales. The plural, grindirinstead, it indicates two or more pods of whales. But the grind it is also an event of the Faroese inhabitants today. The word grind comes from the Norse language. In the Faroese language whale of dice grindahvalur or grindafiskur, literally fish-grind. Dráp instead it means killing or slaughter. Hence, the right translation of grindadráp would be killing the whale or slaughter of the whale. However, traditionally the word grindadráp is rendered in Italian as whaling.

In ancient times, when a herd of whales were sighted, they screamed grindaboð. The words grind is boð mean respectively whale is scream. Hence, the literal translation would be message-grind, or whale message or, perhaps more correctly, news-of-grind, that is whale news, "Here she is".

Whaling has been an activity that has been going on for several centuries. It was initially very developed in Iceland, the Hebrides, the Shetland Islands and the Orkney Islands.

Settlements, which have been founded by the Norsemen since the 12th century, such as Norðragøta, show that in ancient times whaling was very important for the economic survival of the family. In addition, whale meat and fat made up a large part of the diet of the ancient Faroese. Fat in particular became very important for transformation into oil, which was used for lighting and other purposes. The leather was finally used for the production of ropes and ropes.

Laws were drawn up for the protection of whales in the Middle Ages. Some citations of these regulations have been found in Norway. The oldest legislative document found on the Faroe Islands, called the "Sheep Letter", dates back to 1298. It includes laws limiting the number of whale killing.

Whaling of the Faroe Islands, or grindadráp, is carried out in several steps. First of all, you need to spot a herd of whales near an authorized beach. Once spotted, other boats are called to surround the herd and push it ashore. Finally, each whale is beached, killed and worked on.

Sighting Edit

A very effective system has been devised for whaling. Reverend Lucas Jacobsøn Debes improved and implemented this system, which has been in use since the 17th century until today. The ancient system consisted of sighting a herd of whales and, once this was done, alerting the nearby inhabitants. At that point, the inhabitants of the neighboring islands were also warned with a fire, who rushed to the processing of the hunted whale.

This system is considered the oldest of all. This is because it took far more people and consequently far more boats to kill a pod of whales than the other methods. Today, however, news of a whale sighting is spread around the area via cell phones and other modern means of communication.

Location Edit

The location chosen for whaling is obviously chosen based on the number of animals in the area. It is illegal to kill whales in places with inappropriate conditions, such as with villages and towns nearby. The seabed must be sloping from shore to sea, with no deeper holes or elevations for good whaling. In fact, a slightly sloping seabed is an excellent condition for dragging a trapped whale to the shore without damaging it. When a pod of whales is spotted, boats approach them to trap them, and this, for good hunting, must take place at the edge of a bay or fjord. There are 17 towns and villages on the Faroe Islands that can host good whaling and are therefore legal for whaling. These are Bøur, Fámjin, Fuglafjørður, Syðrugøta, Húsavík, Hvalba, Hvalvík, Hvannasund, Klaksvík, Miðvágur, Norðskáli, Sandavágur, Sandur, Tórshavn, Tvøroyri and Vestman. These cities are some of the major places where whales are killed according to statistics, which began in 1854 and continue to this day.

Modification Regulation

In the early 19th century, in the Faroese Parliament (Løgting) it was decided to make the rules on whaling stricter. On June 4, 1907 the Danish Parliament (in the Faroese language amtmaður) drafted a law to prevent the extinction of whales. In the following years, these laws lost importance, but in 1932 the first rule in the Faroe Islands was established on the protection of whales. After this event, every part of the whaling process was adapted according to the laws. This not only meant that fewer whales were killed, but also helped to preserve the tradition of yesteryear, when many whales could not be hunted due to lack of technology. The regulation includes the use of ancient clothes, which however are uncomfortable and inappropriate.

Districts Edit

Since 1832 the Faroe Islands have been divided into districts to divide whaling evenly and to avoid an excessive number of killing of these animals. The whales are transported to the appropriate industries, present in all the districts, so that the residents have a chance to work.

Supervision Change

Prior to the implementation of the 1948 Act, the Danish Parliament was responsible for supervising whales in the Faroe Islands. Today oversight is the responsibility of the Faroese government. The government is responsible for ensuring that the regulations and provisions relating to pilot whaling are followed. In practice, each hunt takes place under the supervision of a local representative of the legislative power who is responsible for the preparation, actual hunt and distribution of the catch.

The actual hunt Edit

The elements that make up whaling are hooks, ropes and tools for measuring whales. A boat equipped in this way is certainly reserved for this activity. The whaling boat is not like the traditional small Faroese boat, but neither is a large vehicle like those reserved for the coast guard, and it does not contain the modern machinery. The whaling boat is simply described as a small boat, which is also used for processing the catch.

When hunters encounter a whale, they have the option to move it. You have this right only when you meet, in a fjord or in a bay, a pod of whales, and of course when the marine conditions allow it. Among the code of whaling laws, there is a rule that says that if you encounter a pod of whales you can trap them and bring them ashore. Per condurre verso la riva il branco di balene le barche formano un semicerchio. Al segnale del caposquadra del gruppo di cacciatori, delle pietre vengono lanciate nell'acqua dietro il branco di balene, così si è più facilitati a spostare le balene fino alla spiaggia, dove verranno poi trasportate nelle fabbriche per il loro lavoro. Non è permesso, nell'oceano aperto, acchiappare le balene con una fune. Lo spostamento di un branco di balene deve sempre avvenire sotto la supervisione di un'autorità del luogo.

Le balene che non vengono arenate sulla spiaggia sono spesso sottoposte all'estrazione del grasso con un oggetto affilato (chiamato in lingua faroese sóknarongul), dopodiché vengono tirate a terra. Ma, dopo l'accusa di maltrattamento di animali, i cacciatori faroesi hanno iniziato a usare oggetti che permettono alla preda di morire prima, per non farla soffrire troppo (questo oggetto in lingua faroese si chiama blásturongul). Oggi questo utensile viene utilizzato solo per arenare questi cetacei sulla spiaggia. Gli oggetti più primitivi, che furono inventati nel 1993, furono accettati, ma sostituiti da ulteriori utensili più efficaci e moderni. Comunque, gruppi contro la caccia alla balena come Greenpeace e l'Associazione per la tutela dei delfini e delle balene (WDCS) richiedono la diminuzione di uccisione di animali Sea Shepherd effettua campagne in difesa dei globicefali ed esercita pressioni per porre fine al massacro dei cetacei.

Inoltre, nel 1985, le isole Fær Øer hanno vietato l'uso di strumenti come arpioni e lance per l'attività di caccia alla balena, considerati non necessari, ma anche crudeli, perché non uccidono subito la vittima, ma la fanno soffrire.

Dopo aver arenato le balene sulla spiaggia, i cacciatori tagliano il dorso delle prede presso la spina dorsale con uno speciale coltello, chiamato in lingua faroese grindaknívur. Date le circostanze, questo coltello è considerato il miglior modo per uccidere una balena, perché la uccide subito senza farla soffrire tanto tempo. Naturalmente, neanche con questo metodo, la morte è istantanea. Dopo aver tagliato la balena, essa può essere ancora viva pochi secondi o pochi minuti. La media aritmetica che è stata calcolata è di circa 30 secondi. [senza fonte]

Dopo la caccia Modifica

Durante il taglio alla spina dorsale di una balena, le loro maggiori arterie vengono recise. Questo causa una colorazione del mare circostante rosso-sangue. Questo causa molte polemiche e critiche da parte di gruppi per la tutela dei cetacei.

Da quando armi da fuoco, arpioni e lance non vengono più usate in questa attività, ogni cetaceo deve essere ucciso individualmente sulla battigia utilizzando l'apposito coltello.

Ólavur Sjúrðaberg, presidente dell'associazione faroese dei cacciatori di balene, descrive la caccia alla balena in questo modo: "Sono sicuro che nessuno uccida i propri animali senza sentirsi scosso. È una cosa che vuoi essere fatta nel modo più rapido possibile e con la minima sofferenza per l'animale [. ] Posso ben capire le forti reazioni che la gente ha nei confronti delle immagini della caccia alla balena nelle Faroe, ma ogni tipo di carne era prima una creatura vivente che qualcuno ha dovuto uccidere per poterla avere nel piatto. La gente sembra dimenticare questa semplice realtà della vita" [3] .

La maggior parte della dieta tradizionale faroese è costituita da carne. Questo perché le isole Fær Øer, avendo un clima freddo, poco soleggiato ed estremamente ventoso, non consentono un buono sviluppo dell'attività agricola. Durante l'inverno, i feroesi mangiano per lo più carne salata o cibo essiccato (comprendente pesci, carni - per la maggior parte di pecora-, uccelli e balene). Questo ha fatto sì che, per gli abitanti degli Stati del Nord Atlantico, la balena fosse una grande e pregiata risorsa cibaria tradizionale.

Il grasso e la carne delle balene vengono prevalentemente mangiate, in queste isole, nelle case più antiche. Questo ha fatto in modo che la carne non venisse venduta al supermercato, ma ridistribuita gratuitamente tra gli abitanti del luogo. Benché le isole Fær Øer esportino pesce, la balena non viene commercializzata (a differenza di quanto avviene, ad esempio, in Islanda). Su circa 956 balene (dati medi tra il 1990 e il 1999 [4] ), cioè 500 tonnellate di carne e grasso, il 30% è prodotto nell'arcipelago.

La carne e il grasso delle balene rappresentano una specialità tipica faroese. Fino allo scorso secolo, questo cibo costituiva la maggior parte della dieta degli abitanti dell'arcipelago [5] . Carne e grasso possono essere cucinati in vari modi, il più famoso dei quali è grind og spik. Quando è ancora fresca, la carne viene bollita e servita tagliata in fette. La bistecca di balena in lingua faroese è chiamata grindabúffur. Carne, grasso e patate in buccia vengono messi in una pentola e fatti cuocere per circa un'ora. Sottili fette di grasso sono tipicamente accompagnate al pesce essiccato.

Per conservare il cibo, un tempo, sulle isole Fær Øer, si salava o si lasciava all'aria aperta in modo da essiccarlo. Oggi, più frequentemente, si lascia in freezer. Il modo tradizionale è meno utilizzato, ma comunque, di rado, è ancora attivo, soprattutto nei villaggi più piccoli.

I turisti che visitano l'arcipelago, e che vogliono assaggiare le specialità del posto, possono degustarle nelle varie feste, soprattutto estive, in cui carne e grasso di balena vengono venduti per le strade delle città e dei villaggi.

Nel giugno 2011 la Faroese Food and Veterinary Authority ha prodotto un documento ufficiale nel quale suggerisce agli adulti, viste le alte dosi di mercurio e PCB presenti nei cetacei, di non assumere carne di balena più di una volta al mese e di non mangiarne reni e fegato consiglia inoltre alle donne che desiderano una gravidanza di astenersi completamente dal consumare grasso di balena e a quelle in gravidanza o in allattamento di astenersi totalmente dal consumo della loro carne.

La caccia alla balena occupa una parte importante nella cultura faroese. Gli uomini faroesi ritengono che l'attività di grindadráp faccia sentire faroesi. Le donne non prendono parte all'attività, ma sono favorevoli a quanto dicono i maschi.

Nell'arte e nella letteratura faroese, la parola grindadráp ha diversi significati. Grindadráp è anche un dipinto di Sámal Joensen-Mikines. Questo quadro, insieme ad altre opere dell'artista, è conservato nel museo di Tórshavn, la capitale dell'arcipelago indipendente. Il Governatore delle isole Fær Øer del XIX secolo fu il danese Christian Pløyen scrisse la canzone Pilot Whaling, in lingua danese.

Questi antichi versi (circa 1835) oggi non sono più cantati dai faroesi. Nella maggior parte del mondo (Danimarca inclusa) sono considerati troppo rétro per lo stile d'oggi.

Documenti sulla caccia alla balena esistono dal 1584 le statistiche sulle uccisioni, invece, sono state svolte ininterrottamente dal 1709, anno facente parte del periodo in cui la caccia agli animali era molto sviluppata, ritenuta un hobby, a oggi [6] .

La pesca è conosciuta, in lingua faroese, come skinn, il quale nome era più anticamente un indicatore nell'agricoltura. Uno skinn equivale a 38 chilogrammi di carne di balena e più di 34 chilogrammi di grasso: in totale sono 72.

Le balene uccise ogni anno vengono registrate.

Periodo Spostamenti Balene uccise Skinn
1709–1950 1 195 178 259 1 360 160
1951–1960 122 18 772 99 102
1961–1970 130 15 784 79 588
1971–1980 85 11 311 69 026
1981–1990 176 18 806 108 714
1991–2000 101 9 212 66 284
2001 11 918 7 447
2002 10 626 4 263
2003 5 503 3 968
2004 9 1 010 8 276
2005 6 302 2 194
2006 11 856 6 615
2007 10 633 5 522
2008 N/A 0 N/A
2009 3 310 N/A
2010 N/A 1 107 N/A
2011 16 726 N/A
2012 10 713 N/A
2013 N/A 1 104 N/A
2014 N/A 48 N/A
2015 N/A 492 N/A

Fonte: Caccia alla balena sulle isole Fær Øer [6] .

Secondo la lista IUCN di specie minacciate, quella dell'Unione Internazionale per la Conservazione della Natura (IUCN), le balene pilota del nord-Atlantico non sono minacciate. Per IUCN 778.000 balene si trovavano nell'Oceano Atlantico settentrionale nel 1992. Associazioni favorevoli alla caccia alla balena, come la commissione marina dei mammiferi del nord Atlantico, ritengono che la caccia alla balena sia una tradizione da non perdere.

Dal 1997 al 1999, 956 balene all'anno furono uccise, quindi poco più dello 0.1% della popolazione totale [7] .

Nonostante i dati ufficiali, molti gruppi ecologisti sostengono che la caccia sia una grave minaccia alla popolazione dei globicefali, perché ritengono poco affidabile il dato sulla quantità totale di questi animali.

Inoltre le balene, grazie a ciò che comunemente viene chiamato “ciclo del ferro”, contribuiscono in modo significativo alla produzione di ossigeno. [8]

Sono state scattate molte fotografie durante le attività di caccia alla balena, molte delle quali riportano il mare color rosso sangue causato dalle balene uccise in acqua. Queste immagini, riportate periodicamente dai quotidiani di tutto il mondo ad opera principalmente di una campagna ambientalista promossa da Sea Shepherd a partire da anni recenti (intorno al 2010), hanno causato molte critiche e quindi hanno dato origine ad associazioni per la protezione di questi animali, come la commissione internazionale per la caccia alle balene [9] e la commissione marina dei mammiferi del nord Atlantico (anche NAMMCO) [10] .

Molti faroesi (anche se non la totalità della popolazione) ritengono che cacciare le balene sia una cosa complessivamente positiva per mantenere la propria tradizione, che è presente nella loro comunità da secoli e che ne assicurerebbe la sopravvivenza indipendente dal commercio con l'estero e anche nell'epoca futura "post picco del petrolio". Con questa motivazione i faroesi si giustificano contro le varie associazioni per la protezione degli animali, come anche Greenpeace che ritiene che la caccia alla balena sia un inutile insieme di uccisioni. In secondo luogo, questa popolazione, cacciando le balene, ha sviluppato una tradizione culinaria originale [5] .

Nonostante la Danimarca si sia dichiarata contraria a questa strage, una trasmissione televisiva italiana ha documentato che durante le attività di caccia sono presenti alcune motovedette della marina danese con funzioni di controllo e che la polizia locale arresta chi si oppone, protesta o registra la strage delle balene. [11]

Retrogrado e incoerente

There fauna marina è certamente tra quelle più sfruttate che esistano sul nostro pianeta. The pesce è considerato dalla quasi totalità delle culture un cibo of alta qualità. Alcune di queste però danno adito a delle pratiche barbare imparate dai propri antenati.

Per fare un esempio, nelle isole Faroe, negli scorsi giorni, si è svolta una pratica realmente aberrante. Parliamo della Grindadrap, una sorta di battuta di caccia collettiva che vede come scopo principale l’abbattimento di un numero incredibile di cetacei.

I dati riportano l’uccisione di 252 balene pilota a pinne lunghe e 35 delfini bianchi dell’Atlantico. Questo evento si svolge ogni anno ad Hvalba, piccola città situata su una delle isole vulcaniche.

“Nonostante una pandemia globale, gli psicopatici assetati di sangue nelle Isole Faroe danesi continuano le loro spietate uccisioni in serie. Con il mondo sull’orlo del collasso ecologico, combattendo una pandemia globale e affrontando un futuro incerto a causa di cambiamenti climatici imprevedibili, gli ignoranti e gli arroganti in questo territorio danese non stanno lasciando che le realtà ecologiche rovinino la loro orribile ossessione per l’omicidio sadico.”

Con queste parole, Paul Watson, fondatore della ong Sea Shepherd, ha commentato l’accaduto.

Massacro di delfini e balene nelle Isole Far Oer. Gli abitanti: "Fanno parte della nostra alimentazione"

Tra luglio e settembre le Isole Far Oer hanno portato avanti la caccia tradizionale a balene e delfini in 9 diverse spedizioni. Gli scatti diffusi dalla onlus Sea Sherpherd Global hanno fatto il giro del mondo per la loro crudezza - si vedono le carcasse dei cetacei squartate, le interiora degli animali che emergono dal loro corpo - e scatenato le ire degli animalisti.

La caccia ai delfini e alle balene è un'usanza locale che va avanti sin dal 1500. I pescatori attirano i mammiferi vicino alla costa, li arpionano e li trascinano a riva ancora vivi, dove vengono uccisi manualmente, uno ad uno. Con un coltello, infatti, le persone coinvolte nella mattanza recidono la colonna vertebrale degli animali, le cui carcasse poi presentano un netto e profondo taglio.

A partecipare alla "pesca" sono sia grandi che piccini e molti minorenni hanno poi mostrato con orgoglio le mani insanguinate. Secondo la stima fornita da Sea Shepherd Global, sarebbero stati uccisi 198 esemplari di delfini e ben 436 balene nel corso delle nove cacce recenti, mentre nelle Isole sarebbero in tutto 19 i punti in cui i cetacei sono stati trascinati per essere ammazzati.

"È un'usanza barbarica" hanno commentato i volontari della onlus, riusciti ad assistere alla mattanza mescolandosi tra i turisti. "Abbiamo visto molte balene ormai trascinate a riva sbattere volontariamente la loro testa contro dei massi: erano impazzite dal dolore". Diversi ragazzini, inoltre, dove aver ucciso gli animali ne hanno estratto i denti con un coltello.

Il governo delle Isola Far Oer ha annunciato la pesca di oltre 1700 cetacei solo nel 2017 e ha protestato contro il reportage dell'organizzazione animalista, sottolineando che il suo racconto dipinge i cittadini danesi come degli psicopatici e getta cattiva luce sulla località. "La carne di balena fa parte della nostra dieta. L'uccisione di ogni cetaceo ci dà diverse centinaia di chili di carne e grasso, che altrimenti dovremmo importare dagli altri Stati".

Video: Dolphins being inhumanely killed at Hvannasund in the Faroe Islands - 2018