RED SEA

Whaling in the Faroe IslandsRED SEA: Whaling in the Faroe Islands. An interesting book about a very controversial subject. The Faroe Islands is a small country in the middle of the North Atlantic, consisting of 18 small islands and a population of about 50.000 people. Over the last 15 years the Faroes have experienced an explosive growth in tourism, and people who visit the islands are astonished by the beautiful and unspoiled scenery, and the hospitality of the Faroese people. These islands ARE truly a paradise on earth, but there is one thing that has many people, animal lovers in particular, in an uproar against the small population on the Faroes: The Grind.


Occasionally a pod of whales is spotted swimming near the islands, but instead of admiring these beautiful creatures as they swim by, the Faroese men rush into their boats. They then gather around, or behind the whales and chase them into the nearest “whale bay”, where the whales are slaughtered. It is a gruesome sight as the sea turns red, and in minutes the whole pod, often consisting of more than 100 whales, lies dead in the shallow crimson water.

Some years ago, an organization by the name of Sea Shepherd, best known from the television series Whale Wars, began campaigning against what has become known as “The Grind”, a word originating from the Faroese word “Grindadráp” which means whaling or whale kill. Sea Shepherd, with their charismatic leader Paul Watson at the helm, say that the whale killings are nothing but a barbaric tradition performed by sadistic animal haters, who stab and batter the whales to death for fun.

The Faroese on the other hand claim that the killings are a way to get food, and that every edible piece of the whale is harvested and used for human consumption. But their arguments that it is a necessary food source, since it is impossible to harvest anything except potatoes and rhubarbs in the Faroes, and that the Faroese live solely on import, apart from what nature provides, hold little weight with Sea Shepherd and their followers.

There have been aggressive confrontations between Sea Shepherd protesters and pro whalers, and Sea Shepherd is continuously running campaigns against whaling, trying to turn the global community against the Faroese people, while the Faroese claim that these campaigns are fuelled by false propaganda, manipulated images and videos, and outright lies.

RED SEA is a book that goes behind the scenes, and gives a factual walkthrough of the whole process, from the whales are spotted, and until it is distributed among the people on the islands. It deals with the views of both sides, the history behind Sea Shepherd and their methods, and the views of the Faroese people. There are facts about how the killings are conducted and by whom, and all the regulations and laws about the whaling are written in the Faroese Whaling Legislation, which is included in this book.

A well written factual and philosophical walkthrough about a very controversial subject.

A must read for everyone with an interest in the Faroes, animal rights and animal activism.

 

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