Wednesday, September 11, 2013



January 21, 2013 by Ric O'Barry,
 Earth Island Institute


By Helene Hesselager O’Barry
Program Associate
Dolphin Project
Earth Island Institute

Just one week after Ric and I had left the Faroe Islands, a pilot whale hunt took place in Vagur on the southernmost island of Suðuroy.  At 7 the following morning, Faroese radio announced that 196 pilot whales had been killed.  Images of the drive hunt were posted on Facebook, and information on its progress was updated in real time.  Many of us hoped up until the last minute that the pilot whales would escape.  This did not happen.  Their fate was wrenchingly depicted with images of the blood bath of trapped pilot whales being killed and butchered.

One image shows a pilot whale with a gaping cut across the back of its neck, exposing layers of blubber and flesh.  It is obvious that the animal is still alive, as its tail flukes are raised high above the turbulent water.  We received an eye witness account from an 8-year-old Faroese child that unborn pilot whales were ripped from their mothers’ wombs and tossed in garbage bins.

The torment and physical pain inflicted on the animals must have been enormous, and a never-before-seen storm of messages on Facebook condemned the slaughter with outbursts such as “Criminals!”, “Barbarians!”, and “Mass murderers!”   And perhaps the most contentious of them all: “Maybe eating all that toxin will kill these heartless jerks.”  It is a natural human reaction to feel anguish at such animal cruelty, especially at not being able to do anything about it from a distance.  Typing an enraged comment in the heat of the moment and sending it off into cyberspace is an easy way of temporarily releasing some of that anguish.

But it is not going to save a single pilot whale from capture and slaughter.  All it does is further widen the gap between those who kill the pilot whales and those of us who seek to protect them.  Having talked to several Faroese people, we have become convinced that an aggressive reaction to the pilot whale slaughter backfires on the pilot whales, in that it creates an even stronger sentiment among whalers to continue their actions.

Faroese conservationist Rúni Nielsen has spent much of his time lately calling for people to channel their frustration in a more constructive manner and has this to say about the recent Facebook outrage: “Verbal insults prolong the pilot whale slaughter by turning the pilot whaling issue into one of outsiders seeking to force change through aggression. Pro-whalers react to the resulting polarization by digging in their heels and refusing to change their ways.  It makes it so much more difficult for those of us in the Faroe Islands who work to stop the slaughter through dialog and education.”  Rúni adds that responding to the slaughter with discriminatory outbursts could even turn some Faroese people who have never hunted pilot whales before into whale hunters in a protest against the insults.

It is worth noticing that some Faroese people have not made up their minds about the pilot whale slaughter.  For outsiders to react to the slaughter with verbal aggression greatly increases the likelihood of those undecided individuals to join the whalers, rather than the whales’ protectors.

As Turid Christophersen, who lives in Tórshavn from where she advocates against the slaughter, puts it: “Nothing gets people together like a common enemy.” 

The validity of her observation is strengthened though a comment from an employee at a shopping center in Tórshavn: “I’m against pilot whaling, but when foreign animal welfare activists come here and yell obscenities at every Faroese person they encounter, I side with the whalers.”  We need to take such comments seriously, as they clearly demonstrate to what extent verbal insults empower the whale hunters.  Several Faroese people who we talked to want to see the pilot whale slaughter stop, and a change within their society is taking place. 

We can slow down or hinder that change by resorting to aggression, whereby some of those who would otherwise speak out against the slaughter are influenced to sympathize with the whalers out of loyalty to members of their own community.

To meet our goals, we must focus our attention on supporting the grassroots movement in the Faroe Islands that is working to stop the slaughter through an awareness campaign.  The pilot whales desperately need for us to choose the right approach.

On August 9, a drive hunt in Hvannasund killed 32 pilot whales, and ten days later, on August 19, another drive hunt killed 61 pilot whales, this time in Tjørnuvík.  And just five days later, on August 24, a pilot whale drive in Suðuroy, Hvalba, killed around 65 pilot whales.  “Can’t we just sink those islands?” someone suggested on Facebook.

The pilot whale slaughter is heartbreaking, but in order to help stop it, suggestions of violence must cease.  It comes down to this: How are we supposed to convince Faroese pilot whale hunters to make peace with the pilot whales as long as outsiders turn the issue into a war with words? 

The pilot whaling issue is widely debated among the Faroese people, and every Faroese person that we have met has been willing to talk to us about it.  The Faroese people are unique in that sense.  Their forthcoming nature coupled with their willingness to listen to the points of view of outsiders is the key to putting an end to the pilot whale slaughter: It is through the exchange of thoughts and knowledge that people open their minds to seeing things in a new and different light, thus allowing for a real and lasting change to take place. 

Read Helene’s story about her travels in the Faro Islands and the pilot whale hunt in Earth Island Journal here.

Saturday, August 31, 2013


August 5, 2012 by Ric O'Barry, Earth Island Institute
By Helene Hesselager O’Barry
Program Associate
Dolphin Project
Earth Island Institute

Having talked to many Faroese people, we now have the clear impression that those who belong to the older generation are not going to change their minds about the pilot whale slaughter.  Many of them view the slaughter as an important part of Faroese culture, and, as far as their health is concerned, they are willing to take their chances. 

Just a few examples: A married couple in their sixties who rents the upstairs of their house in Torshavn to tourists invites me into their kitchen and shows me several plastic bags containing pilot whale meat and blubber.  I ask them how they can eat it, knowing that it contains high levels of mercury and other dangerous toxins.  “We are at an age where it doesn’t matter much what we eat,” the husband says.  His wife is quick to add, “So many foods are unhealthy today, what difference does it make?  Besides, how are we supposed to turn down a free meal?”

Most Faroese people who belong to the older generation have been eating pilot whale since early childhood.  They have acquired a taste for it and do not want to give it up. 

A retired bus driver puts it this way:  “I can't imagine life without pilot whale meat.  It has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember."  I ask him if he is not concerned about the toxins.  His reply: "Not really.  I have heard of all the talk about toxins, but so far have never seen anyone collapse in the street from eating pilot whale."

Down by Torshavn harbor, a retired fisherman, who refers to pilot whales as “big fish,” tells me that he is not the least alarmed at the levels of toxins found in them and has no intention of following the advice of Faroese health authorities to cease consumption.  “I don’t want health authorities or anyone else to tell me what I can and cannot eat,” he says, adding that he would respond to news of a pilot whale sighting near the islands by getting in his boat and joining in the kill right away.  “The pilot whale kill is an important part of Faroese culture, and if it were up to me, it would never stop,” he says. 

Young mothers of the Faroe Islands, however,  view the issue from a very different perspective, according to 46-year-old Aggi Ásgerð Ásgeirsdóttir who has never served pilot whale to her children.  Aggi summarizes her views in saying, “It’s one thing to make that hazardous choice on your own behalf to continue eating pilot whale despite the warnings.  It’s an entirely different matter to make that choice on behalf of your children, thereby exposing them to the risks of health problems later in life.”

Chief Physician Dr. Pal Weihe has spent much of his time warning the Faroese population about the toxins found in pilot whales and has deemed the marine mammals unfit for human consumption.  I met him at his office in Torshavn from which there is a stunning view of the harbor where many of the boats used to drive schools of pilot whales ashore are anchored.  “It is incomprehensible to me that anyone would jeopardize their own health, and the health of their children, for the sake of maintaining a cultural manifestation,” Dr. Weihe says.  In regard to the remark about not wanting to turn down free food, he comments, “The Faroe Islands is a modern welfare society.  Nobody here needs to accept a free meal, especially if it’s at the risk of damaging their health.”

Dr. Weihe is optimistic that the days of the pilot whale slaughter are numbered.  And the slaughter will stop, he says, because of Faroese women.  “The young women take the health dangers seriously and have cut back drastically on their consumption.  They carry the tremendous responsibility of ensuring the health of their future children and filter out any arguments based on culture or politics,” Dr. Weihe says.  “Within not too long, pilot whale will no longer make up a significant part of anyone’s diet.  The alarming knowledge that pilot whale meat and blubber is damaging to human health will not only be heard by the Faroese population—it will be taken seriously.”

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Please use your voice to help #stopthegrind or Grindadrap ~ the annual hunt of pilot whales in the Faroe Isles. Please sign and share these petitions. 
Thank you.

If you want to help play a part in calling on the Government of the Faroe Islands to put an end whaling, please visit our Action Alert page here for a sample protest letter and addresses for the Prime Minister and Minister of Fisheries.



Translated from :

Online media showing pictures of the killing of some of the 1,100 whales and dolphins taken in the Faroe Islands over the last month has shocked and distressed people around the world and created fierce debates on social networks. To many outside observers, these images are in stark contrast to the islands’ reputation as a place of unspoilt natural beauty, and overshadow the country’s image as presented in tourism advertising. It is likely that the eye-catching branding campaign recently launched by Visit Faroe Islands would have more impact if Faroese whaling was not a reality.

In recent decades scientists around the world have made significant strides in understanding the behaviour of whales and dolphins and agree that they are typically highly social animals, with strong family bonds and their own ‘communities’. We now understand more about the complex ways in which they can suffer both pain and distress. It is, in part, this knowledge that makes the scenes of slaughter on Faroese shores so difficult for the great majority of people overseas to understand and accept. It is also these characteristics which elsewhere create a fascination with whales and make them the subject of a $2.1billion/year whale-watching industry worldwide, and in the most successful cases an individual animal can represent a value of hundreds of thousands of dollars to a coastal community.

We appreciate that pilot whaling has a strong significance in the Faroese community, based on long historical tradition, and we understand that some criticisms of whaling from overseas have been perceived as lacking respect or understanding for its role in Faroese culture. But cultures are, per definition, always evolving and last year a Gallup poll in the Faroe Islands revealed that 70% of people aged 15-39, and 51% of people in all age groups, believed that pilot whaling could end if its cultural and traditional significance could be preserved in other ways. This has happened in other countries, where a history of whaling is honoured with new community traditions, and captured in exhibits and displays.

It is clear that exploiting natural resources has always been central to the Faroese way of life, and history shows that people have skilfully adapted to new conditions and opportunities in the islands. It is our hope that the Faroese community will look to make use of whales in a new way, celebrating them as a positive focus for eco-tourism. This could both pay tribute to the importance of the pilot whales in the Faroese history and also benefit the islands’ tourism economy for the future.

Campaign Whale

Cetacean Society International
Dansk Dyreværn Aarhus
De Vilde Delfiner
Environmental Investigation Agency
Hans-Peter Roth
Humane Society International
Selskab til Bevarelse af Havpattedyr
Whale and Dolphin Conservation
World Society for the Protection of Animals

Photo Credits: 

Faroe Islands desktop wallpaper 

Reculver Towers and Faroe Islands 

Faroe Islands, Denmark - World full of Art

Ever heard of The Faroe Islands? » CSglobe 

Winners Of The National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest ~ phototips. 

CELTIC KANAN | Facebook 

Lost Islands: Faroe Islands, Denmark | Cruising Outpost 

File:Vestaravag torshavn, faroe islands, feb 2005.jpg - Wikimedia Commons 

Tjornuvik, Streymoy, Faroe Islands | Flickr - Photo Sharing! 

The amazing Faroe Islands : Get A Look At This 

Saturday, August 10, 2013



In response to the shocking slaughter of 267 pilot whales in Fuglafjørður, Faroe Islands, on July 30, following a kill of 125 the week before, a coalition of 13 international organisations including EIA have written to Faroe Islands Prime Minister Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen and Minister of Fisheries Jacob Vestergaard to register their extreme concern about the continued cruel and unnecessary killing of pilot whales.

The letter was also sent to the Chair of the Pilot Whalers Association and the local Chiefs of Police, all of whom have responsibilities for the hunts.
You can read the letter in full here. The signatory organisations are EIA, Animal Welfare Institute, Campaign Whale, Cetacean Society International, Dansk Dyreværn Århus, De Vilde Delfiner, Dyrenes Venner, GSM (Society for the Conservation of Marine Mammals), Humane Society International, Ocean Care, Pro Wildlife, Whale and Dolphin Conservation and World Society for the Protection of Animals.

The letter highlighted the mistakes made by those responsible for the conduct of Fuglafjørður hunt, mistakes which led to chaotic scenes of appalling cruelty and which expose the inherent problems associated with trying to achieving a quick, clean kill.

New regulations governing the hunt will be introduced on May 1, 2015 and the NGOs criticise the two-year wait for participants in the driving and killing of pilot whales to receive obligatory certification following training. They note that the introduction of new implements used to secure and kill the whales will not be effective in reducing suffering. Indeed, they have already been criticised by a panel of pro-whaling experts.

Faroe Islands Gaff Hook © EIA

The authors of the letter question the continued hunting of these creatures in the Faroe Islands and call for an end to pilot whaling, an activity that belongs only in history books, particularly as the pilot whales are so contaminated with toxic pollutants that the Faroese Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientist have warned that Faroese people should not eat the their meat and blubber.

Since the letters were sent, EIA has learnt that a further 100 whales were slaughtered in the Faroe Islands in yet another kill on August 8, 2013.

If you want to help play a part in calling on the Government of the Faroe Islands to put an end whaling, please visit our Action Alert page here for a sample protest letter and addresses for the Prime Minister and Minister of Fisheries.

Action alert: Tell Farose Govt to end slaughter of whales

August 5, 2013

Slaughtered pilot whales on the beach (via

Many were angered and distressed by our coverage last week of the two most recent mass killings of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands and subsequently contacted us for guidance as to how best and most effectively protest the slaughter.

While there are a number of petitions regarding Farose whaling circulating on the internet, we believe that a direct protest to the Government of the Faroe Islands would have more impact.

The most appropriate state officials to contact regarding whaling on the Faroe Islands are the Prime Minister and the Minister of Fisheries; their respective postal and email addresses are:

 Faroe Islander in deep water as the pilot whales are herded to and stranded on the beach (via

Prime Minister Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen
P.O.Box 64
FO- 110 Tórshavn
Faroe Islands

 Jacob Vestergaard
Minister of Fisheries
Bókbindaragøta 8
P.O. Box 347
FO-110 Tórshavn
Faroe Islands

You can compose your own message to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Fisheries, or you can use/adapt the template letter we have provided below. In either case, we would urge that the content of all letters of protest be kept civil and respectful to ensure letters are taken seriously.

Dear Sir

I write to express my extreme concern about the slaughter of 267 pilot whales in Fuglafjørður on July 30, 2013 which followed a kill of 125 whales in Viðvik on July 22, 2013.

Reports of the Fuglafjørður kill in the Faroese media show chaotic scenes that must have subjected the individual whales to extreme distress, pain and suffering. It is unacceptable for a highly modern society to treat animals in this way.

I ask why the decision was made to allow the kills of such large numbers of whales to take place when historical evidence shows that it is highly likely that the whales will be exposed to unacceptable cruelty.

I understand that the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientist have issued a warning to people in the Faroe Islands not to eat pilot whale because of the significant threat to human health posed by the pollutants found in the meat and blubber. Why, therefore, are these hunts allowed to continue when the resulting products are a danger to consumers?

I urge you to listen to what your experts and the outside world are saying and end the hunting of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands.

Yours faithfully


For more background click here.

- See more at:

<<<<<<<<<<< O >>>>>>>>>>

While we do agree that a personalized letter or email is best, if you do not have the time to do so, signing these petitions is far better than taking no action at all. Thank you.

You can also take action by signing these petitions. Thank you for being the voice for Faroe Isles Pilot Whales! 

Petitioning European Parliament 
European Parliament: Stop dolphin and whale massacre in Denmark!

Please sign the petition: Stop Killing The Dolphins On The Faeroe Islands

Petitioning Kaj Leo Johannesen 
End the Faroe Islands' Whale Slaughter!

Petitioning Prime Minister of Denmark
Stop the unnecessary slaughter and torture of Calderon dolphins
in the Faroe Islands
by Gabriel Gauvin








Monday, August 5, 2013


The following is via Elizabeth Batt , found published in the Digital Journal, July 29. 2013
Faroese are listening about the grindadráp, say dolphin advocates

"... The grind is a rudimentary outdoor slaughterhouse, and that is never pretty. I just try to have my eyes fixed on the goal. And a good idea for non-Faroese environmentalists is to engage in one-on-one respectful private messaging with Faroese. Be respectful and listen, and I guarantee they will also listen when you bring up your concerns respectfully.

Use these 3 points, which the Faroese whalers respect...

1. The whale meat and blubber is heavily contaminated with Methyl Mercury, PCB's and POP's. Point to the recommendation by Faroese Food Authorities and the findings of the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Pál Weihe and Executive Dr. Høgni Debes Joensen.

2. The killing method is tangent to animal cruelty, since you can't always secure perfect killing conditions in the elements of nature. There are also concerns about too large pods being killed on beaches with lesser capacity.

3. Insufficient knowledge about the situation of the population of the North Atlantic Long Finned Pilot Whale calls for research and caution in taking whole pods of whales. What does this mean for their total gene pool? And what other impacts threatens these animals? Does the mercury and other pollutants make the whales sick, and to what extent. Does is affect their ability to reproduce?

These are all valid arguments, and I have personally gained headway and respect from all sides, because I stick to these 3 points.

The cuteness factor and the non-human persons argument doesn't fly in the Faroes. It will close ears and close doors."

Please read the article «Faroese are listening about the grindadráp say dolphin advocates» ► — in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands.

Content provided by Olaf Janssen.
Monday, August 5-2013

Friday, August 2, 2013


This morning, on Tuesday July 30, 2013, between 200 and 300 pilot whales were slaughtered in the Faroe Islands. 
The exact figure of fatalities has not yet been published.

Please take action to protest this horror. Please sign and share these petitions. Thank you.

The WDSF therefore is currently preparing extensive boycott action to cut off the Faroe Islands from external sources of income, including salmon exports, landings from cruise ships of AIDA and TUI cruises.
The Hamburg Fish Company ~ Gottfried Friedrichs
has agreed not to import any salmon from the Faroe Islands. 

Faroese whalers will need a license from 2015
31 Jul 2013
From 1st May 2015 those taking part in the Faroe Island’s whale hunts must possess the relevant pass certificate. The first whale 'grind' of the year has taken place in the Faroe Islands - a total of 125 pilot whales were killed last week (Monday 22 July) in the bay of Viðvík.

However, soon after the whale hunt, Minister of Fisheries of the Faroe Islands, Jacob Vestergaard, announced that as from 1st May 2015 all those taking part in the Faroe Island’s whale hunts must participate in a course in the laws and correct procedures relating to the grinds, and possess the relevant pass certificate.
It is proposed that training will be given in the use of the only grind tools that will be permitted as of 2015 (nostril hooks and spinal lances), the ability to recognise death signals of the prey, and being cognisant of all legislation before they can participate.
Runi Nielsen, who represents marine conservation organisation, Earthrace, said from his home on the Faroe Islands, “A large majority of the participants in the grinds who at the moment just show up and take part, will not bother to take these mandatory courses and by doing so will exclude themselves. The fewer people taking part, the less a part of the Faroese way of life the grinds will become”.
He said, “The announcement of the changes to how grinds will operate in the future in the Faroe Islands is a welcome one. In Newfoundland in the 1960’s, similar new rules were issued. The first grind that took place under their new rules was also the last grind to ever happen there. This may not be a direct move towards ending the grinds in the Faroe Islands yet, but it does, I believe, mark the beginning of the end.”
See more at:

photo courtesy Chris Gomersall
Scottish Government backs trade sanctions against Faroe Islands over herring 'overfishing' dispute
31 Jul 2013 16:23
Chris Gomersall

The islands' government has set its own fishing quota more than three times larger than its earlier share, leading to the sanctions on their fish products.
The Faroe Islands has drastically increased its fishing quotaThe Faroe Islands has drastically increased its fishing quota

TRADE sanctions will be used against the Faroe Islands in a dispute about the "overfishing" of herring.
EU states, backed by fishermen and the Scottish Government, made the decision after the islands' government set its own fishing quota more than three times larger than its earlier share.

Herring and mackerel will be included in the sanctions which could be extended to products such as fish oil, fish meal and salmon.
Ian Gatt, chief executive of Scottish Pelagic Fishermen's Association, said: "We welcome this decision by EU member states and we hope it sends a clear signal to the Faroese that their actions are simply not acceptable in the 21st century and will not be tolerated by those nations committed to sustainable harvesting."

The long-running dispute focuses on Atlanto-Scandian herring which is distinct from herring in the North Sea and west of Scotland.
Scotland and its European neighbours have long argued that Faroe, as well as Iceland, set overly large quotas while other countries try to reduce theirs.

The Faroese economy is overwhelmingly dependent on fisheries, according to its government.
A final decision on the nature of the sanctions will be taken in August, the EU said.
Scotland's Fisheries Secretary, Richard Lochhead, said he is disappointed that sanctions have become necessary.

"We do not take these measures lightly but given the continued overfishing of Atlanto-Scandian herring by the Faroe Islands, and their refusal to come to the table and negotiate, we believe it essential," he said.

"Such action is necessary if we are to save the stock from collapse. We saw this happen to the blue whiting fishery a decade ago under similar circumstances and we must not let it happen again.

"I urge the Faroe Islands to halt their damaging actions and rejoin us at the negotiating table. Only then will we secure a sustainable outcome for the fish stock and our fishermen."

UK Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon said: "Whilst it is regrettable that the situation has got to this stage, the decision is necessary as the irresponsible action of the Faroe Islands puts the future sustainability of important fish stocks in grave danger."

But Faroe Islands prime minister Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen, who has a business background in fish exports, accused the EU of taking steps only to protect its interests.

"It is short-sighted and ill-considered of the EU to take such an unjustifiable step against one of its nearest European neighbours and partners," he said.

"The Faroe Islands may be small but we are strategically placed as an important stakeholder in shared pelagic fish stocks in the north-east Atlantic.

"It is difficult to see what purpose these measures serve other than to protect fishing industry interests within the EU.

"The Faroese industry is already adapting its business and developing new markets elsewhere around the world."

Iceland's fisheries minister, Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson, said he is disappointed with the EU's approach.

"We don't believe this is best way to settle these types of disagreements between friendly countries," he said.

"This move from Brussels seriously undermines the efforts of the coastal states to find a solution through diplomacy and dialogue."

The EU and Norway must recognise the "massive shift" of the mackerel population into Icelandic waters, he urged.

"Quotas should be set based on the realities of 2013, not on mackerel migratory patterns of a decade ago," he said.

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott welcomed the sanctions.

"The decision of the Faroese and Icelandic governments to increase their quota so substantially without regard for others was wholly unacceptable," he said.

"The fact that we have had to resort to sanctions is unfortunate but the simple fact is that their actions meant that there was no other option.

"Herring and mackerel stocks are hugely important to Scotland and support many jobs in Shetland and other parts of the country. The Faroese now need to show that they are willing to listen to reason."

EU fish quota sanctions against Faroe Islands agreed

European sanctions will be brought in against Faroese herring and mackerel imports from the end of August.

Member states voted overwhelmingly in favour of the ban, following concern over the Faroese government's decision to set its own catch limits.

The legislation will prohibit the import into the EU of both species, and allows for future escalation.

The decision was welcomed by the Scottish government and the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen's Association (SPFA).

The Faroe Islands is a self-governing nation within Denmark. But unlike Denmark, it is not in the EU.

Scottish skippers have been demanding tough action be taken.

'Negotiating table'
Ian Gatt, chief executive of the SPFA, said: "We welcome this decision by EU member states and we hope it sends a clear signal to the Faroese that their actions are simply not acceptable in the 21st Century and will not be tolerated by those nations committed to sustainable harvesting.

"We note that fishmeal, fish oil and salmon products are not included at this stage, but they could be imposed later if there is no movement from the Faroese in resolving this issue."

Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "While I am pleased that action is now being taken I am disappointed that we have reached this point.

"Such action is necessary if we are to save the stock from collapse.

"I urge the Faroe Islands to halt their damaging actions and re-join us at the negotiating table. Only then will we secure a sustainable outcome for the fish stock and our fishermen."

'Seriously undermined'
Iceland's Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson, said: "We are disappointed to see that the EU chose to impose sanctions on the Faroe Islands for its herring and mackerel catch.

"We don't believe this is the best way to settle these types of disagreements between friendly countries.

"This move from Brussels seriously undermines the efforts of the coastal states to find a solution through diplomacy and dialogue."

Angling Notes: EU ready to act over Faroe Islands’ and Iceland’s mackerel catch

Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney secures EU commitment to prepare trade restrictions against the two countries, due to ‘irresponsible behaviour’

EU taking measures to prevent overfishing of mackerel

At the recent Council meeting of the European Union, the Minister for the Marine, Simon Coveney, supported by the UK, France and Spain, succeeded in having trade restrictions imposed by the EU Commission against Iceland and
the Faroe Islands as a result of their unacceptable fishing of mackerel.
These two countries set large unilateral quotas at unsustainable levels this year that amount to 52 per cent of the recommended scientifically advised catch of mackerel in 2013. This is the fifth year in which Iceland has refused to engage in meaningful negotiations with the EU and Norway, the recognised major shareholders in this fishery.
Both Iceland and the Faroe Islands have developed a large fishery of mackerel from a situation in 2006 when they had a combined total share of only 5 per cent of the fishery.
Coveney said he secured the agreement of Commissioner Maria Damanaki to immediately prepare for trade restrictions against Iceland and the Faroe Islands, as they are now fishing more than 50 per cent of the recommended catch level for mackerel.
“We have been left with no choice and must act against these countries being rewarded by their irresponsible behaviour,” said the Minister. “I regret that we have been forced to take this action, but the continued absence of any attempt to negotiate by either country has left us with no alternative.”
The north east Atlantic mackerel fishery, if fished within recommended levels, is worth about €1 billion. The value to the EU, as the largest shareholder, is estimated to be more than €600 million.
“Mackerel is our most important fishery, worth over €125 million, and Irish fishermen are hugely dependent on it. If this irresponsible fishing is allowed to continue this stock will be decimated and our coastal communities will have their livelihoods completely undermined. There are many fish-processing factories in counties Donegal, Galway, Kerry and Cork dependent on this stock.
“I have been calling for the implementation of trade measures for more than 12 months and now the Commissioner has agreed to proceed with these measures,” the Minister concluded.
At Killala Bay, charter skipper Donal Kennedy reports that a group from Larne and District SAC enjoyed their weekend at Enniscrone which included two days of boat fishing, and recorded an impressive 18 species along with four varieties of ray.
Larne angler Samuel Auld said: “We had probably the best weekend fishing experience in over 20 years, with a special thanks to Donal and Jim for their services.”
Simon Tarpey from Oughterard won Thursday’s qualifier in the World Cup Trout Championships on Lough Mask with three fish, weighing 1.8kg . Michael Drinan (Cork) was second with two fish for 1.1kg and Thomas Walsh (Dublin) also had two fish for 1kg.
The grilse run continued at Galway with plenty of fish showing on a daily basis, although fishing has slowed down, with more fish being lost than landed. There were 19 recorded, including the best fish of the week for Brendan Byrne, a fine summer salmon of 5kg taken on the fly.
“Water levels are perfect for the fly, with just one gate open; and, with such a good run of fish, prospects remain excellent in Galway,” said Kevin Crowley.
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) staff initiated an investigation in response to a complaint last month of dead fish in the River Tolka, downstream of the Finglas Road Bridge. Up to 300 adult and juvenile brown trout were killed over a section approximately 250m long. Live fish, including brown trout, were recorded in the affected area during the investigation. Samples were taken for analysis; however, results did not identify any deleterious matter which may have caused the kill. In an ongoing investigation of local surface water drainage systems, IFI is liaising with Dublin City Council in an effort to prevent similar events in the future.
Howth Lifeboat Station is hosting an Open Day on Sunday August 11th from 1 to 5pm and all are welcome. Visitors can explore the all-weather and inshore lifeboats, meet the crew, view safety demonstrations and take part in competitions. The sea safety unit will also be available to check lifejackets and give advice on safety at sea.
“The Open Day is an opportunity for us to welcome the public and acknowledge their unwavering support,” said Howth RNLI chairman Russell Rafter.

Monday, June 24, 2013


Pilot whales brutally slaughtered

Inhabitants of Faroe Islands catch and slaughter pilot whales (Globicephala melaena) during the traditional 'Grindadrap' (whale hunting in Faroese) near Sandur on Sandoy island.

Residents of the Faroe Islands, an autonomous province of Denmark, slaughter and eat pilot whales every year. The Faroese are descendents of Vikings, and pilot whales have been a central part of their diet for more than 1,000 years. 

They crowd the animals into a bay and kill them. 'Grindadrap' whaling is not done for commercial purposes, the meat can not be sold and is divided evenly between members of the local community.

Photo: A man pulls a rope as inhabitants of Faroe Islands catch and slaughter pilot whales.

via Olaf Janssen

Please sign and share ~Thank you !