Whale Wars confronts slaughter of Pilot whales in the Faroe Islands

Faroe Islands fishermen wade into a shallow bay to kill a pod of pilot whales in a hunt called a "grind." Sea Shepherd has launched a new show called "Whale Wars: Viking Shores" to focus attention on the hunt.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, capitalizing on the tremendous success of their Animal Planet TV show, “Whale Wars,” has now taken on a new battle. With the Japanese fleet’s Antarctic hunt finished for the season, the skull-and-crossbones crew have turned their attention on the Faroe Islands with a new show: Whale Wars: Viking Shores

In the Faroe Islands, the oceangoing conservation outfit is not hectoring a faceless, corporate, government-subsidized commercial whaling outfit with massive factory ships that kill whales in the name of “research.” On this grouping of 18 small islands in the North Atlantic, a Danish protectorate situated between Iceland and Scotland, the people kill pilot whales by hand, on the shore, as part of a traditional hunt called the “Grind,” (pronounced “grinned”) which residents say is thousands of years old.

The Grind is not pretty, and “Viking Shores” pulls no punches. The Faroese send boats out into the ocean to find pilot whales, which are cetaceans not as large as the fin or minke whales hunted by the Japanese, but are slightly bigger than dolphins. Then they herd the mammals toward one of several dozen beaches on the islands, where residents lie in wait. As the powerful creatures beach themselves in panic, hunters wade into them with long curved hooks and slaughter the whole pod in a bloody frenzy. The Faroese eat a lot of pilot whale.

via LA Times

The second episode of “Viking Shores” airs Friday at 9 p.m. on Animal Planet.

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Read an interview with Sea Shepherd captain and environmental warrior, Paul Waston, on what it’s like to confront the Faroes people on their ancient tradition.

Download episode  1 – Bad Blood for free on iTunes (warning: link opens iTunes).