Animal rights activists are upset about illegal sale of whale meat in the EU
Posted on April 17th, 2013
Press release – ProWal
Radolfzell/Copenhagen, April 17th, 2013 – During the last weeks pilot whale blubber, coming from the Faroe Islands, was regularly offered on the ferryboat “Norrona”, owned by the steamship company Smyril-Line, as per reports from the dolphin and whale protection organization ProWal.
Andreas Morlok, CEO of ProWal is disgusted: “The pilot whale blubber is not labeled as such in the restaurant of the ferry. The guest has no idea what exactly is being offered to him. the chef only gives information by word when asked, that the dish the guest is consuming is actually pilot whale blubber, which was proven to be such by a scientist from the Faroe Islands. Furthermore, missing is a warning at the display of the buffet that the pilot whale blubber is highly contaminated with environmental poisons as PCBs and methyl-mercury, which can be rather dangerous to human health. Scientific studies prove that children from the Faroe Islands have high amounts of learning deficiencies and have as well disorders in the development of motor skills and the central nervous system. As an infant they already absorb these poisons through their mother’s milk, which is showing the highest toxic saturation worldwide. The percentage of people afflicted with the nervous disorder Parkinsons disease is double than that on the Danish mainland and the quality of male semen is also heavily affected by these toxins. Therefore, it is hardly astonishing that the World Health Organization (WHO) is urgently trying to dissuade people from the consume of whale products. In the EU these products are regarded as “hazardous material”.
The ferryboat of the Faroe shipping company is sailing regularly between the Danish harbor town Hirtshals and Thorshaven, the capital of the Faroe Islands. Hirtshals and the waters surrounding it are under the jurisdiction of Denmark, which is a member of the EU. The import and the commercial marketing of dolphin and whale products is strictly forbidden in the EU.
ProWal has denounced the ferry company Smyril-Line with the Danish authorities in charge. Furthermore, the Danish authorities were urged to confiscate any left-over pilot whale meat or blubber at the next arrival of the ferry in Hirtshals and to denounce the ferryboat company because of violations against the European laws and to start legal actions. Furthermore, the Danish animal rights organizations have informed the Danish FDA as well as the EU-Commission and urged them to get involved to make the responsible party accountable for their actions.
The pilot whale hunt in Faroe Islands, located in the Atlantic, does not only supply the inhabitants, but has a totally commercial character, as per ProWal, which fact has been denied by the Faroe Islands and Denmark up to now.
Andres Morlok: “The Faroe Islands, which are Danish territory, are partially autonomous, though, and do not belong to the EU, which fact is allowing them to still hunt pilot whales. The group of islands is totally swamped with whale meat. The Faroe people kill more pilot whales than they can consume, and because they get the meat and blubber for practically nothing, more and more places to market the meat for simple commercial gain have to be opened up. On the Faroe Islands pilot whale meat and blubber is being offered in restaurants, grocery stores and fish markets. Of course, also here the omission of any warning labels, that the meat is highly contaminated, is noted. Researching the sale of pilot whale meat originating in the Faroe Islands in the EU, we were always led to the so-called “homes” of exile Faroese. Around 20.000 Faroese have turned their back on their motherland and are now living in Denmark. These “homes”, are in our opinion only there for camouflage and are an illegal market place for pilot whale meat from the Faroe Islands. Anybody can go and eat out at these “homes”, which we tried ourselves last week in Copenhagen. We have proof that not only in the Danish capital, but also in other towns, as for instance Esbjerg, pilot whale meat is being offered and sold in Denmark. This fact was also conveyed to the pertinent authorities.
The Faroe Islands enjoy the highest of living standards in Europe and you can enjoy there any food you like. A government that nevertheless allows it that whales are being killed and is accepting that their own population is consuming whale products that are highly contaminated with mercury and other poisons and allows it that merchants without scruples are illegally selling this to clueless consumers, is, in our opinion, acting with criminal intent.
Since 1584 up to today 264.793 pilot whales were slaughtered in a brutal manner on the Faroe Islands, as per ProWal. The animal rights organization thinks the whale hunt has outlived its necessity and that the hunt is now looked at as a commercial enterprise and is, furthermore, performed just for the fun of it.
Andreas Morlok: “The pilot whale hunt is a sort of ritual to prove the manliness of the hunter, because young boys at the age of 14 are allowed to participate in the slaughter of these highly social animals. Since the Faroese will never stop the pilot whale hunt on their own, we have to get involved and start an initiative ourselves against the most extensive dolphin massacre in Europe. Therefore, we have been traveling on the Faroe Islands for a couple of weeks now and are placing acoustical devices, that will emit sounds to deter the pilot whales, in the 23 bays, where the pilot whales are being slaughtered, to keep the animals away. Last year 716 pilot whales were slaughtered in the most cruel and brutal way on the Faroe Islands. Even mother animals and their babies were no exception.
Although recently shots were fired, not one of the activists stood down to complete his or her work for the protection of these wonderful animals. We will be active on these islands all year long and try to place as many of these deterrent-devices as possible to reduce the amount of these slaughters. This year up to now no hunt has been started, although in the past the Faroese would have slaughtered several pilot whale pods by this time.”