Cruise Ships Boycott Faroe Islands To Protest Annual Slaughter Of Pilot Whales
In a press release dated July 1st, and published in The Arctic Journal, the Government of the Faroe Islands highlights a provision regarding the requirement to notify the authorities when pilot whales are located, so that the authorities can decide to either grant or deny permission for the annual hunt of pilot whales.
This specific ruling appears to target activists or conservationists who either passively or actively oppose the hunt. To date, the first victims of this new law are five Sea Shepherd activists, as well as Sea Shepherd itself.
The five activists have been charged with disrupting the hunt on July 23rd; the hunt had resulted in the slaughter of 250 pilot whales on the beaches of Bøur and Tórshavn (see also news article July 28th). The penalties imposed were either fines ranging from 670 to 4,790 Euros, or a 20-day imprisonment.
As for the Sea Shepherd organisation, it was charged with inciting disturbances and suffered a 10,500 Euro fine. The authorities also seized a tender boat that carried activists.
To date, cruise operators AIDA and Hapag-Lloyd have boycotted the Faroe Islands until further notice, in response to the new law which necessitates people to report whale sightings (as this would affect the tourists on board their ships).
Another cruise operator, TUI Cruises, continues to offer trips to the Faroe Islands, as they felt that a boycott was not the solution. In response, Whale and Dolphin Protection Forum (WDSF) Founder and CEO Jürgen Ortmüller described the decision of AIDA and Hapag-Lloyd as exemplary; and the statement by TUI Cuises as an indictment. As for TUI Cruises, the WDSF called for a boycott of the company.
Referring to cruise companies that continue to travel to the Faroe Islands, Rosie Kunneke, the Sea Shepherd's land crew leader there, said, "We are hoping that the world gets to know about the hunt and that customers demand that these companies do not come here anymore."
Additional Information (Links):
Mass Slaughter Of Pilot Whales In Faroe Islands (News 28th, July)
Whale & Dolphin Conservation Forum