The ongoing debate over whale hunting in the Faroe Islands

The "Stop the Grind" group, thanks to the initiative of MEP Francisco Ferreiro, has asked for a stop to the financing of European Union projects in the Faroe Islands until the hunting of cetaceans stops

The traditional practice of whale hunting in the Faroe Islands, known as grindadráp, continues to spark international controversy and concern. This age-old yet disputed practice has long drawn the ire of various environmental organizations.

A year ago, the group “Stop the Grind” was formed, uniting all associations aiming to put an end to these slaughters. It has brought a resolution proposal to the attention of the European Parliament, thanks to MEP Francisco Ferreiro.

Ferreiro has introduced a motion that calls for a temporary halt to the funding of European Union projects in the Faroe Islands until the killing of whales ceases. The proposal aims to influence the policies of the Islands and to put pressure on the Danish government, considering that the Faroes are a protectorate of this state.

During the grindadráp, pods of whales are encircled by boats and driven towards the coast, where they are killed in front of a crowd of spectators, including children. This type of hunting, which once served as an economic and food resource for the Faroe Islands, is now considered obsolete and cruel, as meat imports and hydroelectric energy have made the tradition less necessary.

What the proposal requests

The resolution proposal presented to the European Parliament is based on several arguments. It firstly calls for the reopening of negotiations on trade agreements between the EU and the Danish government, suspending the import of fish products from the Faroe Islands until the killing of whales ceases.

It also proposes to review the EU funding agreements to the Faroe Islands for research and innovation programs, such as Horizon Europe, and to suspend such funding. The motion also mandates the indication of the origin of fish goods from the Faroes to enhance market transparency and allow consumers to make informed choices. Finally, it requires the Faroe Islands to comply with international standards for whale hunting, ensuring the protection of marine species targeted.

Francisco Ferreiro’s initiative has received support from various environmental organizations, including Sea Shepard, and has sparked debate both nationally and internationally. While some defend the tradition of grindadráp as an integral part of the culture of the Faroe Islands, others condemn it as a cruel and unacceptable practice.

The resolution proposal represents a significant step forward in the effort to stop whale hunting in the Faroe Islands and protect marine biodiversity. However, it remains to be seen if it will be accepted and implemented by European institutions and if it will effectively influence the policies of the Faroe Islands and the Danish government.


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