Faroese whalers will need a license from 2015

From 1st May 2015 those taking part in the Faroe Island’s whale hunts must possess the relevant pass certificate 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.”

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