PAMELA ANDERSON ARRIVES IN THE FAROE ISLANDS TO SHOW SUPPORT FOR SEA SHEPHERD’S PILOT WHALE DEFENSE CAMPAIGN, “OPERATION GRINDSTOP 2014”
The Actress and Animal Activist is Calling for an End to the Brutal Mass Slaughter Known as ‘Grindadrap’
TORSHAVN, Faroe Islands August 1, 2014 – At a press conference held this afternoon at the well known Hotel Foroyar in Torshavn and live streamed worldwide, actress and activist Pamela Anderson joined Sea Shepherd Global, Sea Shepherd USA and Sea Shepherd France to show her support for Sea Shepherd’s Operation GrindStop 2014 campaign and to shine a spotlight on the brutal and archaic mass slaughter of pilot whales and other cetaceans known as the ‘grindadrap’ or ‘grind’.
Present with Anderson to represent Sea Shepherd were Lamya Essemlali, President, Sea Shepherd France and GrindStop2014 Offshore Campaign Leader;and Rosie Kunneke, Chapter Coordinator for South Africa, GrindStop 2014 Onshore Campaign Leader for Sea Shepherd USA.
A long-time animal protection advocate, Anderson emphasized that though the Faroese people once needed to kill pilot whales for food, there is no longer any need in the modern world to kill cetaceans.
“This is not for survival. There are very few things that happen like this, that are this brutal,” said Pamela Anderson. “We have to put this behind us and move on, and let the whales swim freely by. And I think it’s much more important for us in the future to save our oceans and the biodiversity of our oceans that the whales are very important to.”
Anderson added that cruel traditions must die out, and that it will be the next generations who bring the grind to a halt. “Young people probably feel pressure to follow in the footsteps of their ancestors. I think this is the perfect time to not listen to your parents, to think for yourself. Maybe there’s going to be a movement like there have been movements for many other things in the world where you look inside yourself and say ‘Is this something I should be doing just because my parents did it and my grandparents did it?’ This is a new time and the world is at risk…I think this is the generation that has to stand up and say ‘That was then, this is now; this is what I’m going to do.’”
Rosie Kunneke of South Africa added to this statement, sharing her own experiences in her country. “A culture and tradition that does not belong in the 21st century should be abolished. I grew up in the ‘culture’ and ‘tradition’ of apartheid…The whole world came in and attacked us, which we welcomed because that tradition and that culture didn’t belong in that century, and we fought with the people outside against the government to change this,” said Kunneke. “You don’t need to kill pilot whales anymore. Every person I’ve met in the Faroes has said they don’t need to do it anymore.”
Sea Shepherd has led the opposition to the grind slaughter in the Faroe Islands since the 1980s. Operation GrindStop 2014 is Sea Shepherd’s largest Faroese campaign to date, with approximately 500 volunteers set to patrol the land and waters of the Faroes over the course of the campaign. Sea Shepherd’s on- and offshore teams will be present in the Faroe Islands throughout the traditionally bloodiest months of the hunt season – from June until October 1st.
The only grind to take place this year occurred on May 18, before Sea Shepherd arrived in the Faroe Islands in June, claiming 13 pilot whales. The year before, the same Faroese town, Fuglafjørður, killed a staggering 267 pilot whales in one grind.
Lamya Essemlali emphasized the questionable sustainability of the grind, which claims the lives of entire pods of pilot whales at a time, and pointed out that the often-cited study that found there to be 750,000 pilot whales in the North Atlantic is twenty-five years old. “The truth is that we don’t know how many pilot whales are out there,” said Essemlali. “When you look at the way the number of dolphins have dropped in the Mediterranean Sea, it’s very scary. I don’t see why these whales wouldn’t go through the same dangers.”
Should a hunt commence during the course of the campaign, Sea Shepherd will take direct action to intervene and stop the grind from taking place using land, sea and air tactics. This week, Sea Shepherd’s crew was able to spot a pod of pilot whales and guide them back out to sea, safely away from the Faroese killing bays. As no preparations for a grind had begun, Sea Shepherd acted within Faroese law by chasing the pod away from shore.
For hundreds of years, the people of the Danish Faroe Islands have been herding migrating pilot whales and other small cetaceans into shallow water and slaughtering them. Entire family units are destroyed, wiping out several generations of animals at a time. The Faroese claim that without the meat from these cetaceans, the people would starve. Whether or not people would have starved in the past without eating pilot whale is irrelevant. There is certainly no one in the Danish Faroe Islands who would go hungry today, much less starve, if no more cetaceans were killed.
Today, the ‘grindadrap’ (whale slaughter) or ‘grind’ is a barbaric and cruel relic of history that has no place in modern civilization. The wholesale slaughter of entire families and the unimaginable horror inflicted upon these sentient, intelligent beings is unconscionable. The continued pillage of the oceans is causing disastrous consequences. Even the meat of these creatures is dangerous to consume. The European Union does not allow such activity, but the Danish Faroe Islands manage to side-step EU restrictions with their overfishing and harm to marine mammals. Sea Shepherd has taken action against the grind in years past and will do so again for GrindStop 2014.
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For more information on Operation GrindStop 2014, please visit: http://www.seashepherd.org/grindstop/.
Livestream footage will be archived and available here: http://livestream.seashepherd.org/grindstop/archive/.
About Sea Shepherd Global
Sea Shepherd Global coordinates the work of all Sea Shepherd entities throughout the world to encourage and support the global Sea Shepherd movement and stand as a unified front against the destruction of marine wildlife and habitats worldwide. Visit www.seashepherdglobal.orgfor more information.
About Sea Shepherd Conservation Society USA
Founded by Captain Paul Watson, a world renowned, respected leader in environmental issues and co-founder of Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society USA is a non-profit conservation organization whose mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species. Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately balanced oceanic ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations. Visit www.seashepherd.org for more information.