That Faroese whale hunt: Amplification and correction

Dávur í Dali, a social sciences student at the University of the Faroe Islands, offers this friendly correction to our post about how Paul Watson’s TV attack on the Faroese pilot whale hunt backfired:

I am writing to you to correct a small misunderstanding in one of your posts on the Faroe Islands pilot whale hunt. Your post implies that we actively hunt whales, as someone would hunt deer or similar game. This is not correct.

The whale hunts are not prepared or planned events. They happen when we sight a pod of whales swimming through our fjords or in general vicinity of land. Such sightings happen only a couple of times per year, and even then hunts are not successful every time. What really happened when [Watson’s vessel] Brigit Bardot was here is that, by mere chance, there simply weren’t any whale pods spotted. Had whale pods been spotted, there would have been hunts, regardless of Brigit Bardot’s presence. There was no conscious effort put into avoiding whale hunts or the Brigit Bardot.

I would appreciate it if you corrected the error, because I feel it is important to stress that we hunt passively, rather than actively.

In response to my further questions, Dávur explained:

Anyone and everyone can participate in the hunt. If they want to, they can go to where a whale hunt is happening and join in where there is a loose end. The practice is intrinsically communal in that way, and also in that the food resulting from the hunts is always equally divided among the people who participated in the hunt. If the hunt is big enough, it is even dealt out indiscriminately to anyone who wants it, and to nursing homes etc. As I said in my previous email, the whale hunts are far from everyday events.

I do not participate in the whale hunt myself, by choice, and I am not affiliated with any of the people appointed to oversee them. I contacted you because, sadly, there is a lot of misinformation about our whale hunt out on the internet, be it honest misunderstandings or intentional lies, that can hurt my nation’s image. I do what I can, and try to correct it when I come across it.


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