News / Anti whaling campaigners continue protest

The Grind. Photo: Eliza Muirhead / Sea Shepherd Global

ANTI-whaling campaigners are back on their way to neighbouring Faroe following a short breather in Lerwick harbour overnight from Thursday to Friday.

Sea Shepherd, the controversial marine conservation organisation, is trying to disrupt this year’s pilot whales drives, known as the Grind.

The mass killing of pilot wales in Faroe has been widely condemned on social media by local people here in Shetland.

The Sam Simon, named after the late Simpsons creator who donated £1 million to buy the vessel, came into Lerwick harbour on Thursday afternoon to stock supplies.

The vessel with more than 20 international activists on board had to come back to Shetland to buy petrol for their inflatables after being prevented from doing so in Faroe.

Skipper of the vessel, Lockhart Maclean, said the Faroese authorities, supported by the Danish Navy, had so far arrested six Sea Shepherd activists.

He added that a new parliamentary act, passed recently, had made it easy for Faroese police to charge the group’s activists interfering with the whaling.


Meanwhile the latest photos and footage distributed on social media have sparked off some heated exchanges locally.

Lerwick man Davie Gardner described the practice as “abhorrent and diabolical”.

“How can this be justified? Don’t give us the old one about ‘it’s their culture’ or ‘at least they eat them’, because we all know it’s nothing to do with that.

“Anything we can do to help highlight this to hopefully get it stopped once and for all,” he said.

The practice of driving pilot whales ashore (caaing whales) was widespread in Shetland until early last century.

The Faroese have always insisted that whale drives are part of local traditions and are regulated by the government.

Michelle Mossfield of Sea Shepherd said the group has managed to bring a lot of international attention to the slaughter of whales and dolphins.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


“Anecdotally, we have had many encounters in which local Faroese have expressed their support for Sea Shepherd.

“It’s a positive sign that indicates progress, and gives us hope for change. But of course, until the slaughter is ended, our work won’t be complete,” she said.

Warning: The footage below – made available by Sea Shepherd – shows the killing of around 100 pilot whales at Bour on Thursday and is very graphic.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.