I am writing this aboard an unmarked Sea Shepherd vessel, patrolling around the
I joined the Sea Shepherd campaign in the Shetlands, with Howie Cooke of non profit org. Surfers 4 Cetaceans. A lone surfer representing Chicks with Sticks; together we are a mismatched duo standing up for Surfers 4 Cetaceans everywhere. I received the invitation in my electronic mailbox –
“Was I up for a secret mission to save cetaceans in the
“Hell yeah!” Was my response. A month later I was travelling to the most Northern islands of
The Faroes are a group of remote islands in the
We have found dead bodies, bones and whale graveyards; but there has been no sighting of any live pilots whales. There are meant to be approximately 800,000 pilot whales in these waters. We are worried they have killed them all. Although without whales, no Grind can take place, so for that at least we are thankful. We patrol the inlets and pray that if whales are seen we can get there first, herding them back out to sea and making sure we intervene before it’s too late.
We have been all over the Faroese news; every fishing port we pull into posts our coordinates on a website, and car headlights and twitching curtains keep track of our every move. We have been boarded by police, searched by customs and followed by the navy… we are definitely not welcome here!
I’m not sure I like this place, the landscape is dramatic, beautiful waterfalls cascade into the sea from volcanic, jade cliffs; caverns, and caves protrude in and out of jagged rock faces. It is majestic, yet cold, hard, prehistoric; a forgotten land devoid of soul.
There a dozens of beautiful seabirds following our journey in the hope of some fish being up for grabs. But the absence of sea mammals is chilling, for centuries these islands and their inhabitants have raped the ocean of abundant life, whilst claiming their practices are sustainable. Are we too late to save the pilot whale?