Paul Thompson 22/6/2015
On 16th June 2015 a question was raised with the Danish Embassy in London following concerns that two Danish Naval vessels may advise Faroese Authorities of the location of Pilot whales as they patrol Faroese waters. 154 Pilot whales had already been slaughtered on 6th June in the first Grind of 2015 and there were real concerns given the confusion surrounding the revised Faroese Whale legislation that the Danish Navy would find themselves in a position where they had to advise seeing a Pilot whale Pod and therefore condemn it to an almost a certain death. The legislation details a "parties in-action preventing a Grind" and the consequences of such. The Question read
A QUESTION SENT TO THE DANISH EMBASSY(UK) email address firstname.lastname@example.org
According to the Marine Traffic satellite tracking service two Danish vessels HDMS Triton Thetis-class Frigate and HDMS Ejnar Mikkelsen are cruising close to Faroese shores. My question is this
" will they, like the Faroese Patrol Vessel Brimil on 6th June, notify sightings of Pilot whales and assist with the Grind drive?”
No answer was received from the Danish Embassy despite numerous requests and a Facebook campaign. As a result of this non-communication a further statement was made to the Embassy suggesting that the Danish Navy was now assisting the Faroese grind by adhering to the Faroese legislation and notifying the position of Pilot Whale pods. Simultaneous with this Danish resident, having seen the Facebook campaign, contacted the Danish Navy directly and through her tenacity on 22nd June a reply was received which is detailed below. In essence the Danish Navy have confirmed that despite their vessels being in Faroese waters and the Faroese whale reporting legislation, they WILL NOT notify the Faroese Authorities of any Pilot whale sightings and further this will also include their airforce.
QUESTION SENT TO THE DANISH NAVY (note this has been translated from Danish)
In connection with the recently completed pilot whale killings in Midvåg on the Faroese island of Vagar, it emerged that the Faroese Patrol Vessel Brimil had advised the Faroese Authorities on the island of the pilot whale pod position resulting in the death of 154 Pilot whales.
My question is about whether employees aboard naval vessels will notify the Faroese Authorities if they spot a Pilot whale Pod?
REPLY FROM THE DANISH NAVY (1) Danish actual notification detailed in footnot,
Thanks for writing, which may be briefly answered. Arctic Command still maintains a Defence Command decision from1979 that
"Defence units may not assist in reporting or other involvement in whaling."
When referring to Defence units we mean, for example, defence ships and aircraft with their crews, do not have to take part in whaling.
SO IT IS CLEAR that despite the changes to the Faroese legislation in May 2015, Danish military vessels and aircraft will not notify Faroese Authorities of the location of sighting of Pilot whales and what was a real risk of further slaughter due to the continued presence of these two vessels cruising Faroese waters has been averted. We can only thank the Danish Navy and Airforce for both responding and the position they are taking despite confusion surrounding interpretation of the legislation.
Notes for the Reader
(1) Danish Document