Dog trains man

Sunday, August 31, 2014


I have a simple rule for this blog. It should be about dogs. But rules are there to be broken. And when yesterday a group of 33 pilot whales were butchered in the Faroe Islands, for the first time in this annual event the Danish Navy and Special Forces were present, and kept the Sea Shepherd activists away from the locals that were driving and killing the whales.

I had to write about it, as the role Denmark plays in the "Grind" seems to be one of Denmark's best kept secrets. And it bothers me, when I talk with my Danish friends, they are totally not aware of that role.

The Faroe Islands, part of the Kingdom of Denmark, has Home Rule, and most Danes will tell you Denmark has nothing to say in the hunting of whales by the islands. The presence of the Danish Navy did, for the first time ever, attract some Danish press to the Faroe Islands, and a small report was aired in which the responsible Minister explained the Navy's presence to prevent locals and Sea Shepherd activists from beating each others skull in. End of story.

But if you look deeper, the Danish government tries to keep their true agenda out of the public Danish eye. Preventing the situation from escalating, is also keeping it out of the press. Because if the press would just look a little deeper, they will have a frenzy with what they will find.

Denmark is very actively supporting the killing of whales behind the scenes. And not just the "Grind" in the Faroe Islands, but whaling in general. Denmark is part of international organizations and treaties like CITES and the IWC, and their position is not what the average Dane would expect. Their position is in favor of whaling.

This report from the EIA, documents how for the past 20 years Denmark has actively supported countries which practice commercial whaling, repeatedly leading to conflict with other EU member states, "Breaking Ranks: Denmark Goes It Alone on Whaling Policy". It is not just the Faroese whale hunt they support, it is a lot more:
  • Support for Japan's small type coastal whaling (yes, that is the killing of dolphins, better known as the "Cove")
  • Support for Norway's and Iceland's whaling
  • Humpback whaling quota for Greenland (another Danish territory, also under Home Rule)
  • Opposing new whale sanctuaries within the IWC
The question remains why the Danish government is risking to clash with other EU countries and why is it not taking a stand against whaling and in favor of the preservation of wildlife. What is the benefit for the Danish government? What do they gain? It isn't commercial or financial. The Faroe Islands, and Greenland for that matter, cost more than they bring in to the Danish treasury.

The gain is power. Not directly through votes, as citizens from Faroe and Greenland vote for their local political parties. The gain is indirectly, as Faroe and Greenland have 6 representatives in all, in the Danish parliament itself. These representatives don't play a role at all in Danish internal politics, but once every four years, after elections, they "sell" their votes in exchange for some benefits, which is not surprising, to ensure whaling can continue.

As most elections in Denmark end up in almost a 50/50 result for either the "blue" or the "red" block of political parties, these 6 silly votes make quite a difference if you want to form a government, and are essential for Danish politicians to gain, and stay in, power.

Power in exchange for some whales, seems something no Danish politician can refuse. They want to hide it. But clearly, Denmark is responsible too, and Danes should acknowledge, what their government is doing in their name.



  1. I've seen a lot of posts on FB about this - and wasn't really sure what had happened or was going on.

    Monty and Harlow

  2. Thank you for providing an inside look at this issue. I feel like the news coverage is so sketchy.


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