Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Green Whale
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
Humpback whale playing with kelp

Why do humpback whales wear seaweed wigs?

Alison Wood Ali is WDC's education projects coordinator. She is the editor of Splash! and KIDZONE,...
Japanese whaling ship

WDC in Japan – Part 5: The meaning of whaling

Katrin Matthes Katrin is WDC's communications and campaigns officer for policy & communication in Germany...
Risso's dolphins off the Isle of Lewis, Scotland

Unravelling the mysteries of Risso’s dolphins – WDC in action

Nicola Hodgins Nicola is WDC's cetacean science coordinator. She leads our long-term Risso's dolphin research...
Save the whale save the world on a tv in a meeting room.

Saving whales in boardrooms and on boats

Abbie Cheesman Abbie is WDC's head of strategic partnerships. She works with leading businesses to...
Outcomes of COP28

Outcomes for whales and dolphins from COP28

Ed Goodall Ed is WDC's head of intergovernmental engagement. He meets with world leaders to...
Taiji's cove with boats rounding up dolphins to be slaughtered or sold to aquraiums

WDC in Japan – Part 4: A journey to Taiji’s killing cove

Katrin Matthes Katrin is WDC's communications and campaigns officer for policy & communication in Germany...
Blue whale at surface

Creating a safe haven for whales and dolphins in the Southern Ocean

Emma Eastcott Emma is WDC's head of safe seas. She helps ensure whales and dolphins...
We're at COP28 to Save the Whale, Save the World.

We’re at COP28 to save the whale, save the world

Ed Goodall Ed is WDC's head of intergovernmental engagement. He meets with world leaders to...

Consider the pilot whales

A new website has surfaced that shifts the focus from the conflict surrounding the pilot whale drive hunts, or ‘grindadrap,’ that usually occur in the Faroe Islands between the months of May and November, to the beauty and wonder of the pilot whale. Introduced just weeks ago, grindaboð.fo provides a Faroese perspective on pilot whales and threats to their survival. An English version of the website will reportedly be online by the end of September.

A stated goal of this new initiative is to pay tribute to this iconic animal that has played an important role in the survival of the Faroese people through difficult times in history. It also seeks to provide basic information about the pilot whale, and cetacean life in general.

WDC understands that whaling in the Faroe Islands has been considered to be an important part of Faroese tradition for many centuries. We believe, however, that in situations where they are no longer necessary for subsistence purposes and where they seriously and demonstrably compromise human health, animal welfare and wildlife conservation, such traditional activities should cease. WDC will continue to oppose these hunts, and indeed all cruel customs, no matter how deeply rooted in tradition.

However, instead of focusing on this conflict, it is wonderful to see an initiative coming from voices within the Faroe Islands seeking awareness and understanding of these amazing creatures, perhaps enabling the public to view these issues through a different lens, and through the perspective and consideration of the pilot whale, in all of its beauty, complexity, and capacity for suffering.

We hope for a day when the ‘grindadráp’ will end and all Faroese people will find new and harmless ways of engaging with pilot whales. Perhaps a first step is to engender a curiosity to understand and really know these complex, sentient, and social creatures, not as objects to be consumed or exploited, but as part of our shared marine heritage that deserves our reverence and respect.