Operation Ferocious Isles

As many as 1,000 endangered long-finned pilot whales are brutally killed in the Faeroe Islands each year.

This occurs mainly during the summer months during communal hunts that locals refer to as "grindadráp" or simply, “the grind,” but more accurately this practice should be called what it truly is - ­mass slaughter.

The pilot whale grind is similar to the annual dolphin slaughter in Japan, documented in the Academy Award-winning film, The Cove. The main difference, and thus challenge for Sea Shepherd, is that there are at least 23 different coves in the Faeroes where a grind could potentially take place, as opposed to one main cove in Taiji. Sea Shepherd has been actively opposing and confronting the Faeroese grind since 1985 and will remain one of the foremost advocates for these endangered whales.

Operation Ferocious Isles, Sea Shepherd’s ongoing pilot whale defense campaign, was launched on July 15, 2011. Despite a delay in the detainment of the flagship Steve Irwin vessel, the fast interceptor vessel, the Brigitte Bardot and her dedicated crew has been actively patrolling the Faeroes since the launch, preventing a grind from occurring during our watch. The Steve Irwin joined the Brigitte Bardot in early August to continue with Sea Shepherd’s mission of ensuring not even a single whale will be butchered during the 2011 campaign. Sea Shepherd intends to intervene in the grind, when at all possible, to prevent the unnecessary loss of such precious marine wildlife that has no place in modern times.

The Grind

Latest News

A Not so Close Encounter with a Beach Foreman - Commentary by Captain Paul Watson - Kemm Poulsen is a big man and a really big talker. He calls himself a beach foreman and maybe he is. He brags about killing whales, teaches others to kill them as well, and claims they feel no pain. He called me a coward and said I would not dare come to the Faeroes and come ashore. ... read more

Because you Responded the Steve Irwin is Free - Commentary by Captain Paul Watson -Thank you for your generous efforts to help us secure the release of the Steve Irwin. Thanks to you, we did it! In less than two weeks, our wonderful supporters raised enough that we were able to post the bond. ... read more

Somber Recollections of the Pilot Whale Slaughter in Klaksvik - Commentary by Peter Hammarstedt, First Officer, M/Y Brigitte Bardot - When the Brigitte Bardot pulled up into Klaksvik in July 2011, almost one year from the exact date of the grind I had witnessed, it was eerie but promising to see that the docks no longer ran red with blood. ... read more

Sea Shepherd's Flagship Vessel the Steve Irwin is Free at LastSea Shepherd's Flagship Vessel the Steve Irwin is Free at Last - Due to the generosity of our supporters around the world, Sea Shepherd has raised over $735,000 to save the flagship Steve Irwin! Thank you to everyone who helped make it possible for us to fund a bond to release the vessel from detainment!. ....read more


donate now

photo gallery

Faeroe Islands


To report a grind call: +45 36 96 08 85

To send photos or non-urgent updates e-mail: inform-us@seashepherd.org