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Plight of the Long-Finned Pilot Whales on Faroe Islands.

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Plight of the Long-Finned Pilot Whales on Faroe Island.

Scientific Name: Globicephala Melaena

Common Name: Long Finned Pilot Whales.

Purpose of Petition: Stop the unnecessary killings of the Pilot Whales in Faroe Island.  Conservational Importance: • Unknown conservation status of the pilot whales as there is no statistical evidence on the global population of Pilot whales



• Meat and blubber have been proven to contain high levels of mercury, especially in the liver and kidney, therefore rendering it unsafe for human consumption.

• Consumption has been limited to one meal of whale meat and blubber per month.

• Women that plan to conceive have been advised {since 1998} against consuming whale blubber and meat until they have given birth and are no longer lactating.

• Many individuals of the diminishing Faroe population have ailments due to high mercury levels.

• Very high numbers of mentally handicapped children are born in the Faroe Islands. This suggests that meat and blubber consumption of the pilot whales have been significantly reduced in the Faroe Islands. However, there are continuous killings of these whales {as shown in the data table in the next page} which beg to question the necessity of the killings.


Reason for Kills:

• Meat

• Blubber

• The annual whale hunt, known as the Grindadrap, is an integral part of Faroese social culture.


Status: Unknown. Depleted in some areas but are said to unlikely be endangered. In 1992, an estimate of 778,000 pilot whales in the central and north-east Atlantic was approved by the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission


Location: Faroe Island – Self-governing nation under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Denmark.

Distribution: Northern and Southern Hemisphere {Mostly in temperate waters}



Males : Reaches sexual maturity at about 12 years of age.

Females : Reaches sexual maturity around 6-7 years of age.

Gestation : 12 – 15 months

Calving : Once every 3-5 years

Lactation : Up to 22 months

The Grindadrap is conducted annually, mainly during the summer months, would have caused the death of many unborn calves as gestation period of these whales is slightly over a year. This practice could potentially cause the declination of the species in a long run.


Sites of References: • Whales and Whaling in the Faroe Islands, Ministry of Fisheries and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Website: • Pilot whales brutally slaughtered annually in the Faroe Islands, Earth First. Website: • International Union for Conservation of Nature {IUCN} Red list { Nov 2008} Website:


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