Red tape kills whales

Villagers in Denmark’s Faroe Islands have conducted an annual rite called “grindarap” for centuries — using boats to herd hundreds of pilot whales and dolphins into the shallow waters of its bays, where they are slaughtered with metal hooks and knives. This year, anti-whaling activists aimed to confront the community head-on, but were frustrated at the last minute.

According to their own report, the Sea Shepherd Society — which most recently made headlines opposing the Makah whale hunts in Washington state — planned to position its skiffs between the Faroese hunters and the whales in a massive direct action it dubbed “Grindstop 2000.” But the Danish government prevented the protest by demanding the Sea Shepherd vessel, “Ocean Warrior,” be inspected in the Cayman Islands for suspected safety violations. None were found, but by the time the “Ocean Warrior” was cleared, 39 pilot whales had been killed.

The Sea Shepherd crew tried several times to return to the islands, but were denied entry by Danish police, they say.