BAKKAFROST, the main Faroe Islands fish farmer, has declared in a statement that whale meat will not be used in its feed.
Along with Iceland and Norway, the Faroe Islands is one of three Nordic states which continue to hunt whales – an activity which has been going on for more than 450 years.
This activity has brought strong criticism from conservation groups such as Sea Shepherd, the anti-whaling organisation that has regularly targeted Faroese vessels, leading to clashes and arrests.
Faroese fishermen catch around 800 pilot whales a year, and the Torshavn government argues that scientific research has shown the whale population in the North Atlantic is abundant. It maintains that whale hunting is strictly controlled and monitored regularly.
There have also been calls to boycott seafood products from these three whaling nations. Bakkafrost has issued a statement setting out its position which says: ‘The Faroe Islands have large areas of unspoiled nature, and Bakkafrost has farming sites and activities all around the islands.
‘It is our responsibility to ensure a sustainable production and to minimise any negative impact that we could have on the environment and the wild life.
‘Sustainability, quality and animal welfare is of the utmost importance for us, and we have great focus on each step in the process throughout our entire value chain. We have over the years implemented procedures to optimise and control all the different steps.
‘The traditional killing of whales occurs occasionally in the Faroe Islands. Whaling in the Faroe Islands is a community based, private activity, and is as such totally separated from the business activities of our fish farming industry.
‘Bakkafrost hereby declares that none of our fish farming activities are associated with whaling. No boats or other assets owned by Bakkafrost are utilised in whaling activities, and our employees are not allowed to participate in whaling activities during their work hours. Bakkafrost hereby declares that no whalemeat is used in our feed.’