Based on the 2015 print edition
In 2016, Heri Joensen, led singer for the metal band Tyr, participated in his country’s long term practice of whaling for pilot islands in the Faroe Islands. He has been met with disdain, disapproval, hatred and a call for the boycott of his band Tyr. Now, in the US, we are constantly bombarded with celebrities asking us for money for feeding the starving people in Africa, save the dogs, cats, birds, whales, dolphins, cows, pigs and essentially everything can be saved for 19 cents a day. Many Americans are apathetic to this fundraisers but many are rich, vocal, uneducated and determined to remain ignorant and push their agenda.
Now, I dug into the Faroe Island whaling history and practice. It’s interesting and makes sense. And this book basically takes the monotone Wikipedia article and give it a native’s voice. The book consists of 4 parts – 1.) the author’s part explaining the Faroe Islands( some data, some history and the relationship between the FI and Sea Shepard), 2.) A bloggers post condemning more vocally and negatively against Sea Shepard, 3.) Cultural whale stories (1-4 paragraphs each) and 4.) The FI Legislation of Whaling laws, restrictions and requirements.
Sea Shepard should be recognizable to many folk, they are the people on Whale Wars who take on Japanese whalers who are indeed breaking the law (which BTW the Faroe Islands are not) and selling whale products for profit and killing them at high rates against the law (also, the Faroe Islands do not kill whales for commercial sale, abide by the law, every catch is scientifically studied and is 100% sustainable).
The author’s part goes on to explain how Sea Shepard is dubious, untrustworthy and actually not interested in ending whaling because it would mean they wouldn’t get funds for anti-whaling. I found the factoid that the founder of Sea Shepard only gave ~$1000 to Sea Shepard last year. Odd how this can happen when they have a fleet of ships that if sold could feed many families for years. The author is very neutral, and does offer reasons for ending whaling the FI. They being health concerns, and NOT because o the efforts of Sea Shepard.
The second part is like the first, but by another blogger who is anti-Sea Shepard. It offers some tidbits about Sea Shepard’s thinking and methods.
The third are some interesting tidbits of stories from cultures across the globe about whales. Fun to read but really nothing to do with the subject of the book.
And finally the complete legislation of whaling laws in the Faroe Islands. Interesting, but free online.
This book offers little information not readily available on Wikipedia and the Faroe Island’s own website(s). The most interesting parts are about Sea Shepard’s methods and tactics. Many will see the on Whale Wars and see heroes, but not take an objective look of Sea Shepard’s tactics on legal, sustainable, non-commercial whaling. I personally have never heard of Sea Shepard showing up at a Canadian Inuit whale kill of a gray whale with jackets on and trying to ram their 17′ or smaller vessels.
As a book, this is essentially a larger blog post, a C&P’d blog post and some factoids all readily available for free with an easy Google search. But as we know, many people aren’t going to do a Google search. They’ll rely on Sea Shepard’s tactics to show them shocking images instead of presenting facts.
I can only give this book a critical score of 4/5. Personally, I’d give it 3/5 as it does really offer little outside (as I stated before) Wikipedia and the Faroe Island’s own webpage about whaling.fo.
Review By Matthew Barker