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Pilot Whale Meat On The Way Out Of Faroese Food Culture

In a KNR interview entitled “Pilot whale meat on the way out of Faroese food culture”, Pal Weihe, the Senior Faroese Health Official is quoted as saying that the Faroese women and youth have taken on the message not to eat whale meat and that they have understood that there is a level of pollution of certain Faroese foods such as pilot whale.

The report suggested that instead they are eating other things from the ocean; for example certain types of good fish that are not contaminated. 

On the other hand, Weihe suggests that it will take time for older people, especially older men, to give up eating pilot whale meat. 

Weihe is the Chief Medical Officer in the Faroes and has for many years researched the effects of environmental toxins on humans.  The results show that toxins, among other things, raise the risk of Parkinson’s disease, high blood pressure and arteriosclerosis, as well as reduced mental capacity. 

These were among the results that led the Faroese health authorities a year ago to recommend that people should refrain from eating pilot whale meat on the basis of the many toxins. The report suggests that Pal Weihe is happy that the message is getting through to people, but that it is a long process. 
“If the politicians had put in place a general prohibition on eating pilot whale meat, then we would have made hunting illegal. I believe that the only correct way is to change the Faroese diet and that goes against their reason.  The connections will have to be shown, so that they themselves can use their good sense to decide whether to follow [the advice].  That will be for their own good, not for ours.”

WDCS has long argued that contamination is a major issue for the Faroese and more Arctic peoples.


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