The head of the Faroe Islands public health administration, Dr. Pál Weihe, has once again advised all Faroe Islanders against eating whale meat.
This comes after Faroese Fisheries Minister Høgni Hoydal argued that the practice of the pilot whale hunt is ”ecological” and ”respectful”. Hoydal also pointed out that the pratice of the pilot whale hunt is a key part of the Faroese tradition of living in a sustainable way off their marine resources.
However, Dr. Weihe is having none of it. He stated to AFP: ”We find it so problematic for the health of the Faroese to eat it that we have asked them to make this cultural sacrifice,” he told AFP, stressing: ”It is a sacrifice not to consume this very traditional food anymore.”
”If Denmark or Britain should stop eating bacon for breakfast, that would be a part of the culture which disappeared. Whale meat has really been part of our way of living, our identity, our culture,” Dr. Weihe said.
After following hundreds of children in a study that began in 1986, Weihe first recommended in 1998 that people limit pilot whale meat consumption to one or two meals a month — and advised pregnant women and those planning to have children to refrain completely.
As scientific documentation of toxicity levels steadily improved, that recommendation was extended to the entire Faroese population in 2008, writes AFP.