Whaling

Brazilian president takes on Norway for whaling – but why is he using a video of the Faroese grindadráp to ram home point?

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has, rather interestingly, blasted Norway for its whaling practice.

This comes after Norway announced last week that it, like Germany, was blocking 30 million euros of subsidies to Brazil, accusing it of turning its back on the fight against deforestation.

Norway has been the single largest donor to the Amazon Fund for forest protection, giving almost 830 million euros since its creation 11 years ago.

Oslo said Brazil, under Bolsonaro’s leadership, “no longer wishes to stop deforestation” and said it unilaterally “broke the agreement” it had on the Amazon Fund.

Mr. Bolsonaro reacted immediately and angrily.

“Norway, isn’t that the country that kills whales up there, at the North Pole? And that produces oil too? That is not at all a role model to us. Let them keep their money and let them help Angela Merkel reforest Germany,” he said on Twitter.

Bolsonaro posted a video and photographs on Twitter of a whale hunt, stating “Look at the killing of whales sponsored by Norway.”

The images, reportedly taken on May 29 in Norway, illustrate a “grind,” a type of pilot whale hunt practiced exclusively in the Faroe Islands

On May 29, a grindadráp took place in Tórshavn, the capital city of the Faroe Islands. Approximately 150-200 pilot whales were killed in that particular slaughter.

“We can confirm that the video/the photos are not from Norway,” the Norwegian fisheries minister told AFP in an email.

“Our whale hunt takes place from ships at sea,” he said, arguing that the Norwegian practice was “sustainable.”

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