On the Faroe Islands pilot whales are hunted for food. The hunt is a dramatic sight that has upset many and been subject to a great deal of criticism from around the world.

Since the beginning of the Faroese nation in the first millenium pilot whale meat has played an important role in the survival of it’s people. The Faroes are remote islands with rough weather and tough residents who have had to survive on what few food sources they had access to.

“GRINDABOOOOOÐ!” was shouted out loud, and in some degree still is, whenever there was a grind in sight. Grind is a pod of pilot whales. The word was a means of messaging and at the same time an expression of excitement. A whole communication system was set in motion in order to gather enough people for the hunt to be successful.

The word boð means “message”. Therefore grindaboð means “message about grind”. This website messages about grind, but in a different way than tradition dictates.

Today the pilot whale hunt is needless and causes unnecessary harm to the whales, yet the hunt remains an icon for the Faroes, a cultural symbol of a sort. Grindaboð.fo wishes to pay tribute to this iconic animal and promote alternative ways for the Faroese people to relate with pilot whales.


marnaolsenA Faroese woman with a MA in Communications and Business Studies who is interested in environment and animal welfare.

Why a website about pilot whales? I didn’t know much about pilot whales before I started working on this website – and I still have lots to learn about these gentle beings with whom we share the Faroese waters.

Killing pilot whales for food has for me for a long time been something that Faroese people ‘just do’ – like other people kill cows, pigs, chicken and so on. I stopped eating animals when I was around 10 and have felt (com)passionate about animal welfare for as long as I can remember. Lately I have noticed a growing number of voices speaking up to challenge this norm and so the issue caught my attention.

I think the time has come to end the grindadráp (the pilot whale hunt) and be thankful for the meat that these whales have provided for the Faroese people over time. Let us get to know the pilot whales, protect them, and enjoy the sight of them – and let us promote the pilot whale as a positive, living cultural icon for the Faroe Islands.

Looking into the Latin and Germanic origin of my two first names, Marna Frida can actually be translated into something like Ocean Peace. I think that’s pretty cool!

You are most welcome to get in touch by sending me an email to grindabod.fo [at] gmail.com 

Marna OlsenAbout Grindaboð.fo