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Stakeholder Analysis Sea Shepherd

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1.) The key issue here is whaling and whether or not it is something that needs to happen in this day and age. There are many stakeholders that come to mind in the whaling debate. In order to go more in depth with the analysis, I am going to focus on the grindadráp, also known as the grind, in the Faroe Islands. The Grind happens is that during the summer, the Faroese people surround pilot whales with a semicircle of boats, then they drive these whales to shore where the hunters wait to kill them. Sea Shepherd does not believe that this should happen and have gone done to the Faroe Islands to stop it.

2.) The first group that is considered a stakeholder would be the Faroese people who rely on this meat for much of their meals. The whale meat makes up about 30% of all meat produced locally on the island. The economy of the Faroe Islands is very dependent on the fishing industry, which is another reason why they are such key stakeholders . Sea Shepherd is also a key stakeholder because they want to protect the whales and have gone down to the Island to do so. Sea Shepherd believes that the “slaughter is particularly gruesome since the killing is conducted as a community sporting event…” they have also stated that “the hunt is done because of tradition and the absurd belief by the Faeroese that God gave the whales to the people to be slaughtered” . A third stakeholder would be the Faroese government who regulates the drive. They stipulate “in detail requirements for organization, supervision and conduct of the whale drive, killing methods and approved equipment, as well as rules for distribution of the shares of the catch” . A fourth stakeholder would be the community on the Faroe Islands.

“Catches of whales are shared largely without the exchange of money among participants in a hunt and residents of the local district where they are landed” . These people live off the meat and they do not hunt because of profit. The community needs the meat to survive; on the other hand, they are also stakeholders because this whale meat could affect their health. As with many animals in the ocean, mercury is always an issue. This also includes whales that the Faroese people eat. They have released advice and recommendations for the consumption of this meat letting the community know what not to eat and how to be more careful . A final stakeholder, although some may not think this way, would be the whales themselves who are being driven to the shore and killed with spears or clubs. These are living, breathing creatures that have families and can feel pain and other emotions. We cannot forget about those who cannot speak or stand up for themselves.

3.) Three of the four stakeholders have a lot of power. The Faroese people have a lot the most power because they are such a large group of people at this drive effects all of them. I would say that they have both voting and political power. If someone were to want to stop this drive, they would have to do so through the legal system, that being said, most of the Faroese people would then be able to vote or go against what they are saying in a court of law. This is a tradition and they have done if for many, many years and their livelihoods really depend on it. They have power in numbers as well; no one is going to be able to effectively stop a whole town from hunting whales. That leads into the Faroese Government having legal power.

They decide when the hunt will happen and which bays will be open for the grind. If they decide that they are not safe or not well suited, the grind does not happen. There is also Faroese animal welfare legislation which “stipulates that animals are killed as quickly and with as little suffering as possible” . There are many rules and regulations that need to be followed in order for the Grind to happen. The third stakeholder is Sea Shepherd who does have political power as well as informational power. They are a large group of activists who have in the past helped laws be put into action. They have gone down to the Faroe Islands brought with them their large ships as well as their very sleek small one to stop the whaling. They have a large crew of volunteers who help them with their mission. They believe that they have a moral obligation to stop the slaughter of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands as well as in other parts of the world. They have many tactical maneuvers that they use to stop whaling and I would say that gives them power of force over some of the whalers. The final stakeholder does not really have any power, and that would be the whales. They cannot speak out for themselves or really do anything to stop this from happening.

4.) It is very hard to choose a side in this situation. The Faroese have a right to hunt for food but Sea Shepherd believes that it does not need to happen at all. The Faroese people need the whale meat to survive, they live
on an island where very little plants can grow and whale meat makes up most of their food. They also are not really making any money off this meat, which also shows that they really do need it purely for food. There is a fine line between whaling as a means of living and whaling for pure profit. Sea Shepherd needs to take that into account. The Faroese people have a long tradition of whaling and this is really a part of their culture.

Compare that to the Japanese that have lost most of their culture of whaling and do it for the profit. They do not need to whale to survive. Therefore, there needs to be a difference in the way that these two types of whaling are looked at. The Japanese whaling can and should be stopped. This can certainly happen through laws passed for protection of the whales in the Southern Ocean. On the other hand, whaling in the Faroe Islands must continue no matter how bloody or gruesome it looks. The Faroese people depend on this to survive. There really is no win-win outcome when Sea Shepherd wants to end all whaling around the world and when the Faroese people need to eat.

5.) There really is only one course of action and that would be to allow the Faroese people to continue their grind. Sea Shepherd cannot stop a community from hunting food that they depend on. The only thing that may make Sea Shepherd less upset would be to change the way the grind happens which means changing a cultural tradition that has been happening for hundreds of years. It would be much easier to take in if the Faroese people did not kill the whales in the fashion of the Grind but in a more “humane” way. A course of action that would have to be followed would to be a different way of killing the whales, not slaughter 3,500 pilot whales at once. The Faroese people should actually hunt them and not force the whales to beach themselves. They should go out far into the ocean and give the whales a chance to get away.a

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