Faeroe Islands

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Faeroe Islands


Faröe Islands

(both: fâr`ō), Dan. Færøerne, Faeroese Føroyar, group of volcanic islands (2005 est. pop. 47,000), 540 sq mi (1,399 sq km), Denmark, in the N Atlantic, between Iceland and the Shetland Islands. There are 18 main islands and a few small, uninhabited islands. The largest islands are Streymoy, on which the group's capital, TórshavnTórshavn
or Thorshavn
, city (1998 est. pop. 16,095), capital of the Faeroe Islands, on SE Streymoy Island, Denmark. It is the commercial and shipping center of the Faeroe Islands and is also a major fishing port.
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, is situated, and Østerø. The Faeroes are high and rugged and have only sparse vegetation. The climate is relatively mild because of the influence of the North Atlantic DriftNorth Atlantic Drift,
warm ocean current in the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean. It is a continuation of the Gulf Stream, the merging point being at lat. 40°N and long. 60°W.
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; there are frequent storms and much fog.

The population is Scandinavian and almost totally Lutheran; they speak Faeroese (a Germanic language derived from Old Norse and related to Danish) and Danish. The inhabitants depend mainly on fishing and to a lesser extent on sheep raising, shipbuilding, and fish farming. Fish, animal feeds, stamps, and ships are exported, while consumer goods, raw materials, machinery, and fuels are imported. The chief fishing ports are Vágur, Tórshavn, and Klaksvíg. The potential for petroleum production is being explored.

The Faeroes are a self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark; they are governed under the Danish constitution of 1953. The Danish monarch, represented by a high commissioner, is the head of state. The government is headed by the prime minister, who is elected by the legislature. The cabinet is appointed by the prime minister. The 32 members of the unicameral Faeroese Parliament or Logting are popularly elected to four-year terms.


The earliest known inhabitants were Celtic. In the 8th cent. A.D. the islands were settled by Norsemen. In the early 11th cent. they became part of the kingdom of Norway and were Christianized. The population was nearly wiped out by an outbreak of black plague in the 14th cent. and was soon after replaced by Norwegian settlers. Along with Norway, the Faeroes passed under Danish rule in 1380, and they remained Danish after the Treaty of Kiel (1814) transferred Norway from the Danish to the Swedish crown. A nationalist movement in the 19th cent. led to the revival of Faeroese, a language akin to Icelandic, and there is an extensive native literature.

In World War II, Great Britain established (1940) a protectorate over the islands after the German occupation of Denmark. After the war there was considerable sentiment for full independence, and following a plebiscite in 1946, the islands' parliament proclaimed independence. The Danish king dissolved the Lagting, and after a new parliament was elected, the proclamation was reversed. However, in 1948 the Faeroese obtained home rule from Denmark. Since 1953 they have sent two representatives to the Danish parliament. The Faeroes did not join the European Community (EC; now the European UnionEuropean Union
(EU), name given since the ratification (Nov., 1993) of the Treaty of European Union, or Maastricht Treaty, to the European Community (EC), an economic and political confederation of European nations, and other organizations (with the same member nations)
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, EU) with Denmark in 1972 because it would have opened their fishing waters to other EC members. In 1977 the fishing limit was extended to 200 nautical mi (370 km). A unilaterial increase by the Faeroese in 2013 in their herring catch led to an EU ban on Faeroese herring. Sentiment in favor of independence remains strong among many islanders.

References in periodicals archive ?
The most probable places of contact and origin for the Icelandic settlers include Greenland, the Faeroe Islands, the northern British Isles and Ireland, and the west coast of Norway.
So he was surprised a decade ago when one neighbor, the late Arnold Bodtker, presented a book on the Faeroe Islands to Dick's parents, Merle and Alice Hentze.
Pierre and Miquelon, Palestine, Faeroe Islands, and Singapore (p.
The findings at the Sixth International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant (ICMGP) were based on the group's study of residents in the Faeroe Islands, a self-governing region of Denmark in the North Atlantic.
At Grimsby, supplies of fish were being received from Iceland and the Faeroe Islands with a limited supply from Ireland.
The four-member whaling club -- Norway, Iceland, Greenland and the Faeroe Islands -- called Japan's program in the northwestern Pacific ''important research'' on the impact marine mammals have on the ecosystem, according to the Japanese group.
Teleglobe said it believed the cable had been cut due to a trawler accident but could not be sure until a cable ship reached the cut - somewhere between Iceland and the Faeroe Islands - on Monday.
When Ola Steen won the architectural competition for the Nordic House on the Faeroe Islands (AR July 1986, p67), he presented a somewhat schematic proposal which none the less had a clever and flexible plan.
Chile's other competitors in the salmon-export industry include Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Denmark's Faeroe Islands, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States (Maine).
Together with the original FARICE-1 system connecting Iceland and the Faeroe Islands to Scotland, for years to come the newly upgraded DANICE cable will enable us to better serve the needs of both our data center customers, as well as our traditional telecommunications customers.
TORSHAVN, Faeroe Islands -- For months, even years, hotels on the remote Faeroe Islands have been fully booked by fans who don't want to miss an almost three-minute-long astronomical sensation.