Whales and dolphins are protected animals in most nations however on this distant island, they’re hunted down and killed for sport. Unilad reported that over 100 pilot whales and more than 10 dolphins – which migrated to the north for the summer – were slaughtered in the city of Torshavn, which is the capital of Streymoy Island in the Faroe Islands.
FYI, the Faroe Islands is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, but they are an autonomous country. They are not a member of the EU (European Union) and the Faroese Parliament has supreme authority over the islands.
According to the report, the marine creatures were brought to the shore by fishermen after they were stabbed with specialised hunting spears. Spectators also gathered around the beach to watch the hunt and to help the fishermen pull the creatures out of the water.
As a result of the slaughter, the seawater turned a “horrifying colour of red”. A literal blood bath.
This practice was brought to light by a Facebook page named Blue Planet Society. In their post, they wrote,
“130-150 pilot whales and 10-20 white-sided dolphins were brutally and cruelly slaughtered in the Faroe Islands today (29th May 2019). Approximately 500 cetaceans have now been killed ‘for food’ in these islands since the beginning of 2019.”
“The Faroe Islands are part of the Kingdom of Denmark (an EU country). Both pilot whales and white-sided dolphins are protected in the EU.”
The post managed to garner attention from netizens as people agreed that the practice was inhumane. A Blue Plane Society spokesperson elaborated that over 100,000 dolphins and whales are hunted and killed every year.
What’s even worse is that most of these hunts are “unregulated, illegal and unsustainable with unknown impacts on (the) populations”.
Following that, the page created a petition demanding that the Prime Minister of Faroe Islands, Aksel V Johannesen, and the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, halt the hunt of dolphins and small whales.
At the time of writing, over 200,000 people have signed the petition – two-thirds of the petition’s goal to reach a total of 300,000 signatures. Whoa!
If you didn’t know, whaling in the Faroe Islands is actually an ancient practice, where residents will herd whales to shallow waters and kill them.
They normally use a “spinal lance”, which will be pierced into the whales’ necks to break their spinal cord, to kill the animals. This tradition is still practised today as many whales and dolphins are slaughtered for the meat on these North Atlantic Islands.
Having said that, a quick check on the state whaling in the Faroe Islands revealed that the practice is actually regulated. Based on Whales and Whaling in the Faroe Islands, the people of the Islands have been eating pilot whale meat and blubber (aka whale fat) since they first settled in Faroe.
In current times, the whale drive community is welcoming to all people. Therefore, the drive is well-organised on a community level and it is regulated by the Faroe Islands law.
Well, we hope there can be some sort of negotiation between all parties involved. Ancient practice or not, the pictures are blood-curdling. What’s your take on this issue? Let us know in the comments below!
Also read: Protected Live Animals & Slaughtered Wildlife Found Being Sold by Traders in Sarawak