Mass Killing of Pilot Whales – The Grindadrap, The Faroe Islands

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The Faroe Islands are one of the most isolated places in the whole world. Weather is windy, rainy and cold year round. Except potatoes there’s pretty much no agriculture. The fruits and vegetables sold in supermarkets have been imported over from Denmark and is expensive as much as 10 times more than elsewhere in Europe. Faroe Islands, not only known for landscapes, bird cliffs and waterfalls, but more about the Grindadrap, the controversial Faroese whale hunt, and how it is perceived by the local population. They exist as an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark and they are NOT a part of the European Union.

The Grindadrap, the Faroese whale hunt. Since the 13th Century whaling in the Faroe island has been recorded. In the Faroes, pilot whales are killed on the beach. When a pod is sighted, whales are driven to the shore and struck with a spinal lance that severs connection with the brain and kills them in a matter of seconds. When a whale is struck with the spinal lance, its arteries are also cut, causing massive blood loss – the waters turn deep red.

The Faroese grindadrap is incredibly cruel with suffering caused during several hours while the pod is driven by dozens of boats. The pilot whales are then killed over an extended period (from minutes to sometimes hours) in front of their entire family while beached on sand, rocks or just struggling in shallow water until not a single pilot whale is left. The Faroese (the local fishermen) have no mercy. Every pilot whale in the pod is killed including pregnant mothers, juveniles, babies. None are ever spared from the Faroese knives.

More than 180 whales were killed and left to die in sndav Gur Bay, turning the blue water into crimson red with blood as locals clicked pictures. Using hooked ropes to yank the whales to shore, the fisherman hack at their bodies with sharp knives and many are left decapitated in pain, dying a slow and horrific death.

According to the IUCN Red List, the Grindadrap is a sustainable practice. Pilot whales are not endangered. They live free up until the moment when they are killed, which happens in a quick and pain-free manner, regulated by authorities – only licensed hunters are able to access the beaches during the hunt.

Activists call locals ‘savages’ because killing whales is ‘morally wrong.’

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