Each year in the faroe islands up to 1000 pilot whales are killed during the grindadrap.
The grindadrap is the harvesting and slaughter of long-finned pilot whales.
Faroese claim this is a tradition.
The majority of North Atlantic cetaceans give birth to their calves in the warm waters of the equator before migrating past the Faroe Islands to feed in the rich waters of Svalbard and the Arctic. Long-finned pilot whales pass by the North Atlantic islands while pursuing squid, their main source of food.
Recorded first as early as 1584, the Faroese developed a method of whaling that involves stranding entire pods of small cetaceans on certain designated beaches. When a pod of cetaceans are spotted offshore, the hunt (grindagrap) commences.
Once the hunters have approached the pod, the boats form a small half-circle behind the dolphins. Small rocks attached to lines are thrown into the water to create a wall of bubbles to reflect the sonar of the pilot whale. The cetaceans interpret the bubbles as a cliff wall that they must steer away from – because of this, the small boats are able to herd the cetaceans towards a low-lying shore. As the pod approaches land, the boats continue to harass and frighten the mammals until they’re washed up on the shore. Once beached, a knife is used to cut through the veins and arteries that supply blood to the pilot whales head. Some pilot whales suffer for as much as 30 seconds while others can take up to four minutes to die.
Those pilot whales that do not wash ashore have a gaff hook beaten into their blowhole and are then pulled ashore by rope. The blocking of the cetacean’s airway is incredibly painful and results in panic and injury. The fear and suffering is no less mitigated by the sea water that quickly turns red with blood while the animals have been killed.
As the entire human community partakes in this violent “tradition”, the whale meat is divided up among the locals although many times the whale meat is simply left to rot on the beach. Up to 1,000 pilot whales are killed annually in this manner, primarily in the months of July and August.
Imagine how terrible must be for those animals to be hunted, to be killed all together, to hear their calves screaming, to swim in their own blood.
In 2016 we beleive that faroese population can find a different way to provide themselves food.
Pilot whales must be protected, therefore we invite you to send a letter of protest to the faroese and danish governments in order to stop this cruel and brutal tradition.
Stop the grindadrap!