Sea of Blood: Hundreds of Whales Slaughtered on the Beaches of the Faroes



Image: Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)

“The chaos of killing large groups of these intelligent, social whales inevitably results in shocking cruelty. A highly modern community killing over 1,100 whales in this way is completely unacceptable.” Joanna Toole, Marine Mammals Programmes Manager for the World Society for the Protection of Animals

The sea is stained red with blood – the blood of hundreds of pilot whales, flowing into the waters off the Faroe Islands as the sea creatures are slaughtered. The small-toothed whales have been rounded up and beached in shallow waters, and now the whalers wield knives while children play close-by. Later, the meat will be divided amongst the people, either to be frozen or preserved by more traditional means – salting or air-drying. First, though, there is the butchery to deal with.


Image: Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)

Known as the ‘grinds’, or grindadráp, the whaling hunts that take place each year in the Faroe Islands have drawn the attention of animal rights activists and ordinary citizens worldwide. The hunt is a communal rather than commercial activity, with the whale meat and blubber shared among families in the whaling districts that participate. There is very little waste, according to one of the hunters, who claimed over 90% of each animal is consumed.

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