For 700 Years, This Country Continues Its Scary Festival Despite Critics
① The Faroe Islands Whale Hunting Festival
The annual whale hunting festival was held again this year in the Faroe Islands.
The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory of Denmark, consisting of 18 small islands located between Norway and Iceland in the North Atlantic.
Unlike their mother country Denmark, they are not part of the European Union.
The Faroe Islands are known for their breathtaking tourist attractions and, notably, whale hunting.
In the past, the Faroese hunted whales in large numbers to survive the harsh winters.
The hunted whales were used as food for the winter months.
This practice, known as ‘Grindadrap,’ continues today, even though there is no longer a need to worry about winter food supplies.
Each year, they herd dozens of dolphins onto the beach and hunt them. The hunters lure the pod of whales to the beach by motorboat, where waiting locals then spear the whales to death.
The sea turns red with blood, and countless whales meet their end on the spot.
Currently, dolphin hunting is considered a festival in the Faroe Islands, attracting tourists who come to witness it.
Whale hunting has been ongoing for an astonishing 700 years.
When the whale hunting festival takes place, nearly 2,000 whales are killed each year.
In a single day, over 1,400 whales can be killed, or mercilessly speared on the beach.
Only about 20% of the hunted whales are used as food. The rest lose their lives for no reason at all.
After the hunt, the whales were evenly distributed among the residents who attended.
Residents typically salt or smoke the whale meat for long-term storage and consumption.
② Criticism of Senseless Slaughter
Despite increased regulations due to public opinion, the Faroe Islands’ whale hunting has not changed.
In the Faroe Islands, anyone with a whaling training certificate can hunt without any other restrictions.
This is because whaling in the Faroe Islands is not for commercial purposes but as a means of livelihood.
However, some hunters participate in whale hunting without certification.
The Faroe Islands Tourist Board stated, “It is estimated that there are about 778,000 whales in the Eastern North Atlantic region, and the tradition of whale hunting is a sustainable way to obtain food from nature.”
Those who support whale hunting argue that it is an important event that secures food and builds community spirit among residents.
They also absurdly claim that the method of whale hunting is not cruel because it ends the life of the whale in just one second.
They argue that there is no significant problem with their hunting because about 100,000 whales inhabit the area near the Faroe Islands.
The Faroese authorities also do not impose any sanctions on whale hunting.
Animal rights activists strongly oppose the Faroe Islands’ whale hunting, calling it a ‘meaningless massacre.’
The marine environmental protection organization ‘Sea Shepherd’ criticized the Faroe Islands’ dolphin hunting.
Sea Shepherd stated, “Cases where the life of a whale is taken so quickly are very rare,” and “Due to the unexpectedly large scale of the dolphin pod, the hunt was prolonged, causing the dolphins to suffer for a long time before losing their lives.”
Despite the consistent outcry from animal rights activists, whale hunting continues.
Residents of the Faroe Islands also oppose whale hunting.
According to a survey by Faroese public broadcasting, 50% of Faroese residents are opposed to dolphin hunting, while only 30% are in favor.
③ Ongoing Clashes with Tourists
When the Faroe Islands’ whale hunting takes place, the sea turns completely red.
Cruise ships sailing the North Atlantic often stop at the Faroe Islands.
When the whale hunting takes place, tourists are shocked to see the enormous number of dead whales.
The sea stained with blood is also a shocking sight.
In July, the British cruise operator ‘Ambassador Cruise Line’ issued an apology via social media.
The cruise company stated, “Unfortunately, ‘whale hunting’ occurred while our ship was docked in the harbor. We strongly oppose the practice of whaling. We sincerely apologize to the passengers who had to witness the whale hunting.”
At that time, passengers witnessed whale hunting in the Faroe Islands in real-time.
Despite worldwide criticism, the end of whale hunting in the Faroe Islands is not in sight.
Many are already heartbroken at the thought of this happening again next year.