It has emerged that over 250 pilot whales have been slaughtered in just one day in the Faroes. The two hunts (or grinds) took place in the killing cove of Bøur, where 111 pilot whales were slaughtered, and one just a few hours later in Tórshavn, where 142 pilot whales were killed. The total killed in this year’s hunts in the Faroes is already up to 429.
Every year in the Faroe Islands, a territory of Denmark, hundreds of pilot whales and other species including bottlenose dolphins, Atlantic white-sided dolphins and northern bottlenose whales, are hunted for their meat. The techniques used are intensely stressful and cruel. Entire family groups are rounded up out at sea by small motor boats and driven to the shore. Typically, once they are stranded in shallow water, blunt-ended metal hooks are inserted into their blowholes and used to drag the whales up the beach, where they are killed with a knife cut to their major blood vessels.
Well over 3,000 pilot whales have been killed since the beginning of 2010, raising serious human health, animal welfare and conservation concerns. Local people risk ingesting high levels of toxic compounds found in pilot whales if they continue to eat pilot whale meat.