The Faroe Islands is a group of islands situated the north Atlantic Ocean. They are known for their dolphins, which they hunt as part of an annual tradition. This year’s hunting season has been met with criticism and outrage from around the world, but the Faroes continue to defend themselves. Read on to find out more about the Faroese tradition of dolphin hunting.
The Faroe Islands recently made headlines when it was announced that pilot whales would be legally hunted and killed by the islanders.
Towns and villages across the islands make a communal decision as to when they will carry out the whaling. The Faroese do not consider the pilot whale to be a fish, but rather a mammal. They argue that they have been whaling for centuries, and that the debate over its legality is a moot point. The Faroe Islands are not a member of the European Union, meaning that laws restricting the hunting do not apply to them.
Whaling has long been part of how the Faroese live. They are able to sustain themselves by fishing and whaling. The Faroese claim they consume all parts of the whale, which allows them to gain maximum sustenance from their kill. Many believe that the killing of these animals is unnecessary, because the Faroese could simply stop eating them.
Arguments against whaling centre around what many believe to be needless cruelty towards an already endangered species. The Faroese reject this, claiming that they continue to hunt even though their stocks are decreasing because it is part of their culture and heritage. As long as there are whales in the sea surrounding their islands, they will not stop hunting them. They say that the whaling is humane, with regulations requiring hunters to kill the mammal quickly by striking it on its head with a metal hook. If taken out of the water before being killed immediately, they claim that dolphins can remain alive for up to 15 minutes after being harpooned.
Animal rights activists have petitioned the Faroe Islands to stop hunting whales, but they continue to do so. The Faroese say that the international outrage over the practice is unjustified, and completely misunderstands their way of life. They claim that whaling is no crueler than killing cows for beef, or chickens for poultry. It is a part of the way they live, and they will continue to defend their right to do so.