why do they kill whales in the faroe islands
The people of Faroe Islands have always lived intimately with their natural surroundings. For more than a thousand years the Faroese have survived by keeping sheep and cattle, by fishing, and by hunting seabirds and pilot whales. Living was tough and everything nature could yield had to be fully utilised with available means and skill. Most of these ancient hunting traditions are kept alive today. Faroese still have a very close relationship with nature and treasure the quality of life and community bonds that this connection maintains. Faroese people from all walks of life also keep sheep, hunt birds and participate in whale hunts in their spare time. These modern-day, traditional forms of food production are a welcome contribution to the household economy. If the Faroese did not maintain these connections with their own food, much more would have to be imported. This would also have a significant extra impact on the environment, considering the fuel needed for transport. Sea turns BLOOD red: 61 pilot whales savagely massacred in yet. DEBATE: Should the ban on whale hunting be lifted? Sea Shepherd representatives will go to any lengths to paint a negative picture of the Faroese whale hunt as БcruelБ, БbarbaricБ and БunnecessaryБ, with the aim of inciting anger and outrage against what is, in fact, a fully regulated and legitimate sourc The pilot whale catch is a community-based activity as it has always been, and the meat and blubber is divided fairly according to traditional customs among the participants.
The pilot whale is not an endangered species. Scientists estimate that the pilot whale population in the eastern North Atlantic is about 778,000 whales, with approximately 100,000 around the Faroe Islands. The Faroese hunt on average 800 pilot whales annually. Whale catches in the Faroe Islands are conducted in accordance with international law and globally recognised principles of sustainable development. Catches are sustainable and fully regulated by national laws and regulations, with a strong emphasis on animal welfare, and a requirement today for participants to be licenced to use the mandatory methods and equipment. Whale drives only take place in bays that are officially approved for the purpose, and only schools of whales found in close proximity to land, usually within one nautical mile, are driven ashore. The law explicitly states that the hunt is to be conducted in such a way as to cause as little suffering to the whales as possible. When the whales have beached themselves, they are killed. It takes a few seconds to kill each whale, and the entire pod is normally killed in less than ten minutes. The use of a spinal lance, designed by a Faroese veterinarian, ensures that the whales lose consciousness and die within a few seconds. The lance is inserted once through the animal's neck to break its spinal cord. The pilot whale hunt is dramatic and bloody by its nature. Entire pods of whales are killed on shores and in shallow bays at open sight. Naturally, this results in a lot of blood in the water. Slaughtered whales are pictured in the town of Hvalvik, Denmark The Government of the Faroes underlines the importance it has always placed on dialogue, freedom of speech and the democratic right of all citizens, both in the Faroes and in all other countries, to express their views openly.
Faroese authorities will not, however, tolerate the disruption of the pilot whale drive in the Faroe Islands, which is a legal, fully regulated and sustainable use of an abundant natural resource. Obstructing a whale drive can be dangerous and can put people and property at risk. Pilot whales in Faroese waters continue to provide a valued source of food for the people of our marine-dependent nation, as they have done for centuries. Illegal and potentially dangerous actions by activists from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, combined with attempts to spread deliberately misleading information to the media, have been the hallmark of the activities of this group for decades. Sea Shepherd representatives will go to any lengths to paint a negative picture of the Faroese whale hunt as cruel, barbaric and unnecessary, with the aim of inciting anger and outrage against what is, in fact, a fully regulated and legitimate source of food for the people of the Faroe Islands. They have chosen an easy target, as whale drives in the Faroes take place in the open for anyone to watch and document. Are pilot whales an endangered species? No. The total number of pilot whales taken in the Faroe Islands can fluctuate from one year to the next. The average catch of around 800 whales a year is not considered to have a significant impact on the abundance of pilot whales, which are estimated at around 778,000.
Is the pilot whale hunt an annual festival? Whale drives are not an annual festival or ritual, as is often wrongly claimed. Whale drives in the Faroe Islands take place to provide food, and can happen at any time of the year. The driving, beaching, killing and distribution of pilot whales are fully regulated by law and regulations. Catches are shared among the participants and local community. West Wing actor Martin Sheen blasts Danish PM over 'disgusting'. Is pilot whale killing commercialised? No. The catch is distributed for free in the local community where a catch takes place. This traditional community-based sharing of catches also ensures that the larger the catch, the more people get a share of it. However, in some supermarkets and on the dockside, whale meat and blubber is occasionally available for sale. Do pilot whales suffer when they are killed? Faroese animal welfare legislation, which also applies to whaling, stipulates that animals must be killed as quickly and efficiently as possible. Whales are killed on the shore and in the shallows of bays especially suited and authorised for the purpose, under the supervision of locally elected officials and by people with a required license. Is whale meat and blubber contaminated? The high levels of mercury/methyl mercury as well as other contaminants deriving from global industry, such as PCB and DDT in pilot whale meat and blubber, are well documented and are continually monitored. Why do the Faroese eat contaminated whale meat and blubber? Faroese people are well aware of the risks associated with consuming too much pilot whale meat and blubber.
The health authorities have made recommendations on the safe limits of consumption, and people have taken these on board. For example, pregnant women are advised not to eat whale meat and blubber. Is the contamination a big issue in the Faroe Islands? Contaminant levels in pilot whales are a matter of considerable concern to the Faroese, who are so dependent on the sea and its resources. That is why the elimination of pollutants at their source should be the major focus of governmental cooperation and campaigns to ensure binding international commitments to clean up the oceans that are our common heritage. The pilot whale population in the eastern North Atlantic is approximately 778,000, of which 100,000 are around the Faroe Islands. The Faroese catch around 800 whales a year on average. Whaling in the Faroe Islands has been regulated for centuries. The law explicitly states that the hunt is to be conducted in such a way as to cause as little suffering to the whales as possible. The pilot whale catch in the Faroe Islands is a community-based activity, as it has always been, and the meat and blubber is divided fairly according to local and traditional customs. The use of locally available wildlife is still a natural part of life in the Faroe Islands, which is a modern society closely in touch with its unique natural environment. Faroese food culture has been shaped over the centuries under harsh natural conditions. It is a living, functional and vital part of modern Faroese culture and identity.
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