The killing of whales in the Fær Øer islands
Posted on August 31, 2010 by cinzia
Every year, at the Fær Øer, an archipelago in the North Sea, close to Iceland, there’s a really cruel show related to the crossing of the young and adult whales: it’s the massacre of the “pilot whales”.
This tradition dates back to the 16th century and since 1709 it has been reported in the local chronicles.
For the Fær Øer inhabitants this is a feast, and on this day the school closes and children go to the beach to watch this show with the adults.
The killings is not performed in the high sea, but close to the beach. The groups of whales that go close to the coast to look for food are pushed by the boats towards the beach and when they get stuck, the inhabitants kill them with hooks, knives or axes.
The length of the pilot whales vary between 5 and 7 mt, they may weight even more than 2 tons. They live in all the oceans in big groups composed by the moms with their kids. They are very friendly and can even live 50 years.
As the other whales in the North Atlantic ocean, they’re protected by the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, but this is not enough to stop the slaughter. Although they are a Danish Protectorate, the Fær Øer have their own independent government and they use their authonomy also to manage the environment and keep the tradition alive.
Therefore children keep playing on the beach coloured by the blood of the animals, among the cries of the slaughtered whales. So far, the call of the Conservation Society and of Greenpeace have not been worthwhile.