Horrific photos have emerged of a brutal slaughter of a pod of whales on a remote Arctic island.
The animals are routinely rounded up and butchered in cold blood over the course of a year as part of ‘tradition’.
One of the mass culls happens every summer, with thousands of pilot and beaked whales meeting their maker in bays across the Danish-owned Faroe Islands.
Sickening images show fishermen steering herds into the shallow waters, stained red by the blood of slain animals which have come before them.
One whale can be seen fighting for its life as three men drag it through the water.
Other revellers use ropes to drag the whales’ bodies into the shore as punters watch on the beach.
All in all, this particular horror show lasted a total of an hour and a half, with 180 whales stripped of their lives.
The Faroese have eaten pilot whale meat and blubber since they first settled in the islands over a century ago. According to the official Faroe Islands tourist site, the whale drive is a community activity open to all, well organised on a community level and regulated by national laws.
Records of all pilot whale hunts have been kept since 1584. The practice, they believe, is sustainable, as there are an estimated whopping 778,000 whales in the eastern North Atlantic region.
On average, 100,000 swim close to the Faroe Islands, and the Faroese hunt on average 800 pilot whales each year.
The meat and blubber from the hunt is distributed equally among those who’ve participated. Those who are too ill or weak to take part are encouraged to sign up for their share, even though they’ve not taken part.
Hunting and killing methods have been ‘improved’, they say, to ensure as little harm to the whales as possible. All hunters must now obtain a hunting license in order to kill a whale.
Although pilot whale meat and blubber contains protein, iron, carnitine and vitamins, there are concerns the high levels of mercury and PCBs in the whales can have negative health effects.
Ocean pollution by heavy industries and industrialised agriculture has resulted in the pollution of these animals.
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