Villagers in Faroe islands of Denmark turned the sea water red with blood while they slaughtered around 145 pilot whales and seven white-sided dolphins on 29 May.
The pods of whales could be seen lanced with hunting spears, spilling blood in the sea and gushing through the air.
The hunt, a part of the local livelihood culture in the city of Torshavn in the Faroe Islands, has caused outrage among wildlife conservationists over the world. The slaughter was termed as ‘brutal’ and ‘cruel’ by the Blue Planet Society campaign pressure group.
As local fishermen spotted pods of whales passing the shores of the Faroe Islands during their migration, boats drove the whales towards the authorized shores. Volunteers helped them pull ashore the whales they killed as spectators gathered in front of the red-tinted sea to watch the hunt.
However, this is not a new incident. Every summer, the waters that surround the Faroe Islands turn a horrific, deep red as the blood of hundreds of whales and dolphins spills into the sea. For outsiders the scene could seem brutal and gruesome.
Whale hunting is just an ordinary, annual tradition of the culling of whales, which dates back to the late 16th century in the Danish territories.
Every year about 800 whales are killed to provide meat and blubber that is part of the staple diet of the people of the Faroe Islands. Each whale provides communities with several hundred kilos of meat that would otherwise have to be imported at a cost to the locals and the environment.
It is a communal activity, and catches are shared by the locals largely without the exchange of cash.
The local government says the hunting is not only sustainable, but ensures that the 18 islands, which have limited opportunities for farming, are as self-sufficient as possible.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, told Metro UK, “Whaling is a natural part of Faroese life. It has long since been internationally recognised that pilot whale catches in the Faroe Islands are fully sustainable.”
However, the Blue Planet Society, which is also campaigning to stop the killing of whales in Japan, has started a petition to stop whaling worldwide.
A spokesman for the group called for action to be taken by the EU and claimed 500 whales and dolphins had been killed since the start of 2019.
The activists wrote on Facebook: ‘150-200 pilot whales and 20-40 white-sided dolphins were brutally and cruelly slaughtered in the Faroe Islands today.’