What is Grindadrap? Hundreds of whales hunted and slaughtered in annual barbaric tradition
A gruesome tradition of killing pilot whales in the Faroe Islands recently turned the sea red with blood after hunters with their boats drove the animals towards the shore. The tradition which takes place in the remote archipelago killed 175 pilot whales including pregnant females and juvenile whales.
The New York Post reported that an international marine wildlife conservation group known as Sea Shepherd captured the sea mammal massacre. This cruel tradition of killing whales for meat is known as Grindadrap or “grind.” Speaking on the same the group said, “Our crew is on the islands to be the voice of the whales. They mean no harm, yet they are threatened and harassed by locals who don’t want their ‘proud’ tradition documented and exposed to the world.” According to the New York Post, the non-profit organization has been battling the gory practice for years and this year they had to face angry local hunters, who shot guns and tried to damage the organization’s drone.
What is Grindadrap?
According to the website Lifegate, Grindadrap is the local name for this annual event of killing whales in the Faroe Islands, a self-governing archipelago under Denmark. The festival sees pilot whales along with bottlenose dolphins, white-sided dolphins, and Risso’s dolphins getting brutally killed every year as a part of the tradition. The website states that the inhabitants in the Faroe Islands have been fishing the local seas for centuries where the first recorded kill goes as far back as 1584. Currently, these species are not on the list of endangered animals however many organizations believe the lack of record data tells another story.
Warning: Graphic content
What happened in the Faroe Islands this year?
The organization Sea Shepherd shared the video on their official Instagram account which captured the hunters waiting on the shore as whales lied died on the shore. The graphic content came with a caption that read, “On June 27th, 2021, Sea Shepherd crew witnessed for 175 pilot whales in the Faroe Islands whose lives were mercilessly taken from them in the name of 'tradition'. The dead included juveniles and pregnant females, whose almost fully formed fetuses were discarded as trash.”
It further read, “The crew's cameras captured all kinds of atrocities and disrespect for life, including a boat deliberately ramming directly into a small group of whales that were resisting being driven onto the killing beach, then maneuvering with the boat's propeller right over the top of the whales. What is shown in this video is our crew is on the islands to be the voice of the whales. They mean no harm, yet they are threatened and harassed by locals who don't want their "proud" tradition documented and exposed to the world.” According to Daily Mail, Robert Read, Chief Operating Officer at Sea Shepherd, said, “The Grindadrap is a barbaric relic of a bygone age. A needless hunt of hundreds of pilot whales and dolphins which should have ended a century ago which is not needed to feed anyone on the islands.”
Warning: Graphic content