If you are a Facebook user, you may have stumbled on one of these viral images of whales being mass slaughtered by the sea claiming to be a tradition as a rite of passage to inhabitants of Faroe Island in Denmark – an eRumor that originally propagated through an email message in light of raising awareness regarding the issue.
Before I went on sharing my insights on the said issue, I verified the factuality of the contents of the email. This is what I have found out.
- The Faroese has long been hunting pilot whales since the Viking age. It gives them a viable source of food during winter.
- Shore-based hunters of Faroe Island have long been doing this practice as a community effort. No one is required to take part in the activity.
- Pilot whale hunting was never done for commercial benefit. None of the whale meat is sold. It is equally divided among those who want to partake.
- All other parts of the hunted whale are utilized for other purposes. No part is left unused.
- Faroese people are hunting “long-finned pilot whales” and not dolphins.
The Office of Protected Resources claims that there is indeed a whale hunt on-going on Faroe Island yet the probability of the whales becoming extinct is far from possible.
The Faroese defended themselves against their right to engage in the hunts.
“Most people in the modern world have become so far removed from the harsh realities of animal food production that they have formulated unrealistic notions of how food actually gets to their tables…” (source http://www.hoax-slayer.com/denmark-whaling.shtml)
Despite, what I have learned about the whale hunts in Faroe Island, I still believe that the people of Faroe should start rethinking their century-old tradition and find other ways to supplement their food stock during winters and to find alternative sources for other whale related products.
The agencies that govern the protection of wildlife should take steps in organizing a valid hunting activity so that persons who want to conduct such an activity may be moderated in some way and to avoid the immediate extinction of animal wild life.