Photos in the Faroese media show a chaotic mass of men, boats and whales in Fuglafjørður: I wonder why the decision was made to take so many whales. The hunt foreman made the call to drive half the whales towards the beach, with the aim of stranding as many as possible so that people there could quickly kill them. He ignored the fact that at the time only four men were ready on the beach. This meant the whales that actually stranded had to wait to be killed, watching as family members were brutally dispatched. The rest remained in the shallows and deeper water as the bay turned red with blood.
But this was not the end of the story. The photos show men trying to secure whales from their small boats, by sticking the round-ended hook into their blowholes. Some were wading or swimming in the bloodied water, trying to do the same. Others engaged in a tug-of-war on the beach as they dragged individual whales onto the shore for slaughter.
Reports indicate it took about 1.5 hours to kill the whales, and I can only guess at how much each individual whale suffered.
Fuglafjørður must surely rate alongside Klaksvík (19 July 2010), as one of the worst pilot whale butcheries ever.
|Out of their depth|
The new regulations may result in the more humane killing of fewer whales, but it's deeply disappointing that the regulations will not to be introduced for another two years.