Haunting images show the waters off the Faroe Islands turned red — after hunters in the remote archipelago slaughtered hundreds of pilot whales as part of a gory annual tradition.
The sea mammal massacre was caught on camera by Sea Shepherd, an international marine wildlife conservation group, as Forese whalers drove schools of whales from the sea onto the beach to be killed for meat.
The gruesome festival is known as grindadrap or “grind.” This year, 175 pilot whales were murdered, including pregnant females and juvenile whales, Sea Shepherd 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,” the group said.
The non-profit, which has been fighting the bloody practice for years, said it was confronted by angry local hunters this year, who shot guns and struck the organization’s drone.
Sea Shepherd said the incident was reported to local police.
“Sadly, we can say that we aren’t surprised that it escalated this far — tensions seem to run high when you try to document the supposedly proud tradition that is ‘the grind’,” the group said.
Grindadrap is a centuries-old tradition in the Faroe Islands, a self-governing island territory of Denmark, and has likely been practiced since it was first settled by Norsemen in the 9th and 10th centuries.
2021 is Sea Shepherd’s sixth “Operation Bloody Fjord” campaign in which does “everything [it] can to engage with and encourage more Faroese citizens to speak out against the hunts.”