Wick is a coastal town on the northern end of Scotland, and civic leaders there are so sickened by what is happening on the Faroe Islands that they are cutting ties in protest. Over 400 pilot whales were killed in this year’s hunt, turning the waters surrounding the islands a crimson red.
The town of Wick has been closely associated with Klaksvik, the second largest community in the Faroes, for over 20 years. Wick fears that this whale hunt will hurt their tourism. Civic leader Gail Ross notes that while traditional whale hunts may have had their place in times past, there is no reason for the annual bloodshed in 2015 and calls this continued tradition “unnecessary and cruel.”
In an email to Jógvan Skorheim, mayor of Klaksvík, she stated that to herd these whales, which have feelings, and kill them in front of their family members, “is nothing short of barbaric.”
The mayor’s response was one of disappointment for the severing of ties, but he defended their “right” to continue their 1,000-year-old tradition of whale hunting because they eat the whales. In fact, the Faroese people participate in whale hunting in their spare time.
Two German cruise line companies have also suspended visits to the Faroe Islands in protest of the whale hunts. Perhaps with enough continued pressure from the outside, the islanders will eventually reconsider their annual bloody massacre of whales.