Luxury Cruise Passengers Distressed as Dozens of Whales Slain near Faroe Islands

Luxury Cruise Passengers Distressed by Whale Hunt Near Faroe Islands

Passengers aboard a luxury cruise near the Faroe Islands were left in distress as they witnessed dozens of pilot whales being killed. Ambassador Cruise Line, the operator of the cruise, issued an apology to its customers following the July 9 hunt, condemning the practice and expressing regret to all passengers on board. The company emphasized its commitment to sustainability and its partnership with ORCA, a charity dedicated to studying and protecting marine life in the region.

“We fully understand that witnessing this local event would have been distressing for the majority of guests onboard,” Ambassador Cruise Line stated, extending their sincere apologies for any distress caused. Christian Verhounig, CEO of Ambassador, reiterated the company’s dedication to protecting whales and dolphins and highlighted their efforts to educate guests and crew about not supporting the commercial whaling industry.

The hunt, known as grindadr√°p or the “grind,” is a regular occurrence throughout the year, according to Newsweek. Local residents herd whale pods to shallow water locations where hunters await, using knives and hooks to kill the animals. A review conducted in 2021 revealed that residents had killed 1,423 dolphins in a single hunt. The Faroese government responded by placing a limit of 500 on that particular breed, without imposing an overall cap on the total number killed.

Blue Planet Society, an organization that monitors the hunt and total killings, called on the European Union and the United Kingdom to take a stand against the “unacceptable torture.” The July 9 hunt brought the total number of kills this year to 650, according to their records. The Faroese government, on its website, maintains that whale hunting in the region is sustainable. It requires hunters to carry licenses and operate exclusively in designated areas. The government insists that the hunt causes as little suffering as possible to the whales.

While the Faroese government claims that the hunt is not commercial, it acknowledges that anything caught is freely distributed within the local community where the hunt takes place. Whale meat and blubber are occasionally available for sale in some supermarkets on the dockside. Despite these assertions, animal rights organizations continue to advocate for an end to the hunt, urging authorities to intervene.

This incident has sparked a conversation about the ethics of whale hunting and the need for stricter regulations. Organizations like Ambassador Cruise Line and ORCA are working towards raising awareness and promoting sustainable practices to protect marine life worldwide. As the debate continues, it remains to be seen whether there will be any significant changes regarding the future of the hunt near the Faroe Islands.