I gotta say, I almost think is a good thing, both to remind rich conservationists what really goes on out there that they can’t buy and to bring scrutiny to an outdated and unnecessary ritual of human relationships to the ocean.
A cruise line is apologizing to passengers who witnessed the killing of dozens of pilot whales near their docked ship this week in the Faroe Islands.
Passengers aboard the cruise ship Ambition, owned by the U.K.-based Ambassador Cruise Line, had just arrived Sunday in the port of Tórshavn in the Danish territory when they caught the spectacle, part of a long-standing and highly scrutinized local tradition.
Among those passengers were conservationists with ORCA, a marine life advocacy group that seeks to protect whales and dolphins in European waters. Since 2021, Ambassador has paid for ORCA staff to join their cruises in order to educate tourists on marine wildlife and collect data on the animals.
In an account shared by ORCA and confirmed by Ambassador, the conservationists said over 40 small boats and jet skis herded the whales to a beach where 150 people worked to haul the animals ashore with hooks and slaughter them with lances.
In total, the hunt lasted about 20 minutes, ORCA said. Some of the animals, which included nine calves, took over 30 seconds to die.
Ambassador Cruise Line said it was “incredibly disappointed” that the hunt unfolded near the ship and that it continues to “strongly object to this practice.” The company asks their guests not to support the hunters by purchasing local whale and dolphin meat.
I also have to ask commenters a question. I’ve been linking to a lot of fishing stories of late. So I do wonder if there is any categorical difference between harvesting whales and other fish and if there are, why? I think this can be a worthy exercise to get people thinking beyond their usual talking points. You don’t have to say that you support whaling (who would anyway) in order to realize that other than the issue of there just not being very many of them in the ocean. there isn’t really any great difference. And in terms of whales being incredibly smart animals, which they are, well, pigs are pretty damn smart too and we eat them by the millions.