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Entire family groups of whales, known as pods, are driven ashore and killed using hooks and knives.
The whale hunt, or as it is known, has been conducted for centuries.
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Pilot whales use echolocation to navigate and hunt for squid their principal prey.
Often, entire schools of pilot whales will beach themselves and eventually die.
It once provided important food for the Faroese population, but today it is little more than an inherently cruel tradition that produces meat and blubber that Faroese health leaders have warned is no longer safe to eat because of the toxic pollutants that concentrate in the whales.
In 2013, 1,104 pilot whales and 430 dolphins were driven ashore, gaffed with steel hooks and dragged into the shallows to be killed with knives and lances.
In fact, the Faroese economy is over 90% dependent on fisheries.
On 26 November 2008, the Chief Medical Officer in the Faroes, Dr Høgni Debes Joensen, together with Dr Pál Weihe of the Department of Public and Occupational Health, issued a joint press statement with a recommendation that the meat and blubber of pilot whales was no longer fit for human consumption because of the high levels of mercury and other toxins that accumulate in the meat and organs of the whales and a comparatively high incidence of Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and other serious health issues in the Faroes linked to these contaminants.
The Faroes Food and Veterinary Agency has recently recommended that consumption of whale meat be limited to no more than once a month, with women advised to avoid it altogether if they plan to have children or are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Pilot whales are toothed whales around 20-25 feet in length and can weigh up to five tons.
They are highly vocal, social animals swimming in groups called schools or pods, that can number in the hundreds.