A Scottish town has severed its links with the Faroes in protest at the annual whale and dolphin hunts that take place on the islands.
Wick, in Caithness, has been twinned with Klaksvik (the second largest town on the Faroe Islands) for 20 years. There have been regular exchange visits in that time but, in a letter sent this week, local councillors in Wick wrote to the mayor of Klaksvik to announce that they would be severing all contact as a result of the “cruel”, “barbaric” and “unnecessary” hunts (known locally as grinds).
Every year in the Faroe Islands, hundreds of pilot whales and other species including bottlenose dolphins, Atlantic white-sided dolphins and northern bottlenose whales, are hunted for their meat. Entire family groups are rounded up out at sea by small motor boats and driven to the shore. Typically, once they are stranded in shallow water, blunt-ended metal hooks are inserted into their blowholes and used to drag the whales up the beach, where they are killed with a knife cut to their major blood vessels.