Tim Ecott: Why we should let Faroe islanders hunt whales

OPINION: “It’s one of the world’s most ancient traditions – and it does little lasting harm”, writes Tim Rcott in this article in The Spectator.

“The grindadráp (whale hunt) is not merely something from the Faroese past. It is a reminder of their relationship to the sea, and the meat is still a favourite delicacy.

Wouldn’t it be better if high-profile marine campaigns left the Faroese alone and focused on the more immediate and pressing threats to ocean ecosystems? Only this week a factory was discovered in Pu Qi in China that is processing more than 600 whale sharks a year. The world’s largest fish, a harmless plankton feeder, is known to be dwindling fast across the tropics. In the Mediterranean, a combination of vested interests (some criminal) and lax European Union laws have resulted in the decimation of tuna populations. In the St Lawrence River in Canada, a small population of beluga whales is being poisoned by PCBs. Around 100 million sharks of all species are being caught worldwide to feed the Asian market for sharkfin soup. In many areas, 90 per cent of large carnivorous sharks have been removed from the ecosystem. In India and Sri Lanka, there is a burgeoning fishery for giant manta ray gills to make ‘blood purifiers’ for the Chinese medicine trade. Parrotfish and conch are being overfished in the Caribbean, allowing algae to lay waste to the coral reefs. The list could go on and on and on.”

Tim Ecott: Why we should let Faroe islanders hunt whales

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