Faroese Pilot Whaling in the Face of Crisis
河島, 基弘Kawashima, Motohiro
31 , 2017-03-01 , 群馬大学社会情報学部
The Faroe Islands is a self-governing protectorate of Denmark in the North Atlantic. The Islands is well-known for its pilot whale drive/hunt called “grind”, the tradition which has continued since the Viking Age. The grind has a significance for the Faroese both as a means of livelihood and as a source of collective identity. But, owing to its bloody scenes and the seemingly “inhumane” killing method, the hunt has been the target of strong protests by international environmental and animal rights/welfare organizations for the last few decades. To make matters worse, scientists found that the meat and blubber of pilot whales contain a high level of mercury and PCB, which might negatively affect the health of a human body. This article examines how islanders have coped with the international protests and the contamination problem, after briefly looking at the history of the islands and its whaling tradition along with the hunting methods, the distribution of whale products and islands’ food culture.