Unfortunately, yes. While the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has helped avert the extinction of whales by banning commercial whaling, countries like Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and other countries who have historically made a habit out of depending on whales for sustenance still continue today. Iceland resumed commercial whaling in 2006 although this practice is placed under extremely strict and closely monitored quotas.
In the United States, there is a Native American group called the Makah Indians who can legally hunt whales. They live in the Pacific Peninsula, and made a treaty with the United States in 1855. If the Makah agreed to give up much of their land, they were promised the right to continue whaling, which has been a tradition of their tribe for over 1,500 years.
This is the only treaty ever made by the United States that guarantees the right to whaling. The Makah only hunts gray whales, can only hunt up to five whales per year, and only hunts to meet the need of their community.
One of the more infamous mass whale slaughter sites occurs annually in the town of Klaksvik in the Danish-controlled Faeroe Islands in the North Atlantic. In 2010, 234 pilot whales were slaughtered there. These whales are bludgeoned to death while their spinal cords are ripped out. The community participates in the slaughter and it is seen as a long-held cultural tradition.
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