The sea of Faroe Islands in north of Europe turned red with the blood of hundreds of whales killed by the inhabitants, as a part of their annual whale hunting culture.

Every year the islanders catch and slaughter pilot whales (Globicephala melaena) during the traditional whale hunt known as 'Grindadrap'.

Being an autonomous province of Denmark, where whaling is banned, the Faroe Islands’ laws allow the mass slaughter of pilot whales, beaked whales and dolphins to observe the annual tradition.

“It is unacceptable for the Faroe Islands to preserve separate laws that allow inhabitants to continue the whale slaughter,” PETA mentions in its action alert “Stop the Bloody Whale Slaughter” urging government to stop the massacre.

The Faroese are descendents of Vikings, and pilot whales have been a central part of their diet for more than 1,000 years. The mass hunting is non-commercial; the whale meat cannot be sold but is divided evenly between members of the local community.

Despite criticism from animal rights groups and International Whaling Commission, the whale hunting custom continues to kill thousands of whales year after year.

The hunters crowd the whales into a bay and then cut their spines leaving the animals bleed to death slowly. According to PETA, some whales swim around in their family members' blood for hours.

“Whales and dolphins are highly intelligent creatures and feel pain and fear every bit as much as we do. They are forced to watch their families die while swimming around in the bloody water, waiting to be slaughtered themselves.”

A few pictures below shows how the gruesome slaughtering near the capital Torshavn in Faroe Islands made the sea turn red with blood: