WARNING - GRAPHIC CONTENT:

Their bodies lie beached on the dark shore, large slash marks penetrate the neck and sides of the whale as the blood mixes with the cold water.

Known as the grindadráp, the brutal slaughtering of pilots whales in the Danish owned Faroe Islands took place yesterday. As many as 250 whales were reportedly massacred on two beaches in Bøur and Tórshavn as locals used harpoons and knifes to hack the all of the pilot whales to death.

The horrific scenes were filmed by activists from Sea Shepherd, a non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organisation.

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As the innocent whales are forced to swim towards the beaches, the locals begin to run down from the jetty towards the sea.

Realising they are unable to escape, the whales slow down as the fishermen in their power boats and dinghies begin to close in on the large school of whales.

The locals, many of whom are dressed in full wetsuits and bobble hats, wade into the water and begin to violently drag the distressed animals up the beach.

Using an array of weapons, including sharp knives and harpoons, the locals begin to hack at the animals, slicing at their fatty necks and puncturing their sides.

The water quickly begins to turn red with all the blood as one by one, the whales are ruthlessly slaughtered by the heartless locals.

A pod of approximately 50 pilot whales is slaughtered at Torshavn. Photo / Frances Holtman / Sea Shepherd Global
A pod of approximately 50 pilot whales is slaughtered at Torshavn. Photo / Frances Holtman / Sea Shepherd Global
Whale hunters in a sea of red. Photo / Eliza Muirhead / Sea Shepherd Global
Whale hunters in a sea of red. Photo / Eliza Muirhead / Sea Shepherd Global
The hunters chase their terrified prey into the deep water. Photo / Eliza Muirhead / Sea Shepherd Global
The hunters chase their terrified prey into the deep water. Photo / Eliza Muirhead / Sea Shepherd Global

Close footage shows some of the huntsmen laughing and smiling, droplets of blood dripping down from their sweaty brows.

Each year, this horrendous event is carried out across the archipelago of the Faroes Island. Five activists from Sea Shepherd were arrested after attempting to disrupt the hunt.

Wyanda Lublink, captain of the Brigitte Bardot told Sea Shepherd activists that he believed two Danish naval vessels, HDMS Triton and HDMS Knud Rasmussen were in Bøur when the hunt took place.

WARNING: THIS VIDEO CONTAINS DISTURBING IMAGERY

Captain Lublink said: "It was perfectly clear to me that the Danish Navy was present at Bøur to guard the grindadráp, and that the slaughter would proceed with the full consent of the Danish Navy.

"How Denmark - an anti-whaling member nation of the European Union, subject to laws prohibiting the slaughter of cetaceans - can attempt to justify its collaboration in this slaughter is incomprehensible," he said.

Whilst the pilot whale may not be endangered, the level of brutality and depraved violence is shocking.

The Faroese have been carrying out the annual hunt for hundreds of years, and although whaling is illegal in Denmark, it is allowed in the Faroe Islands.

The blood seeps through the fjord. Photo / Mayk Wendt / Sea Shepherd Global
The blood seeps through the fjord. Photo / Mayk Wendt / Sea Shepherd Global
The bloody chaos of the Bour grind. Photo / Mayk Wendt / Sea Shepherd Global
The bloody chaos of the Bour grind. Photo / Mayk Wendt / Sea Shepherd Global

All the hunted whales are used for their food, with pilot whale meat and flubber being the main products used by the Faroese.

British comedian Ricky Gervais raised awareness of the vile whale slaughter, commenting on a graphic photo on social meda: "Tragic whale slaughter in Faroe Islands. It's good we've found a twin Earth because we're really f**king up this one."

- Daily Mail