A whale-watching tour has canceled its trip to a Caribbean islet after tourists witnessed the butchering of two orca whales by local fishermen. Now, the island of St. Vincent is said to be implementing a ban on whaling.
The cruise was touring on open seas near the small island and spotted four orcas, or commonly known as killer whales, surfacing the water. The tourists were just admiring the beautiful creatures when suddenly a band of fishermen, who were in a small boat with a harpoon gun, approached the orcas.
One of the cruise's crews, Ken Isaacs, pleaded to the fishermen not to close in on the pod. However, the plea was not answered, and according to the Daily Mail, the fishermen fired at the two whales with their harpoon gun.
The group of tourists heard the loud explosion, and they witnessed the death of the two whales. Most of the whale watchers burst into tears, thus, the captain of the cruise decided not to continue with the tour and steered the boat away. Isaacs stated that the tours were suspended following the incident.
Officially known as St. Vincent and Grenadines, this small island found in the south Caribbean has had a complicated history in whaling. According to National Geographic, it's part of the International Whaling Commission, which means that the island nation can only kill four whales per year for the needs of the indigenous people. However, reports have it that it has been killing six whales since 2015.
Now, St. Vincent Prime Minister Ralph Gonzales said, "What he did, I want to emphasise this, what he did was plain wrong. Not just because it happened in front of tourists, but (because) he must not kill the orcas." Gonzales is now planning to put a total ban on whales.
Other advocates of the whaling ban also agreed with the future plans of the prime minister. They argued that the indigenous people can instead benefit from the whales in the form of whale tours and not in the form of consumption.