Records of drive hunts in the Faroe Islands date back to 1584. It is regulated by Faroese authorities but not by the International Whaling Commission as there are disagreements about the Commission's legal authority to regulate small cetacean hunts. Hundreds of long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melaena) are killed annually, mainly during the summer. The hunts, called "grindadráp" in Faroese, are non-commercial and are organized on a community level; anyone can participate. The hunters first surround the pilot whales with a wide semicircle of boats. Then they drive the whales slowly into a bay or to the shallows of a fjord. When a whale is in shallow water a hook is placed in its blowhole so that it may be dragged ashore. Once on land or immobilized in knee deep water, a cut is made across its top near the blowhole to partially sever its head. The dead or dying animals are then dragged further to shore after the remaining whales have been likewise killed.
Some Faroese consider the hunt an important part of their culture and history. Animal-rights groups criticize the hunt as being cruel and unnecessary, while the hunters claim in return that most journalists do not exhibit sufficient knowledge of the catch methods or its economic significance.