Governance and Society

The annual gannet chick harvest takes place on Mykineshólmur Islet

The annual gannet chick harvest took place on the islet of Mykineshólmur, Mykines last night.

Around 50 people had gathered to participate in the harvest, reports Faroese news website, adding that the hunters then went on to capture 456 chicks in total.

The past couple of years, 400-600 chicks have been taken on the islet of Mykineshólmur annually.

2016 was the peak harvest of the last 20 years, when 623 chicks were taken, writes

The gannet chick harvest is normally carried out during night time and in complete darkness. The men are lowered down the 120 -meter steep cliff with a headlamp as the only light source. The darkness makes the chicks more reluctant to jump from the ledges.

The date of harvest is decided by many factors and the hunters try to match a short window of opportunity. The chicks must be the right age. Ideally, they are harvested just after the chicks have developed their feathers. Their body size is at a maximum and they are easier to pluck later. But one can’t wait too long, because the chicks will then leave the cliffs not to return that season. Furthermore, it is essential that the weather is good, and the sea is calm at the day of the harvest.

Read more about the harvest here.

Share this article on social media: