Eastern Caribbean whalers carry on a tradition

  • Kingsley Stowe, 54, with his harpoon as he waits for a whale sighting, March 8, 2014. With two former whalers recently hanging up their harpoons, Stowe is among the last holdouts believing he could keep the tradition alive despite changing sympathies about whale hunting. Bequia off St. Vincent in the Grenadines is the only place where whaling is still allowed by the International Whaling Commission. CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Fisherman pull in a boat at the end of the day in the island of Bequia, off St. Vincent in the eastern Caribbean. Few fishermen today partake in whaling. Instead, most prefer to fish the waters instead of waiting for a whale hunt though islanders still enjoy their whale meat, which tastes like beef. CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Kingsley Stowe, 54, with his harpoon as he waits for a whale sighting. The harpoon is what’s used by whalers to kill humpbacks in the island of Bequia, off St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Whaling dates back more than 100 years, and it is one of the few communities that the International Whaling Commission recognizes as having a legitimate right to hunt under aboriginal rights. CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Vazie Williams, 35, left, helps Kingsley Stowe, 54, prepare his whale boat Persecution in case there is a humpback whale sighting in the early morning of March 8, 2014. Stowe is one of the few whalers still active on the island of Bequia in St. Vincent in the eastern Caribbean. With traditional whalers retiring, Stowe’s hoping to train a new generation of whalers to keep the traditional hunt going. CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Kingsley Stowe, left, 54, waits for a whale sighting with his crew in the early morning of March 8, 2014. Stowe is one of few whalers still active on the island of Bequia, off St. Vincent in the eastern Caribbean. With a tradition dating back more than a 100 years, whalers in Bequia still hunt humpback whales. They are one of the few communities that the International Whaling Commission recognizes as having a legal right to hunt under Aboriginal rights. This means that through tradition and a dependency on whale products for sustenance, native whalers are permitted to kill four whales a year. CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • The tip of the harpoon used to spear humpback whales. Though whaling dates back more than 100 years in Bequia off St. Vincent in the eastern Caribbean, a former whaler and ex-prime minister are calling for it to end. Bequia is one of the few communities that the International Whaling Commission recognizes as having a legal right to hunt under Aboriginal rights. This means that through tradition and a dependency on whale products for sustenance, native whalers are permitted to kill four whales a year. CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Kingsley Stowe, 54, with his harpoon as he waits for a whale sighting. Stowe is one of the few whalers still active on the island of Bequia St. Vincent in the eastern Caribbean. With a tradition dating back more than a 100 years, whalers in Bequia still hunt humpback whales. They are one of the few communities that the International Whaling Commission recognizes as having a legal right to hunt under Aboriginal rights. This means that through tradition and a dependency on whale products for sustenance, native whalers are permitted to kill four whales a year. CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Necklaces made from whale teeth in Bequia, are a popular item with tourists visiting St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the eastern Caribbean. With whale hunting dating back more than 100 years, Bequia is one of the few communities worldwide where the International Whaling Commission recognizes the people as having a legitimate right to hunt under aboriginal rights. CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • A painting of whalers in the Bequia Whalers and Maritime Museum, March 8, 2014. With a tradition dating back more than 100 years, whalers in Bequia in the eastern Caribbean, still hunt whales. While this has made the community unique, anti-whaling activists say it’s time for whaling to become a thing of the past. CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • A painting of one of the revered whalers at the Bequia Whalers and Maritime Museum, March 8, 2014. With a tradition dating back more than 100 years, whalers in Bequia in the eastern Caribbean, still hunt whales. While this has made the community unique, anti-whaling activists say it’s time for whaling to become a thing of the past. CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • A painting of whalers tools in the Bequia Whalers Museum. The island off St. Vincent in the eastern Caribbean takes its whaling history seriously. But after more than 100 years, anti-whaling opposition is growing in Bequia, the only place where whale hunts are still legal in the hemisphere. CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • An article in The New York Times magazine about whaling in Bequia off St. Vincent in the Grenadines, still upsets whalers and former whalers like Orson Ollivierre. Whalers remain were upset about the article because of its depiction of whaling as a brutal act, and they were never told an article was being written. CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • FILE--A group of whalers from Bequia ride on top of the partially carved body of one of two whales they hunted off the coast of the Caribbean island of Mustique, Friday May 7, 1999. DUGGIE JOSEPH / AP file

  • From his porch Gaston Bess, 50, points to the channel where humpback whales are seen in the passage. A former whaler, Bess is trying to change the community into embracing whale watching over whale hunting. With a tradition dating back more than a 100 years, whalers in Bequia off St. Vincent in the eastern Caribbean still hunt whales. They are one of the few communities that the International Whaling Commission recognizes as having a legal right to hunt under Aboriginal rights. This means that through tradition and a dependency on whale products for sustenance, native whalers are permitted to kill four whales a year. CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Retired whaler Orson Ollivierre, 58, holds up a jawbone of a humpback whale he harpooned in his backyard in Bequia off St. Vincent in the eastern Caribbean. Ollivierre comes from a long line of whalers in the community and after years of criticism over whaling, and changes in the hunt, he said, he retired this year. He sold his boat Rescue and harpoon to the St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Trust. CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Houses over look the channel where humpback whales can be seen off Bequia in the eastern Caribbean. Years ago locals signaled a whale spotting by flashing a piece of glass in the sun; today they simply pick up their cell phones. The International Whaling Commission allows whalers to kill four whales a year as part of their Aboriginal rights, which environmentalists dispute. CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Love Island off Friendship Bay in Bequia, where the whalers process killed humpback whales. Locals take boats out to the island where the whale meat is cut up and then sold along with its oil. The International Whaling Commission allows whalers to kill four whales a year as part of their Aboriginal rights, which environmentalists dispute. CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Love Island off Friendship Bay in Bequia, where the whalers process killed humpback whales. Locals take boats out to the island where the whale meat is cut up and then sold along with its oil. The International Whaling Commission allows whalers to kill four whales a year as part of their Aboriginal rights, which environmentalists dispute. CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Kingsley Stowe, left, 54, prepares his wooden whale sailboat Persecution with his crew in the early morning of March 8, 2014 in case there is a humpback whale sighting. Stowe is one of few whalers still active on the island of Bequia off St. Vincent in the eastern Caribbean. They are one of the few communities that the International Whaling Commission recognizes as having a legal right to hunt under Aboriginal rights. This means that through tradition and a dependency on whale products for sustenance, native whalers are permitted to kill four whales a year. CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Jaw bones from a humpback whale are used as rails on the stairs in Bequia off St. Vincent in the eastern Caribbean. With a tradition dating back more than a 100 years, whalers in Bequia off St. Vincent in the eastern Caribbean still hunt whales. They are one of the few communities that the International Whaling Commission recognizes as having a legal right to hunt under Aboriginal rights. This means that through tradition and a dependency on whale products for sustenance, native whalers are permitted to kill four whales a year. CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Retired whaler Orson Ollivierre, 58, with a whale’s jaw bone he keeps in his backyard in Bequia in the West Indies, March 10, 2014. With a tradition dating back more than a 100 years, whalers in Bequia off St. Vincent in the eastern Caribbean still hunt whales. They are one of the few communities that the International Whaling Commission recognizes as having a legal right to hunt under Aboriginal rights. This means that through tradition and a dependency on whale products for sustenance, native whalers are permitted to kill four whales a year. CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Perseverance is one of only two whaling sailboats in Bequia off St. Vincent in the eastern Caribbean. Under International Whaling Commission rules, islanders have three boat licenses to kill up to four whales a year. They are one of the few communities globally that the IWC recognizes as having a legitimate right to hunt under aboriginal rights. CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • A painting of whalers in the Bequia Whalers and Maritime Museum, March 8, 2014. With a tradition dating back more than 100 years, whalers in Bequia in the eastern Caribbean, still hunt whales. While this has made the community unique, anti-whaling activists say it’s time for whaling to become a thing of the past. CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF