It has been widely debated whether the protection of endangered species is a threat to indigenous people. Hunting might be vital for their economical systems, especially in harsh environments that face a natural lack of resources. It could be the case of Arctic local communities engaging in seal hunting. Natives might see these practices as means of cultural identification as the Faroese claim in keeping on with their Grind, targeting hundreds of pilot whales every year.
The change, however, is complex and the traditions of a community that bases its development on hunting is involved. Many things might have gone wrong, being the event exclusively top-down, leading to uncertainty regarding its reception and implementation. To smooth the change and provide support, conservationists and NGOs have set up an educational project that would kick-start the reform of the whole economical system of Lamakera. They engage both younger and older generations in fora where the importance of the species for the ecosystem is explained, leveraging on the already present concerns regarding the last drastic decrease in mantas and doubts regarding the sustainability of the hunt. They show that the value of these creatures when they are alive overshadows the one of their body parts. All of the families are involved and presented, for the first time, with an alternative. A cultural change is indeed needed but not one that denies the identity of the community. The advent of tourism actually helped revive other cultural aspects that were nearly extinct, providing the new awareness of the value of one’s cultural heritage.