Slaughter of Over 1,400 Dolphins in Faroe Islands Sparks Outrage

The slaughter of over 1,400 dolphins as part of a traditional annual hunt in the Faroe Islands has sparked international outrage, calling for it to end.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society released photos on Sept. 14 showing hundreds of dolphins from a “super pod” lying dead on the beach as the sea became red with blood.

The marine conservation organization also released a video that showed men grappling onto some dolphins trashing in shallow waters as boats blocked the sea mammals from escaping.

Sea Shepherd believes that the slaughter of 1,428 dolphins last Sept. 12 was the largest single hunt of dolphins or pilot whales in Faroese history and potentially the largest single hunt of sea mammals ever recorded worldwide.

Marine biologist Bjarni Mikkelsen confirmed in a BBC report that the recent hunt had the largest number of dolphins ever killed in a single day in the islands, with the previous record at 1,200 in 1940.

Sea Shepherd said that the “cruel and unnecessary” hunt brought the total number of sea mammals killed this year in the self-governing Danish archipelago to 2,043.

Faroese have practiced the hunt called “Grindadrap” or the Grind since the ninth century and it involves cutting the necks of the animals with knives or killing them with harpoons.

The government regulates the practice and requires hunters to undergo certified training. However, Sea Shepherd noted that the recent hunt had more dolphin meat “than anyone wants to take.”

Sea Shepherd also said that many of the hunters last Sept. 12 had no license and that the hunt had not been authorized by the proper authority.

Sea Shepherd urged Faroe Islands Fisheries Minister Jacob Vestergaard in an open letter to “do the right thing and listen to the Faroese calling for” the traditional hunt to end.

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