Slaughter of 1,500 dolphins in the Faroe Islands sparks outrage from animal rights groups

The dolphins were killed with knives and harpoons during the traditional hunt, activists say

Joanna Taylor
Wednesday 15 September 2021 09:48 BST
<p>The slaughter of Atlantic white-sided dolphins sparked outrage </p>

The slaughter of Atlantic white-sided dolphins sparked outrage

The slaughter of more than a thousand dolphins as part of a traditional hunt in the Faroe Islands has sparked outrage from animal rights campaigners.

Almost 1,500 Atlantic white-sided dolphins were killed with knives and harpoons during the hunt, known as Grindadráp by residents of the Danish islands, activists say.

The Sea Shepherd Campaign group shared footage of hundreds of dolphins with slash wounds on their bodies lying dead on a beach as the sea runs red with blood.

The video also shows people grappling with dolphins that are not yet dead in the shallow water as boats try to block others from escaping.

“Yesterday the Faroe Islands slaughtered the biggest super pod ever recorded in Faroese history in one go,” the group wrote on Facebook.

“What will it take for the locals to demand a shut down of all hunts of this sort? We believe it takes a good honest look at the truth.”

The Sea Shepherds shared images of hundreds of dolphins lying dead on a beach in the Faroe Islands after the hunt

Others also took to social media to express their disgust.

Online campaign group Blue Planet Society tweeted: “Some people in the Faroe Islands are calling yesterday’s reprehensible hunt of 1,428 white-sided dolphins ‘the biggest grindadráp in history’.

“If correct, that is truly appalling as the records date back to 1584.”

The hunts date back further, however, to the ninth century and are considered indigenous whaling — the only remaining example of this in Western Europe.

Traditionally, boats surround either a group of dolphins or whales and drive them into a bay or the bottom of a fjord where they are killed for their meat.

Today, the practice is regulated by the government and hunters must undergo training and stick to certified bays.

“Whaling in the Faroe Islands has been regulated for centuries,” the archipelago’s government states on its website.

“The law explicitly states that the hunt is to be conducted in such a way as to cause as little suffering to the whales as possible.”

Nevertheless, activists have sought to bring about an end to the practice which they say is unnecessary and cruel.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in