“The largest slaughter of bottlenose dolphins in Faroe Islands history,” marine conservation organization Sea Shepherd said about the 100 bottlenose dolphins killed on Friday in Skálabotnur.
Sea Shepherd said 98 adults, an unborn baby and a young calf were killed. The animals were led to the shore and murdered with knives.
Such hunts, called “grindadráp”, are a traditional part of the Faroe Islands’ history but are widely condemned by animal rights and wildlife organizations.
“This dolphin hunt, and indeed the killing of all pilot whales and dolphins in the Faroe Islands, is simply disgraceful and will rightly cause further national and international outrage,” Rob Read, director of Sea Shepherd UK, said in a statement. “Once again, some of the animals show cut marks from boat propellors where boats ran into, or over them.”
Last September, a record 1,428 Atlantic white-sided dolphins were killed in one go in the Faroe Islands. The Faroe Islands responded by temporarily limiting the dolphin hunt to 500. “An annual catch limit of 500 white-sided dolphins has now been proposed by the Ministry of Fisheries on a provisional basis for 2022 and 2023,” the government of the Danish autonomous territory said.
Every summer, images of the bloody hunt make headlines worldwide and spark outrage among people who consider the practice barbaric.
But the hunt is still broadly backed in the Faroes, where supporters point out that the local population has consumed the animals for centuries. The government emphasized that the catches serve as an “important supplement to the livelihoods of Faroe Islanders”.