The local government of the Faroe Islands on Tuesday defended the killing of more than 1,400 dolphins in a single day during a traditional hunt, despite the emotion aroused by the massacre of unusual magnitude, even for the northern archipelago.
“There is no doubt that the cetacean hunt in the Faroe Islands is a dramatic sight for those unaccustomed to hunting and killing mammals. These hunts are nevertheless well organized and fully regulated, ”defended a spokesperson for the Torshavn government. Ancestral tradition in the Faroe Islands, a Danish autonomous territory lost in the North Sea, the “grind” or “grindadrap” consists, by encircling them, in cornering with boats a school of small cetaceans in a bay.
Unprecedented massacre in the Faroe Islands: 1,428 dolphins were killed yesterday during a traditional hunt.
None were spared.
When will Denmark stop protecting these bloodsheds?
– Hugo Clément (@hugoclement) September 13, 2021
Qualified as a “barbaric practice” by the NGO Sea Sheperd
They then fall into the hands of fishermen who remain ashore, who kill them with knives. They are usually pilot dolphins, also called pilot whales, but on Sunday 1,423 white-sided dolphins, which are also authorized to be hunted, were fished in this way in a fjord near Skala, in the center of the archipelago. “We don’t have a tradition of hunting these mammals, there are usually a few in the hunt, but we don’t normally kill so many of them,” said a reporter for local public television. KVF, Hallur av Rana.
According to him, never has such an important catch been made in the archipelago. Photos showing more than a thousand bloodied cetaceans on the beach drew widespread criticism. “It seems quite extreme and it took a long time to kill them all when it is usually quite fast”, added Mr. av Rana, noting that 53% of the population of the archipelago was opposed to fishing. of this species but that the Faroese had no intention of giving up the grind.
Described as a “barbaric practice” by the environmental NGO Sea Sheperd, the “grind” is a sustainable hunting system, according to the Faroese authorities. The product of this fishery is not marketed but used for its meat. According to local estimates, there are around 100,000 pilot whales in the waters around the archipelago, which has a population of around 50,000. By 2020, some 600 cetaceans had been killed.