VIDEO: Faroe Islands massacre 1,400 dolphins in a day, condemned by rights group - GulfToday

VIDEO: Faroe Islands massacre 1,400 dolphins in a day, condemned by rights group

The carcasses of dead white-sided dolphins lay on a beach on the island of Eysturoy, part of the Faeroe Islands. AP

Gulf Today Report

The Faroe Islands government on Tuesday defended the killing of more than 1,400 dolphins in one day during a traditional hunt, despite the impact of this unusually large massacre even in the Scandinavian archipelago.

A spokesperson for the government said, “There is no doubt that whaling in the Faroe Islands is a dramatic sight for people unfamiliar with hunting and the slaughter of mammals.

“But these fishing operations are well organized and fully regulated.”

This fishing tradition, inherited in the Danish Faroe Islands in the North Sea, is based on the encirclement of small whales by ships at a water bay, after which they fall into the hands of fishermen who remain on land, where they kill them with knives.

These practices usually affect pilot whales, but on Sunday, 1,423 Atlantic white-sided dolphins, a species allowed to be hunted, were caught in Fjord near Skala in the middle of the archipelago.

Pictures of more than a thousand animals of this species were killed on a beach, which sparked many criticisms.

"What happened seems extreme, and it took some time to kill them all, while it's usually pretty quick," said Hallur av Rana, a journalist for the public channel KVF.

The NGO "Sea Shepherd" described the fishing operations as "barbaric", while the Faroe Islands authorities consider it as part of a sustainable fishing system.

Local estimates indicate that there are about one hundred thousand black whales in the waters of the archipelago, which is inhabited by about 50 thousand people.

About 600 whales were killed on these islands in 2020.

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