Almost 1,500 dolphins were slaughtered in the Faroe Islands on Sunday. Everything took place as part of the annual Grindadrap festival. The killing of so many of these mammals has met with considerable criticism from organizations protecting the rights of marine animals.
A video published by the NGO Sea Shepherd shows hundreds of dolphins and pilot whales killed and dead lying on the shoreline. The incident took place at night in the village of Skalabotnur. As representatives of the organization said in an interview with the American Newsweek, the Sunday slaughter of these animals is considered to be the largest ever recorded in the world. Sea Shepherd’s Helen Taylor reported that 1,428 dolphins were killed. The videos also show boats further down the fjord to stop live animals from leaving.
Grindadrap in the Faroe Islands. “Outrageous”
The slaughter of pilot whales and dolphins, known in this region as Grindadrap, has been a local tradition since the 9th century. The Faroese people consider the meat of these animals an important part of their diet and culture. Every year, however, this practice is met with great criticism.
“ Such a hunt in 2021 in a very wealthy island community less than 400 kilometers from Britain that has no need or use for so much meat is outrageous, ” added Sea Shepherd’s Helen Taylor.
As Euronews notes, the meat is intended to feed the inhabitants, but with the current slaughter, it is likely that there will be too much of it to feed the island’s 53,000 inhabitants – meaning a large proportion could go to waste.
Dolphin slaughter in the Faroe Islands. Criticism
“The form of this hunt today is far from the traditional subsistence hunt of previous centuries,” said Rob Read, Chief Operating Officer of Sea Shepherds, in an interview with Euronews.
A license is required to hunt dolphins and whales in the Faroe Islands. This is to ensure that hunters are trained to kill mammals quickly to prevent them from suffering. The current hunt has been criticized for breaking several local laws. There were opinions that the event was unauthorized and that many participants in the incident were involved in hunting without the proper authorization.
The slaughter at Skalabotnur is comparable to the number of dolphins that can be captured and killed in the Japanese Taiji in six months, where such customs are also practiced.
Main photo source: Sea Shepherd / ENEX