Global outcry over 1,400 killed dolphins forces Faroe Islands to review hunt
Daniel Harries
Dolphin carcasses laid out on the shore. /CGTN Official

Dolphin carcasses laid out on the shore. /CGTN Official

The Faroe Islands government is to review regulations governing its centuries-old tradition of hunting dolphins, after graphic footage of the slaughter of a record catch of hundreds prompted an international outcry.

More than 1,400 Atlantic white-sided dolphins were herded into shallow waters by boats and jet-skis then killed on a beach earlier this month, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society campaign group said.

The U.S.-based organization released footage showing people turning the water red as they cut some of the dolphins with knives. It described the hunt as "brutal."

But the government of the North Atlantic archipelago said in a statement the latest catch had been "extraordinary" due to the size of the pod and it would look into regulations around the practice.



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"We take this matter very seriously. Although these hunts are considered sustainable, we will be looking closely at the dolphin hunts and what part they should play in Faroese society," Prime Minister Bardur a Steig Nielsen said.


'A bloody affair'

Meat from the hunt is traditionally divided among the islanders.

Hogni Hoydal, leader of the opposition Republican Party and a former fisheries minister who co-created the current whaling legislation, told Reuters he got around 50 kilos of the delicate and lean dolphin meat delivered to him on Monday.

"My claim is that the Faroese whale and dolphin killing, as long as the population is not threatened, is probably the most sustainable use of natural resources that we see in the modern world," Hoydal said.

"But I do understand that some react to the number [of slaughtered dolphins] and that it is obviously a bloody affair," he added.

Around 4,000 to 5,000 residents have collected their share of the catch, all of which was given away for free, Hoydal said.

The catch on Sunday September 12 was a record, the government said. On average, around 250 dolphins and 600 pilot whales are caught every year in Faroese waters, it added.

Source(s): Reuters

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