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The slaughter of 1,428 white-sided dolphins as part of a traditional four-century-old hunt for marine mammals in the shallow waters of the North Atlantic islands where they are killed, has reignited debate over the Small Faroe Islands

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – The slaughter of 1,428 white-sided dolphins, part of a four-century-old traditional training of marine mammals in shallow waters where they are killed for their meat and fat, has reignited debate on the small Faroe Islands.

Hunting in the North Atlantic islands is not commercial and is permitted, but environmental activists say it is cruel. Some people in the Faroe Islands who defend this practice fear that this hunt will attract unwanted attention as it was much larger than the previous ones and apparently took place without the usual organization.

Heri Petersen, the foreman of a group that drives pilot whales to shore on the central Faroe Islands island of Eysturoy, where the killings took place on Sunday, said he had not been informed of the conduct and was “strongly dissociated” from it.

He told web media that there were too many dolphins and too few people on the beach to shoot them down.

Islanders typically kill up to 1,000 marine mammals per year, according to data maintained by the Faroe Islands. Last year that only included 35 white-sided dolphins.

“We must keep in mind that we are not alone on earth. On the contrary, the world has become much smaller today, everyone walking around with a camera in their pocket, ”Sjurdarberg told local broadcaster KVF. “It’s a treat for those who want to hurt us when it comes to capturing pilot whales. “

Faroese Fisheries Minister Jacob Vestergaard told local radio Kringvarp Foeroya everything was in accordance with the book.

White-sided dolphins and pilot whales are not endangered species.

Each year, the islanders lead herds of mammals – mostly pilot whales – into shallow water, where they are stabbed to death. A blower hook – said to be harmless – is used to secure stranded whales, and the spine and main artery to the brain are severed with knives. Workouts are regulated by law, and meat and fat are shared on a community basis.


ABC News