A record number of white-sided dolphins have been killed in the Faroe Islands, with nearly 1,500 specimens slaughtered in the grisly hunt. The massacre sparked outrage from animal rights activists.
The hunt, known as the ‘grindadráp’, took place this weekend with local whalers targeting a massive pod of white-sided dolphins. The Danish autonomous Faroe Islands remain the last territory in Europe authorized to hunt marine mammals, the grindadráp being considered an example of “Native whaling”.
During the grindadráp, the dolphins are herded by motorboats to the shore where the whalers engage the animals in a brutal melee. Dolphins are slaughtered with harpoons, assorted blades, and even power tools.
According to local media, a total of 1,428 dolphins were killed during the hunt. Footage from the scene circulating online shows several boats leading the dolphins to their disappearance, the tides being red with blood.
Another video from the scene shows dozens of dead dolphins lined up along the shore after the hunt. Many of the corpses have large, gaping wounds visible.
On Monday evening, the dead dolphins were seen gathered in large piles on the beach before being presumably transported to processing plants – or disposed of – another disturbing photo shows.
The latest “grindadráp” invoked the fury of animal rights activists, who advocate a global ban on brutal whaling practices. The Blue Planet Society group, for example, has urged the EU, as well as the Danish authorities, to force the autonomous region to end its cruel practices.
“There is nothing in recent grindadráp records to match that. The closest we could find is 430 white-sided dolphins which were shot on 13-08-2013 in Hvalba ”, the group said, adding that the hunt could be the biggest on record. The existing records of the grindadráp date back to the 16th century, while the hunt itself is older.
While marine mammals would be hunted for food, the Faroe Islands, home to just 53,000 people, likely won’t even handle a fraction of this massive dolphin transport, argued the Blue Planet Society.
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