Sea Sheperd denounces “the grind”, the slaughter of dolphins in the Faroe Islands

An ancestral tradition on the Faroe Islands, but nevertheless controversial among the 50,000 inhabitants and condemned by the NGO Sea Sheperd, the “grind” has generated a lot of criticism this year because of the number and breed of dolphins killed.

More than 1,400 white-sided dolphins have been stabbed by fishermen in the Faroe Islands who had previously cornered them in a bay.

Usually, pilot dolphins or pilot whales are killed in this manner. Last year 600 were shot. They are hunted for their meat.

“We don’t have a tradition of hunting these mammals, there are usually a few in the hunt, but we don’t normally kill that many.”, explained a journalist from the local public television station KVF, Hallur av Rana.

According to him, never has such a large catch been made in the archipelago. The photos showing more than a thousand bloodied cetaceans on the beach have attracted much criticism.

“It seems pretty extreme and it took a while to kill them all when it usually is quite fast.”, added Hallur av Rana, noting that 53% of the population of the archipelago was opposed to fishing for this species but that the Faroese were not considering giving up the “grind”.

Described as a “barbaric practice” by the environmental NGO Sea Sheperd, the “grind” is a sustainable hunting system, according to the Faroese authorities.

According to local estimates, there are around 100,000 pilot whales in the waters around the archipelago.

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