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1,400 dolphins were killed in the Faroe Islands in one day

The killing has been denounced by marine conservation group Sea Shepherd as a “brutal and badly mishandled” bloodbath, and the largest single hunt in the Danish territory’s historical past.

The group mentioned a super-pod of 1,428 Atlantic white-sided dolphins was corralled by velocity boats and jet skis onto Skálabotnur seashore on the island of Eysturoy, the place they were then killed.

The Faroe Islands are an autonomous territory of the Kingdom of Denmark, mendacity about midway between Scotland and Iceland in the Atlantic Ocean.

The annual whale hunt, or grindadráp in Faroese, has been part of native tradition for hundreds of years — but it surely normally entails the looking of pilot whales. Although it has lengthy been criticized by animal rights teams, locals have defended the observe.

41-year-old Kristian Petersen, who’s initially from the Faroese city of Fuglafjørður however now lives in Denmark, mentioned he started taking part in whaling at the age of seven — however in his village, dolphins were by no means focused.

“I have experienced that firsthand and also participated a bit,” Petersen advised CNN. “As long as it has been for food only, I have supported it. But this recent catch that was this weekend, I’m against how it went on.

Petersen is one of several whaling supporters who have condemned Sunday’s killing, saying there were “so many errors,” including pursuing a large flock and prolonging the dolphins’ suffering by not having enough people on the beaches to kill them.

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In recent decades, the practice has come under strict regulation from the Faroese government, with guidelines for the authorization of hunts and how they should be conducted.

Many, including Petersen, have questioned the legality of Sunday’s killing, with allegations that the local foreman, who is involved in regulating whaling in the area alongside the district administrator, was not informed in line with regulations.

The foreman, Heri Petersen, has been quoted by local media outlet In.fo calling for accountability and confirming there were too few killers involved, meaning the dolphins struggled for breath on the beach until they were killed.

The Faroese Executive Order on Hunting Pilot Whales and Other Small Whales, issued in January 2017, states either the district administrator or foreman must approve any hunts and gives them the responsibility to “be certain that sufficient persons are out there on shore to kill the whales.”

Bjorg Jacobsen from the Faroe Islands Police told CNN the hunt had been legal, but he declined to comment further.

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In a written statement, Faroese government spokesperson Páll Nolsøe told CNN that hunting white-sided dolphins was a sustainable practice, and said the yearly number averaged around 250 but “fluctuates vastly” — making Sunday’s catch almost six times as large.

“The meat from every whale drive supplies a considerable amount of precious meals, which is distributed free in the native communities the place the whale drives happen… the meat of the 1,400 dolphins caught on Sunday has likewise been distributed amongst the members in the catch and the local people,” he added.

However, Sea Shepherd alleged locals had said there was too much meat from Sunday’s hunt and there were fears it would have to be discarded, pointing to interviews published in Danish outlet Ekstra Bladet.
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The group additional alleged that a number of dolphins had been run over by motor boats and “hacked by propellers,” resulting in reports to local police. It also claimed that several of those involved did not have the required licenses to participate. The Faroe Islands Police did not respond to a CNN request for comment on the allegations.

“Considering the instances we’re in, with a world pandemic and the world coming to a halt, it is completely appalling to see an assault on nature of this scale in the Faroe Islands,” Sea Shepherd Global’s CEO, Alex Cornelissen, said in a statement.
The Faroe Islands Whales and Whaling body has continued to stand by the practice in recent years despite criticism, stating on its website, “the common catch of round 800 whales a 12 months will not be thought-about to have a big impression on the abundance of pilot whales, that are estimated at round 778,000.”

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