Faroe Islands to allow 500 dolphins to be killed during annual whaling

Located halfway between Iceland and Scotland in the Atlantic Ocean, the Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory of the Kingdom of Denmark, consisting of 18 islands.

annual whalingor grindadrap in the Faroe Islands, is a traditional practice dating back to the first settlement of the islands by the Vikings in 800 AD.

Animal rights organizations have historically condemned culling, in which whales are killed with incisions in the neck and subsequent incisions in the spinal cord and carotid artery.

However, the Faroese government has previously defended the practice, stating that game meat provides “valuable food” for local communities.
Whale hunting is carried out to provide food, and the catch is shared between participants and local communities, according to Whales and Whaling in the Faroe Islands. Web site. Whale meat and blubber are sometimes sold at marinas and supermarkets.

“The meat from each whale pen is a large amount of valuable food that is distributed free of charge in the local communities where the whale pen takes place… the meat of the 1,400 dolphins caught on Sunday was also distributed to the participants in the pen. catch and the local community,” Pall Nolsø, spokesman for the Faroe Islands government, told CNN after last year’s hunt.

The government’s decision follows last year’s hunt when a supergroup of 1,428 Atlantic white-sided dolphins were herded by jet skis and speedboats to Skalabotnur Beach on Eysturoy Island and eventually killed, according to marine conservation group Sea Shepherd.

At the time, the group denounced the killing as a “brutal and poorly orchestrated” massacre and the largest manhunt in the territory’s history.

In a statement announcing its decision on Sunday, the government said of the September 2021 hunt: “It was recognized that aspects of this catch were unsatisfactory, in particular the unusually high number of dolphins killed.”

“This has made it difficult to manage procedures and is unlikely to provide sustainable catch levels in the long term,” the government added.

1,400 dolphins were killed in the Faroe Islands in one day, shocking even some whaling supporters.

Lukas Eriksen, spokesman for Sea Shepherd, called the new quota “totally pointless.”

Eriksen, who is involved with Sea Shepherd’s whale protection campaign in the Faroe Islands, told CNN in an emailed statement that there does not appear to be a penalty for exceeding the quota. Indeed, who will be prosecuted or fined if more than 500 people are killed in the next two years? No doubt if more than 500 people are killed in a year, then the perpetrators will claim they didn’t realize how big the pod was until it was driven into shallow water. and dolphins were killed,” he said.

“This new ‘quota’ does not make sense for dolphins in the long term and was only hastily announced as a thinly veiled attempt to deceive both politicians and the press in the face of ongoing outrage over the killing of dolphins in the Faroe Islands.” Eriksen added.

In its latest statement, the government said it supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a set of 17 commitments to address global challenges, including the climate crisis and the need to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.

“Catching small whales is an important addition to the livelihoods of the people of the Faroe Islands, who for centuries have relied on the sustainable use of marine resources for their economy and local food security,” the report said.

Tourists are back in Iceland.  But so is whale hunting.

“Meat and blubber from each whale pen provides valuable food with a low carbon footprint, which is distributed free of charge to various communities where the capture takes place,” the government added.

About 80,000 white-sided dolphins live in the seas surrounding the Faroe Islands, according to government figures. He added that the annual culling is just over So 820 white-sided dolphins would be “within reason”.

However, he said he has asked the Marine Mammal Commission of the North Atlantic for more up-to-date information on how to sustainably catch white-sided dolphins, after which he will estimate a tentative annual limit of 500 individuals.

The government also said it would review the method used to kill the dolphins to reduce the time it takes for them to die.

After last year’s murder, several whaling supporters condemned the hunt. Among them was Christian Petersen, who at the time told CNN that “there were so many mistakes,” including chasing a large pod and prolonging the suffering of dolphins because there were too few people on the beaches to kill them.

CNN’s Jeevan Ravindran, Stephanie Halash, Allegra Goodwin and Sharon Braithwaite contributed to this story.