Faroe Island Massacre

by Annette J Beveridge

On September 12th in the Faroe Islands, the largest single massacre of dolphins took place. This act has caused environmental outrage as 1,428 dolphins were slaughtered, driven towards the shore by motor boats and people on jet skis. The dolphins were then systematically killed which took several hours.

Known as the Grind,(grindadrap hunt), even locals expressed their anger stating that some hunters were not licensed and so, did not have the relevant training to ensure animals were killed correctly. The Grind foreman in the area was not informed which means the hunt was not authorised. Many dolphins were still alive even after being thrown onto the shore lying among the already-dead dolphins from their pod. Some were mowed down by motorboats and death would have been slow and painful.

To date, the Faroe Islands state that this practice is deeply rooted in their culture where they kill pilot whales as well as dolphins. Indeed, this tradition has been taking place since the 9th century. Meat is shared out following the Grind but with such a large kill, it is likely that much of the meat will be thrown away. Conservationists have called for the UK Prime Minister to suspend the Free Trade Agreement with the Faroe Islands until this cultural practice has stopped.

Already this year, over 600 Long-Finned Pilot Whales have been killed there.

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