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24th Sep 2021

Dozens more dolphins in Faroe Islands killed less than two weeks after record slaughter

Charlie Herbert

Dozens more pilot whales killed in Faroe Islands

The animals were meant to be marked and released into the wild as part of a research programme

Dozens of dolphins have been slaughtered in the Faroe Islands less than two weeks after almost 1,500 were killed in an annual cull.

The pilot whales were initially intended to be marked and released as part of a scientific research programme but the country’s Natural History Museum apparently did not have enough staff to carry out the tagging.

So instead of releasing the pilot whales, which despite their name suggesting otherwise are actually one of the largest members of the dolphin family, whalers decided to slaughter them.

A marine conservation activist said that it looked like the killings has been “done in spite.”

Valentina Crast, of marine conservation group Sea Shepherd, told Sky News: “Apparently the last hunt and the criticism that came afterwards has not made them rethink their behaviour. It seems as if this was done in spite.

“Initially they did have a scientific research programme where they track pilot whales and keep track of them and see where they are, but because they did not have enough people to do the tagging they decided to kill them.

“They could have just driven them out to sea, they did not have to do this at all.”

In a tweet sent on Thursday (September 23), the group said: “Last night, only 10 days after the massacre of 1428 dolphins, another hunt has taken place in the Faroe Islands taking the lives of 53 pilot whales. When will enough be enough? The world is watching…and we’re not ‘calming down’.”

The Faroe Islands takes part in a traditional annual cull of dolphins and some species of whales known as ‘Grindadráp‘. This year’s hunt took place on September 12 and saw approximately 1,428 dolphins killed in the bay of the Skálafjørður, around 40 times more than the previous year.

The cull used to be an important part of the islands culture back when they relied heavily on fishing. Today though, many of the animals go to waste, with Sea Shepherd UK saying there is “no need for the meat in Faroe Islands nowadays and it shouldn’t be happening.”

The Faroe Islands are part of the kingdom of Denmark, and lie just 230 miles northwest of mainland Scotland.

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