Faroe Islands: 500 whales and dolphins will be killed



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Faroe Islands: 500 whales and dolphins will be killed

Unfortunately, again this year, in the Faroe Islands there will be a mass slaughter of whales and dolphins, unlike in previous years, limited, if we can say so, to a maximum of 500 specimens. The islands government has acknowledged that the number of cetaceans culled last year was unusually high, a figure that is unlikely to be sustainable in the long term.

In the Faroese tradition, hunters surround the cetaceans with a wide semicircle of fishing boats and lead them to a shallow bay where the animals run aground. The fishermen on the shore then kill the cetaceans with knives. The hunt for cetaceans organized in late summer by local fishermen in the Danish autonomous territory in the North Sea has informed the authorities and all animal protection associations that this year no more than 500 specimens will be killed, after the great controversies of last year.

, when over 1400 cetaceans were slaughtered. After the opinion of the scientific committee of the North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission, scheduled for 2024, the Faroe authorities will review the ceiling. The government has also assured that it will look into the procedures used to kill the captured cetaceans.

Faroe Islands: 500 whales and dolphins will be killed

Hunting for marine mammals has been a tradition practiced for hundreds of years on the remote Faroe Islands. But the scale of last year's killings, with over a thousand whales killed in a single day, also shocked many locals involved in the practice, as well as attracting strong criticism around the world.

BBC said the decision was made after the wave of protests followed by the 2021 slaughter in which photos of cetacean carcasses floating in a sea turned red with blood went around the world, and a petition was presented to the local government.

which collected nearly 1.3 million signatures to stop the massacre. The government has stressed that the cetaceans captured constitute an important supplement to the livelihood of the population of the Faroe Islands and, while setting a provisional limit of 500 head per year, noted that even an annual quota of about 825 dolphins would be well below the sustainable limits.

Every summer, images of this bloody hunt travel around the world and baffle animal rights activists, who consider the practice barbaric. However, the tradition still enjoys wide acceptance among the inhabitants of the islands, who emphasize that dolphins have fed the local population for centuries.