Washington, DC– The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) is very disappointed to learn that an estimated 100 bottlenose dolphins were slaughtered on Friday during the latest hunting hunt in the Faroe Islands. The victims Reportedly including a pregnant female and a young calf.
The dolphins were herded into Skalafjorour Bay, the same area where more than 1,400 Atlantic white-sided dolphins were killed last year during a hunt – the largest single-day slaughter of a whale or dolphin species in the history of the Faroe Islands. A further 282 pilot whales have been killed by Faroese hunters so far this year.
In the Faroe Islands (a small Danish area between Scotland and Iceland in the North Atlantic Ocean), pilot whales and other small cetaceans have been hunted for human consumption since the first human settlement on the islands. Today, however, the inhabitants of the Faroe Islands have adopted a more typically modern Northern European way of life, with a high standard of living and no dietary reliance on whale meat. During the hunt, the wanton slaughter kills even more whales than the inhabitants of the islands could consume. For example, much of the dolphin meat and mud from the 2021 slaughter was discarded or burned.
Bottlenose dolphins, which live in closely linked social units, are strictly protected by the European Union’s Habitats Directive, which supports the conservation of rare, endangered or endemic species. The directive applies to Denmark, but the Faroe Islands itself is not an EU member or bound by EU rules.
Between 2016 and 2020, an average of 666 pilot whales, 156 Atlantic white-sided dolphins and four bottlenose dolphins were killed each year. Global criticism of the dolphin massacre in 2021 led the Faroe Islands government to recently set a tentative annual hunt quota of 500 Atlantic white-sided dolphins – well above the historical average for that species. The next quota review is not planned until 2024. In response, AWI has joined other conservation groups in issuing a pronunciation express their concerns and call on those involved to stop the killing.
While hunting in the Faroe Islands, motorboats drive whales and dolphins into a bay, where men poke the whales’ flesh up to their waists in the water with sharp hooks or insert blunt hooks into the blowholes to send the beating animals to shore. drag so that a spinal lance can be used to sever the main artery to the brain.
“These whales and dolphins endure unimaginable suffering during government-approved hunts that also cause acute pain to the victims’ relatives, who must see, hear and smell the carnage around them,” said AWI wildlife biologist DJ Schubert. “This is a brutal and outdated tradition that the Faroe Islands are risking their own health to maintain. In addition, these yachts are ruining the reputation of the Faroese government and jeopardizing its lucrative fishing exports.”
The Institute for Animal Welfare is a non-profit charitable organization founded in 1951 and committed to reducing animal suffering caused by humans. AWI engages policymakers, scientists, industry and the public to improve animal treatment everywhere—in the lab, on the farm, in the trade, at home and in the wild. follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates and other important animal protection news.