Gruesome footage shows 1,500 dolphins slaughtered in biggest massacre on record
Nearly 1,500 dolphins were horribly slaughtered off the coast of the Faroe Islands during a “hunt” on Sunday evening.
The massacre is considered the largest whale hunt – a group comprising whales, dolphins and porpoises – on record in the world, said the marine conservation group and activist Sea Shepherd. News week.
The hunt, known locally as ‘grindadráp’, saw whalers target a massive herd of white-sided dolphins, herding the animals in Danish waters where they were cornered and brutally stabbed to death.
Under Faroese law, hunting – a long-standing tradition in the region – is considered legal, although many dispute the practice as unsustainable slaughter and unnecessary suffering.
A total of 1,428 dolphins were killed in “the largest dolphin or pilot whale hunt in the history of the Faroe Islands” and possibly the “largest cetacean hunt ever recorded in the world”, British Sea Shepherd Ambassador Helen Taylor said. News week.
“To get a sense of the scale – this massacre in Skálabotnur is approaching the quota for the entire 6 months of dolphin killing / catching in Taiji, Japan – and in fact exceeds the number killed in recent years. Japanese 6-month dolphin kill / capture season, ”Taylor added. “It is outrageous that such a hunt takes place in 2021 in a very wealthy island community just 230 miles from the UK without needing or using such a large amount of contaminated meat.”
Blue Planet Society, a group campaigning to end the overexploitation of the global ocean, was also at the scene during the killings.
“In numbers it is comparable to the mass slaughter of the North American bison and we all know what happened then,” said volunteer John Hourston. News week. “Denmark and the EU cannot turn a blind eye to this one. We are talking about a massacre at the level of the population, a massacre of a protected species,” he added.
Norwegian Sea Shepherd volunteer and activist Samuel Rostøl said the pod was driven 45 km to a beach by Skalabotnur where stranded dolphins were shot for over an hour.
Rostøl shared graphic images of the event with News week. “You will see dolphins that have been partially stabbed, bleeding to death shaking in pain,” he described. “You will see dolphins not stunned, but cut off at their necks to bleed them. Some of them have their spines cut, making them immobilized but not unconscious. You will hear people laughing. You will see children playing. You will see blood splash as the dolphins fight for their lives. You will see young dead dolphins on the beach. “
Rostøl said the lodge was traditionally a pilot whale slaughter and dolphin hunting was a much more recent practice. The Blue Planet Society said records of the hunts date back to 1584.
“This hunt was ill-prepared, with far too few participants, which prolonged the suffering of these animals who – for many of them – were simply stranded on the beach, unable to leave, for a long time – while their family members were massacred around them, ”he explained.
Many justify the hunt as a cultural tradition and an example of “native whaling” as mammals were traditionally hunted as a source of food for the local population.
However, campaigners wonder how many animals are actually sold for meat and how many are killed to maintain a vital supply of fish to support the highly lucrative fishing trade, noting that the Faroe Islands only have 53,000 inhabitants.
“The different types of dolphin hunting on the Faroe Islands are no longer an important food source,” Rostøl told Newsweek. Sea Shepherd Ambassador Taylor agreed, adding that the hunt had taken place “towards the end of this summer when the Faroe Islands have already killed 615 pilot whales and their freezers are already full.”
Video footage shared by the activist groups shows the dolphins gathered to their deaths as boats surround the terrified animals as they struggle helplessly against the boats’ spears and propellers.
The bloodshed made the sea flush red as dolphin carcasses escaped from the shore and piled up on the sand.
“Stacked up like garbage and soon to be thrown away,” the Blue Planet Society wrote alongside one particularly gruesome image. “They are unlikely to be able to deal with 1,428 dolphins … There is absolutely no excuse for a modern, wealthy country to continue with such archaic and barbaric animal cruelty in the 21st century.”
The group urges the EU, as well as the Danish authorities, to force the autonomous region to end this practice, which they have called “reckless, silly and irresponsible”.
“Denmark and the EU must start serious talks with the Faroe government. If that fails, sanctions must be considered,” Hourston said. “This blatant disregard for protected cetaceans cannot continue.”
Faroese Fisheries Minister Jacob Vestergaard did not condemn Sunday’s hunt which an increasingly noisy Faroese community describes as cruel, archaic and barbaric.