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Stop the Cruel Dolphin Hunt in the Faroe Islands

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with SeaLegacy and Whale and Dolphin Conservation

In a slow, cruel hunt that even seasoned whalers have deemed unethical, an entire super pod of at least 1,428 white-sided dolphins was killed on the 12th of September on the shores of the Faroe Islands.

The massive pod was driven by a coordinated fleet of boats and jet skis onto the beach after which the dolphins were killed one by one. The panicked dolphins, including pregnant females and calves, were involved in a hunt that lasted several hours and is said to have extended over more than 45 kilometers before they were left to suffocate on land as the vastly outnumbered whalers struggled to kill them all. The horrific event that took place on September 12th was one of the largest single massacres in the island’s history, drawing the total number of cetaceans killed this year to 2,043.


The Faroe Islands are known for their annual pilot whale hunt, a tradition called the Grindadráp or sometimes referred to as “The Grind.” The practice has been called into question by locals and health experts after decades of research have revealed the health consequences of consuming dolphin and pilot whale meat. Mercury levels within marine animals containing higher levels of stored fat have been rising over the decades, leading to a number of health consequences—particularly for the development of children. According to health experts, people who consume whale or dolphin meat increase their risk of hypertension, diabetes, and even Parkinson’s disease.

Not only is this hunt horrifically cruel, but in a time when the climate crisis is pushing global temperatures to new records, pollution is saturating the ocean, and overfishing continues to deplete the populations of many species, we cannot allow these kinds of practices to continue, as they diminish the ability of the ocean to support biodiversity, maintain ecological balance, and deliver vital ecosystem services. There is a limit to our ocean’s abundance, and we are getting dangerously close to it. Slaughtering more than 1,400 dolphins after allowing them to suffer crosses a line in the ethical treatment of our planet’s wildlife and threatens the reputation of a community that shares a deep-seated connection with the sea.

Add your voice and ask the Faroese Prime Minister Bárður á Steig Nielsen to take a firm regulatory stance against the slaughter of dolphins in the Faroe Islands.
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