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1,428 dolphins were killed as part of an island tradition: NPR

In this image released by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the carcasses of dead white-sided dolphins lay on a beach on Sunday after being removed from the water on Eysturoy Island, part of the Faroe Islands.

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1,428 dolphins were killed as part of an island tradition: NPR

In this image released by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the carcasses of dead white-sided dolphins lay on a beach on Sunday after being removed from the water on Eysturoy Island, part of the Faroe Islands.

Sea Shepherd via AP

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – The slaughter of 1,428 white-sided dolphins over the weekend as part of a traditional four-century-old training of marine mammals in shallow water where they are killed for their meat and fat , revived a debate on the Small Faroe Islands.

Hunting in the North Atlantic islands is not commercial and is permitted, but environmental activists say it is cruel. Even Faroe Islanders who defend the traditional practice fear this year’s hunt will attract unwanted attention, as it was much larger than previous ones and apparently went without the usual organization.

Heri Petersen, the foreman of a group that drives pilot whales to shore on the central Faroe Islands island of Eysturoy, where the killings took place on Sunday, said he had not been informed of the hunt to the dolphins and was “strongly dissociated”.

He told the media in.fo. that there were too many dolphins and too few people on the beach to shoot them down.

1,428 dolphins were killed as part of an island tradition: NPR

In this image posted by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the carcasses of dead white-sided dolphins lay on a beach on Eysturoy Island on Sunday.

Sea Shepherd via AP


hide caption

toggle legend

Sea Shepherd via AP

1,428 dolphins were killed as part of an island tradition: NPR

In this image posted by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the carcasses of dead white-sided dolphins lay on a beach on Eysturoy Island on Sunday.

Sea Shepherd via AP

Islanders typically kill up to 1,000 marine mammals per year, according to data maintained by the Faroe Islands. Last year that only included 35 white-sided dolphins.

Olavur Sjurdarberg, president of the Faeroese Pilot Whale Hunt Association, feared that Sunday’s massacre would reignite the discussion of marine mammal hunts and take a negative turn on the ancient tradition of the 18 rocky islands located midway between the ‘Scotland and Iceland. They are semi-independent and are part of the Danish kingdom.

“We have to keep in mind that we are not alone on earth. On the contrary, the world has become much smaller today, everyone walking around with a camera in their pocket,” Sjurdarberg told the local television channel KVF. “It’s a fabulous treat for those who want us (to look bad) when it comes to catching pilot whales.”

Faroese Fisheries Minister Jacob Vestergaard told local radio Kringvarp Foeroya that everything was in accordance with the book in dolphin hunting.

For years, the Seattle-based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has opposed marine mammal hunts that date back to the late 16th century. On Facebook, the organization described the weekend’s events as “an illegal hunt”.

1,428 dolphins were killed as part of an island tradition: NPR

In this image posted by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the carcasses of dead white-sided dolphins lay on a beach on Eysturoy Island on Sunday.

Sea Shepherd via AP


hide caption

toggle legend

Sea Shepherd via AP

1,428 dolphins were killed as part of an island tradition: NPR

In this image posted by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the carcasses of dead white-sided dolphins lay on a beach on Eysturoy Island on Sunday.

Sea Shepherd via AP

White-sided dolphins and pilot whales are not endangered species.

Each year, the islanders lead herds of mammals – mostly pilot whales – into shallow water, where they are stabbed to death. A blow hook is used to secure stranded whales and their spine and main artery to the brain are severed with knives. Readers are regulated by laws and the meat and fat is shared on a community basis.

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