The organization said a super-pod of 1,428 white Atlantic dolphins was covered by speedboats and jet skis on Sklabotnur beach on Eysturoy Island, where they were later killed.
The Faroe Islands are an autonomous territory of the Kingdom of Denmark, lying about halfway between Scotland and Iceland in the Atlantic Ocean.
The annual whaling, or grindadrp in Faroese, has been part of the local culture for centuries – but usually involves pilot whaling. Although it has long been criticized by animal rights groups, locals have advocated the practice.
Christian Petersen, 41, who hails from the Faroese town of Fuglafjrur but now lives in Denmark, said he started participating in whales at the age of seven — but in his village, dolphins were never targeted.
“I experienced it first hand and I also participated a little bit,” Petersen told CNN. “As long as it ‘s just for food, I’ve supported it. But this last catch that was this weekend, I’m against how it went.
Petersen is one of several whaling supporters who have condemned Sunday’s killing, saying there were “so many mistakes”, including chasing a large herd and prolonging the suffering of dolphins by not having enough people on the beaches to killed them.
In recent decades, the practice has fallen under a strict regulation by the Faroese government, with instructions on hunting authorization and how they should be carried out.
Many, including Petersen, have questioned the legality of Sunday’s killing, claiming the local leader, who is involved in arranging whales in the area along with the district administrator, was not informed in accordance with regulations. Sea Shepherd also claimed that some of those involved did not have the licenses required to participate.
The Faroese Executive Order on Pilot and Other Small Whaling, issued in January 2017, states that the county administrator or manager must approve each hunt and gives them the responsibility to “ensure that enough people are available ashore.” to kill whales. “
Bjorg Jacobsen from Faroe Islands Police told CNN the hunt had been legal, but he declined to comment further.
In a written statement, Faroese government spokesman Pll Nolse told CNN that “the whale watching notice was given to the district administrator and the district administrator, in consultation with the whale managers, designated the authorized whale bay, the whales should be directed in “.
He said it was “organized and carried out in accordance with Faroese legislation” and “there were no violations of law and regulations”, adding that this had been confirmed by the Faroese Ministry of Fisheries.
Nolse added that everyone involved in the killings should complete a pilot whale course, and said that hunting white dolphins was a consistent practice, with an annual number of about 250, although it “fluctuates a lot” – making the catch Sunday almost six times greater Me
“The meat from each whale ride provides a large amount of valuable food, which is distributed free of charge to local communities where whale rides take place … the meat of 1,400 dolphins caught on Sunday is also distributed among catch participants and the local community.” he added.
This claim was disputed by Steintr, a 61-year-old lobster fisherman from the village of Oyri, who did not want to give his last name for fear of being targeted by anti-whaling activists. He said the meat from the dolphins would be equal to about 200 whales, and so it was not “much”.
“I think it is very necessary to kill whales,” he said, arguing that it was a consistent favorable practice for importing beef. “And we do it in a very humane way, using tools certified by veterinarians … The problem in the Faroe Islands is that we have a public slaughterhouse. So everyone can see what is happening.”
Although he said some locals were frustrated by the “not so well organized” hunting and he was “surprised by the large number of dolphins”, the killing itself was a “normal thing” and did not come as a shock, he said. ai Me
Sea Shepherd further claimed that some dolphins had been shot down by motorboats and “hacked by propellers”, resulting in reports to local police. Faroe Islands police did not respond to a request from CNN for comment on the allegations.
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