Mass killing of over 1,400 dolphins in one day leads to outcry from animal activists

·2 min read

A tradition of dolphin hunting in the Faroe Islands has led to international outcry after more than 1,400 dolphins were killed in one day, leaving a beach doused in blood.

The BBC reports that on Sunday, boats herded a pod of white-sided dolphins into shallow waters at Skalabotnur beach in Eysturoy — roughly 400 miles from Iceland — and killed them with knives.

The remains of the dolphins were placed on the shore to be distributed among locals for consumption, according to the BBC.

Supporters say it is a part of their cultural identity, a tradition that dates back hundreds of years on the remote islands.

Grindadrap, commonly known as the Grind, is an annual whale hunt that takes place on the Faroe Islands. It is approved by the local government and Olavur Sjurdarberg, chairman of the Faroese Whalers Association, told the BBC no laws were broken in Sunday's hunt.

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Yet, the sheer number of dolphins killed over the weekend has brought renewed attention to the practice.

Animal rights and conservation organizations have long called for an end to grindadrap.

Sea Shepherd, an international marine conservation organization, tweeted a graphic image showing some of the 1,428 dolphins that were killed.

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"Imagine how terrible must be for those animals to be hunted, to be killed all together, to hear their calves screaming, to swim in their own blood," the Organization for Animal Protection,said on their website.

Sjurdur Skaale, a Danish MP for the Faroe Islands, told BBC some locals were furious after Sunday's killing.

He, however, still supported the tradition as long as it was done humanely.

"From an animal welfare point of view, it's a good way of killing meat - far better than keeping cows and pigs imprisoned," he told the site.

Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email:

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: More than 1,400 dolphins killed in hunting tradition on Faroe Islands

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