Hunting marine mammals such as whales or dolphins is a centuries-old tradition in the Faroe Islands, a remote territory belonging to Denmark, but a record last Sunday catch of 1400 ‘white-faced dolphins’ is generating a backlash in the region, according to the BBC.
Every year an average of 600 whales are caught in the territory, according to data advanced by the Government of the Faroe Islands, with lower numbers in the case of dolphins (35 in 2020 and 10 in 2019).
But the recent capture of 1400 dolphins in a single day n the largest fjord in the North Atlantic territory – whose carcasses were pulled ashore and distributed to residents for consumption – was considered excessive and left many people in the region shocked by the bloody trail at sea, while hundreds of people watched the violent hunting scene from the beach.
“It was a big mistake”, acknowledged the president of the Whalers Association of the Faroe Islands, Olavur Sjurdarberg, in an interview with the BBC, adding that the hunting operation was estimated to involve only 200 dolphins and not 1400. But he made it clear that the capture was authorized by the local authorities and no laws were broken.
According to advocates of this traditional activity in the region, whaling is a sustainable way of collecting food from nature and an important part of cultural identity in the Faroe Islands. But animal rights activists have long disagreed with hunting mammals, calling it a “cruel and unnecessary massacre.”
For Sjurdur Skaale, Danish MP for the Faroe Islands, killing white-faced dolphins is “nice but not popular.” the deputy visited Skalabotnur beach to speak with locals this Monday, noting that people “were furious and shocked” at the scale of the hunt.
Even so, the Danish deputy defended that the hunting of mammals can be done, if it is done in the “right way”. “From an animal welfare point of view, it’s a good way to provide meat – and much better than keeping cows and pigs locked up,” said Sjurdur Skaale.
These claims were challenged by the Sea Shepherd group, which claimed that “as dolphin hunts can turn into protracted and often disorganized massacres.”
Criticism of the capture of whales and mammals in the Faroe Islands has had its ups and downs over the years, and this hunt has gained greater attention after the screening of the documentary “Seaspiracy” on Netflix, released in early 2021.
Source: Expresso by expresso.pt.
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