As part of a centuries-old tradition, they killed 1,400 dolphins in the Faroe Islands

Hunting is not commercial and allowed by the authorities, but conservationists consider it cruel. The people of the Faroe Islands themselves, who defend this tradition, acknowledge that it has attracted unwanted attention this year. Last year, during a hunt called Grindadrap, locals killed 576 roundnose grenadier and 35 white-tailed deer, also called white-tailed dolphin. This year, however, 1428 white-footed booby fell victim to them.

Heri Petersen, the leader of a group that shallows cetaceans off the second largest Faroese island of Eysturoy, said he knew nothing about dolphin hunting and was “completely distancing himself” from it.

Ólavur Sjúrdarberg, President of the Faroese Association for Roundheads, fears that Sunday’s events will shed a bad light on the tradition maintained on these islands, which are an autonomous part of Denmark. “We have to keep in mind that we are not alone on Earth. On the contrary, the world has shrunk significantly and everyone has a camera in their pocket,” he told local media. “This is a great bite for someone who wants us to look bad when it comes to hunting roundheads,” he added.

The international conservation organization Sea Shepherd, which has long sought to prevent this hunt, claims that this year most marine mammals were killed in a similar one-off operation in the Faroe Islands. “This hunt is pointless and, according to witnesses, has caused a great deal of suffering to the animals. A certain limit has been crossed and the hunt has reached new dimensions,” OceanCare, which advocates for the protection of the world’s oceans and marine mammals, said the DPA.

The Grindadrap hunting tradition dates back to the 16th century. The prey is usually black roundheads, but sometimes even dolphins.

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