‘Almost 1,500’ Dolphins Brutally Slaughtered In Legal Hunting Tradition

by : Poppy Bilderbeck on : 15 Sep 2021 10:32

Warning: Distressing Content

Faroe Island Dolphins - PAPA


During a legal hunting tradition in the Faroe Islands, ‘almost 1,500’ dolphins have been brutally slaughtered. 

Marine conservation charity Sea Shepherd took to social media to post a painfully uncomfortable video, showing numerous Atlantic white-sided dolphins lying helpless and dead in shallow waters.

The video shows the dolphins being cornered into the shallows by speedboats and jet-skis at Skálabotnur beach.

The tiny village of Gasadalur (PA Images)PA

The Faroe Islands, an archipelago located around 320 kilometres from Scotland and about halfway between Iceland and Norway, have a local tradition where they hunt the creatures.

The tradition, known as Grindadráp, consists of herding whales into shallow waters before killing them with knives.

US academic Russell Fielding, who studies the tradition, explained that whales’ ‘meat and blubber’ has been used for ‘human consumption since at least the 16th century’. He told ITV how the consumption of the animals is seen as a crucial part of Faroese culture by many.


Sea Shepherd took to Twitter to condemn the hunt, stating how a total of 1,428 dolphins were ‘driven for many hours and for around 45km by speed boats and jet-skits into the shallow water’. It also posted an unedited, graphic video of the aftermath of the hunt so followers could ‘grasp the reality of what happened’.

Since the 1980s, Sea Shepherd has been challenging ‘grinds’ and has condemned Saturday’s hunt as ‘brutal and badly mishandled’. It commented that the hunt was not authorised in the ‘usual manner’ and reported it also broke several Faroese laws, according to locals.

Robert Read from Sea Shepherd said the ‘need or use for such a vast quantity of contaminated meat’ was absolutely not necessary and ‘outrageous’ considering the island is ‘very wealthy’ and just ‘230 miles from the UK’.


Other groups such as Blue Planet Society have also spoken out, calling the death of the dolphins a ‘brutal’ slaughtering and absolutely ‘horrific’.

Sea Shepherd stated:

Many participants of the hunt had no license, which is required in the Faroe Islands, since it involves specific training in how to quickly kill the pilot whales and dolphins.

The charity has since asked the Minister of Fisheries for Faroe Islands, Jacob Vestergaard, to ‘do the right thing and listen to the Faroese calling this to end’ in an open letter which has been sent since the hunt.


If you see an animal in distress and/or in need of help, contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour animal cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 or visit their website for further advice

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Topics: Animals, Dolphins, no-article-matching


  1. ITV

    'Almost 1500' dolphins slaughtered in traditional Faroe Islands hunt