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New Delhi: The practice of dolphin hunting in the Faroe Islands, an autonomous Danish territory, has sparked outrage on Tuesday after more than 1,400 of the mammals were killed.
More than 1,400 white-sided dolphins were culled in a day in what is believed to be the single biggest catch in the northern archipelago.
“There is no doubt that the Faroe whale hunts are a dramatic sight to people unfamiliar to the hunts and slaughter of mammals,” a government spokesman told AFP.
However, such hunts are told to be well organised and fully regulated, according to the official.
North Atlantic islands, which have a population of 50,000 people, typically engage in hunting pilot whales and not dolphins, according to the spokesperson.
Meanwhile, local television journalist, Hallur av Ran has been quoted as saying, “There are usually a few of them in the ‘grind’, but we normally don’t kill such a large number.
The islands follow a “grindadrap” practice, whereby the hunters try to surround the whales with a wide semi-circle of fishing boats forcing them to drive into a bay where they are beached and slaughtered.
“It looks quite extreme and it took some time to kill them all, while it’s usually pretty quick,” av Rana said.
The photos of bloodied corpses of more than 1,000 Atlantic white-sided dolphins emerging in social media sparked outrage. While 53 percent of the islands’ population are opposed to the “grind”, there are no plans to abolish the practice informed av Rana. The authorities insist it is a sustainable way of hunting.
The practice has been described as barbaric by charity Sea Shepherd, which is campaigning against the hunting of whales and dolphins. It is not a big deal for the island nation which has an estimated 100,000 pilot whales in the waters and around 600 were killed last year.
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