Nearly 100 bottlenose dolphins killed in new Faroe Islands hunt
Faroese islanders have killed 100 bottlenose dolphins amid growing international outrage over the hunts.
The victims included 98 adults, an unborn baby and a young calf, according to conservation group Sea Shepherd, which said it was the biggest hunt for bottlenose dolphins in more than 120 years.
The creatures are believed to have been killed with knives or other sharp tools after being driven ashore in a bay.
Last September, Faroese hunters shot a record 1,428 Atlantic white-sided dolphins in one go, sparking outpouring of revulsion and anger around the world and calling on the UK to sever ties trade with the islands.
But environmentalists say the latest killings show hunters are thumbing their noses at the rest of the world.
The dolphins were hunted in Skalafjorour Bay, the same bay where all 1,428 were killed last year.
Sea Shepherd, which filmed the latest massacre, said: “This dolphin hunt, and indeed the slaughter of all pilot whales and dolphins in the Faroe Islands, is simply disgraceful and will rightly provoke further national outrage. and international.
“Once again some of the animals show cut marks from boat propellers where the boats collided or above them.”
Experts from the organization OceanCare, who condemned the “callous” act, said the big nose usually lives in tightly knit social units and the hunt has potentially wiped out an entire social group forever.
Earlier this month, Faroese officials who conducted a review of dolphin hunts in response to the backlash, announced they would allow the practice to continue, with a limit of 500 dolphins for the current year.
Ed Fox, director of the charity Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), said it appeared hunters were deliberately snubbing conservationists with the latest kill.
“Bottlenose dolphins are one of the most beloved and well-studied dolphin species,” said Astrid Fuchs, policy officer at WDC.
“The killing of 100 of these dolphins is a political signal to show the world that dolphin hunters in the Faroe Islands do not care about the opinion of their own people or the international community.
“We very much hope that the UK and the EU will respond to this position with the necessary diplomatic and economic pressure.”
British conservationists have pressured the government to halt trade with the Faroe Islands while the killings continue.
They say imports from the Faroe Islands to the UK were worth £864million at the end of last year, mostly fish products.
In this year’s first hunt in May, 63 pilot whales were killed by Faroese hunters, including 10 pregnant mothers and their unborn babies.
Later that month, another 119 pilot whales were killed.
The WDC says dolphin hunting is not traditional in the Faroes, but catching the creatures has long been incidental to pilot whale hunting.
Bottlenose dolphins are strictly protected by the European Species and Habitats Directive which applies to Denmark, but the Faroe Islands are not members of the EU.
Mark Simmonds, Scientific Director of OceanCare, said: “The intelligence of the bottlenose dolphin is well known. Thus, the members of this large group would have been aware that they were being hunted and they would have been aware, once washed up on the shore, that members of their social groups were also in distress and killed around them.
The British government says it opposes cetacean hunting but that by having strong diplomatic and economic relations it can better influence the Faroese government.
“We need to present the global campaign to end this slaughter at the International Whaling Conference in Slovenia in October,” said wildlife campaigner Dominic Dyer.