These brutal hunts must end.
Like the whale and dolphin hunts in Taiji, Japan, the Faroese grinds (short for grindadraps) are also drive hunts that involve high speed vessels driving and corralling groups of pilot whales and other dolphin species into a shallow cove where they can be slaughtered by whalers. But unlike Taiji, members of the local Faroese community can take part in these hunts, including both the chase and the killing.
The hunts target toothed whales and dolphins, including long-finned pilot whales (short-finned pilot whales are hunted in Taiji), Risso’s dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, and bottlenose whales. Annually, about 600 pilot whales and 250 white-sided dolphins are killed in the grinds but the numbers fluctuate broadly.
On September 12th, 2021, over 1,400 Atlantic white-sided dolphins were driven into a cove in the Faroe Islands and killed over the course of several hours. At least 2,043 dolphins and pilot whales were killed in 2021.
This egregious hunt caused a national and global outcry which prompted the Faroese government to undertake an internal review of the dolphin hunts to determine whether they should continue.
Unfortunately, the review has concluded and the Faroese government has set quotas for the dolphin hunt, formalizing the hunts rather than abolishing them, and setting the limits on the numbers of dolphins that can be hunted higher than were previously taken annually.
Although new whaling regulations were implemented in 2015 to introduce new killing methods and training intended to reduce killing times, due to the chaotic and uncontrolled nature of these hunts, such measures remain inadequate to reduce and eliminate the suffering associated with these hunts. The driving and killing, all of which takes place within view of their pod members, is intensely stressful and cruel.
While we work to change hearts and minds in the Faroes, we must let the Faroese Government know that we condemn these brutal hunts.
Send a letter to the Faroese Government to express your opposition to whale and dolphin slaughter and support the Faroese voices that are speaking out against the hunts.