Hunters killed 667 pilot whales and 1428 dolphins in September in the Faroe Islands

    29 Sep 2021

    Almost two weeks ago, the most massive dolphin hunt in human history took place. 1428 animals were killed in the Faroe Islands.

    According to the organization Sea Shepperd, there are more and more locals on these islands who oppose hunters every year. But they cannot speak publicly for fear of reprisals. After all, they are dealing with big business.

    In addition to whales, Faroese hunters export salmon and other fish to Britain, the United States, and Russia. Dead whales are also sold to neighboring regions, and from there, locals regularly tour for hunting. So their economy is tied to this; it is a business that brings a lot of profit. Local hunters are not just the initiators of their hunt – there is a demand for it, which consumer society supports.

    Sea Shepherd launched ‘Operation Bloody Fjords 2021’ against the grindadrap hunts of the Faroe Islands

    Bloody FjordsEvery year in the Faroe Islands, around 850 small cetaceans, primarily long-finned pilot whales and Atlantic white-sided dolphins, are cruelly killed in dolphin drive hunts called ‘grindadráp’ in Faroese.

    Sea Shepherd was first activist group in the Faroes in 1983, with further direct-action campaigns in 1985, 1986, 2000, 2011, 2014, and 2015. Then vessel restrictions directed at Sea Shepherd and new Faroese legislation preventing interventions from any activists against the grindadrap were established. That’s why Sea Shepherd UK launched ‘Operation Bloody Fjords’ with land-based crew being sent to the islands every year since 2016 to investigate, document and expose the barbaric hunts to the world to bring pressure on the Faroese to end the grindadráp finally.

    During 2020 Na GO’s ground crew patrolled for over 2 months when COVID-19 travel restrictions were eventually lifted. Operation Bloody Fjords over recent years has generated many hundreds of international online and printed news articles, as well as featuring in radio and TV programs. However, the Danish Media rarely reported on the dolphin killings around the Faroe Islands, so Sea Shepherd UK and Sea Shepherd Scandinavia reached out to respected and recognised Danish activists to join the campaign and we were very pleased to have nine Danish activists last year in the Faroe Islands working alongside our UK volunteers.

    There were no grindadrap hunts while NGO’s crews patrolled in August and September (typically the peak months for grindadrap hunts). However, three grindadrap hunts did happen during despite COVID-19 lockdowns or physical distancing restrictions in the Faroes while pilot whales were killed during a tagging exercise and two small pods of Northern Bottlenose whales were killed after they stranded. The total of cetaceans killed in 2020 was 539 long finned pilot whales, 35 Atlantic white sided dolphins and 11 Northern bottlenose whales during the following:

    Sea Shepherd’s determination to end the grindadrap continues with the 6th year of ‘Operation Bloody Fjords’ – its 13th campaign season on the Faroe Islands with more Danish and Scandinavian crew than ever before.

    During 2020 (thanks especially to Sea Shepherd’s Danish crew) NGO started to find new signs of support in the Faroe Islands, not only against the grindadrap hunts but also for other Sea Shepherd campaigns around the world.  This year Sea Shepherd’s volunteer crew encouraged more Faroese citizens to speak out against the hunts, to support Sea Shepherd campaigns around the world, and look towards establishing, hopefully in the near future a ‘Sea Shepherd Faroe Islands’ chapter.

    Sea Shepherd also continues its campaign for international pressure on the Faroe Islands to end the pilot whale and dolphin hunts. Activists call upon both compassionate citizens and companies to boycott especially Faroese seafood products, for tourists to choose more whale and dolphin-friendly destinations, and for Cruise Ship Companies to reconsider any future visits to the islands until the grindadráp hunts are ended forever.

    The shocking number of cetaceans killed in the Faroe Islands so far in 2021 is 667 long-finned pilot whales and 1428 Atlantic white-sided dolphins.

    •       28th April at Hvannasund – 10 long-finned  pilot whales;
    •       29th May at Torshavn – 22 long-finned  pilot whales;
    •       26th June at Leynar – 52 long-finned  pilot whales;
    •       27th June at Hvannasund – 123 long-finned  pilot whales;
    •       7th July at Sandavagur – 77 long-finned  pilot whales;
    •       8th July at Hvalba – 136 long-finned  pilot whales;
    •       1st August at Hvannasund – 38 long-finned  pilot whales;
    •       10th August at Skalabotnur – 24 long-finned  pilot whales;
    •       10th August at Klaksvik – 38 long-finned  pilot whales;
    •       16th August at Leynar – 38 long-finned pilot whales;
    •       1st September at Leynar – 57 long-finned pilot whales;
    •       12th September at Skalabotnur – 1428 Atlantic white-sided dolphins;
    •       22nd September at Kollafjörður – 52 long-finned pilot whales.

    Over the last ten years, the Faroese Grindadrap hunts have killed 6,276 long-finned pilot whales, 24 northern bottlenose whales, 2,654 Atlantic white-sided dolphins.

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