Over the weekend, 1428 dolphins were slaughtered in the Faroe Islands.
The deaths came as part of the latest ‘grindadráp’ hunt — a Faroese tradition of dolphin drive hunting in which dolphins are herded towards land by motorboats, before then being killed by whalers on the shore.
Marine conservationists Sea Shepherd are calling the event the largest single hunt of dolphins or pilot whales in Faroese history. The next largest was in 1940 when 1200 pilot whales were killed.
“It is possibly the largest single hunt of cetaceans ever recorded worldwide,” the organisation added in a statement released today, after sharing footage of the killing which took place 40 kilometres into Danish water.
There has been much debate over whether the Indigenous hunting event is a “horrific” act of cruelty or an important cultural practice providing islanders with a sense of Faroese identity and community, as well as meat for food.
The Faroe Islands sits among Japan, Norway, and Iceland as one of the main culprits for the killing of nearly 40,000 large whales since commercial whaling was banned in 1986.
For perspective, this Faroe Island massacre at Skálabotnur approaches the quota set for the entire six-month hunting season for killing and capturing dolphins at Taiji in Japan, exceeding all Japanese hunting numbers of recent years.