An estimated 1,400 dolphins were killed in a single hunt in the Faroe Islands’ north Atlantic waters last year.
With farmed salmon being the islands’ main export, whale and dolphin hunting is largely supported by the fishing and farming community.
Jens Ivan í Gerdinum, from the Islands Agriculture Agency, said that “between 800 and 1,000 whales are caught each year” with whaling seen as beneficial to the local economy and food consumption.
“Whaling is not an industry here, it is an ad hoc system. If circumstances permit, a boat is driven and the share is distributed between the whalers, the town where the whaling took place and if there is something else, it goes to the neighboring villages, old people’s homes and hospitals, many people want the meat .
“But in a civilized safe economy it’s not needed at all, I would say it will eventually stop on its own. There is a lot of pressure from animal rights groups, especially on the internet. Sometimes we see a boycott of our fish exports, but when people are hungry enough they don’t care about ethics anymore.”
He says “the big push” is coming from the United States after the 2021 slaughter of 1,400 dolphins in local waters.
“It’s worse than killing whales because they’re dolphins, so the US didn’t want to buy our salmon products, and that’s fair enough. The politicians here have not reacted, nothing is really going to happen, we can kill dolphins if we want. But it’s quite strange, because the US market wants fresh produce, and to be fresh, they’re flown in direct, not shipped.
“So within 48 hours our salmon is in a restaurant in New York – as a Faroese you want to say, ‘How dare you talk about ethics?’
“What happened last year when 1,400 were killed in a single death was really a run out of control situation, I don’t think it needed to be.
“Since it is an ad hoc solution, it can sometimes be very difficult to control. A lot of people don’t even know how to kill a dolphin and there are people with cameras. If you can’t be effective; you just shouldn’t do it.
“Overall, I support whaling when it’s done in a scientifically sound way based on population numbers, it’s unsafe to eat whales higher up the food chain, pilot whales and killer whales because they’re highly contaminated – for that reason alone we should.” it doesn’t kill them.
“My approach is locally produced, locally hunted, I always support that but do it as quickly, organized and humanely as possible.”
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/why-whaling-and-dolphin-hunting-is-widely-supported-on-the-faroe-islands-41914590.html Why whaling and dolphin hunting are widely supported in the Faroe Islands