An animal activist group has shared shocking footage of a beach full of bloody dolphins that it says were killed as part of a traditional hunting event called the “Grind” in the Faroe Islands.
The Sea Shepherd, a British-based animal welfare group, posted graphic photos of the hunt on September 12. The group documented scores of dolphins being driven into the shallows and killed by hunters who stabbed the dolphins while they writhed on the beach.
The “Grind” (or Grindadráp in Faroese) is a hunting tradition that dates back hundreds of years. It is held on the remote Faroe Islands, a Danish territory located halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The legal mass hunting event takes place every summer and involves sea mammals like pilot whales and dolphins being killed by hand, usually by knife or spinal lance. Their meat is harvested for human consumption.
Footage shared by other animal activist groups on Twitter showed the waters around the beach stained red from the hunt.
In a Facebook post on September 13, the Sea Shepherd accused an unnamed local “grindforemann” (or hunting leader) of driving the pod of 1,428 dolphins to shore despite knowing there wouldn’t be enough hunters to handle the volume of dolphins, resulting in needless loss of life beyond the hunt’s usual haul.
“A man like that can not have the responsibility to decide the fate of migrating whales and dolphins again. The only right thing to do is to strip him of his authority and to ban all future hunts on white-sided dolphins,” wrote the group.
Faroese leaders admit there was a ‘big mistake’
The scale of Sunday’s hunt prompted an outcry from activists and marine biologists, per the BBC.
The BBC spoke to Bjarni Mikkelsen, a marine biologist from the Faroe Islands, who said this was the highest kill count of dolphins ever recorded in the Faroe Islands. Mikkelsen told the BBC the previous record was 1,200 dolphins killed, a tally reported in 1940.
According to statistics from Sea Shepherd, 463 long-finned pilot whales and 35 Atlantic white-sided dolphins were killed in 2020.
The chairman of the Faroese Whalers Association, Olavur Sjurdarberg, acknowledged to the BBC this year’s hunt was “excessive.”
Sjurdarberg, who told the BBC that he did not participate in the hunt himself, said there was a “big mistake” when hunters underestimated the size of the dolphin pod to be 200 at most. He explained that they only realized how many dolphins there were when the killing started.
“Somebody should have known better. Most people are in shock about what happened,” Sjurdarberg told the BBC. Sjurdarberg did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Heri Petersen, the chairman of the local Grind hunting association, told local news outlet In.fo too many dolphins were herded into the bay, with not enough hunters on hand to dispatch them.
“I’m appalled at what happened,” Petersen told In.fo. “The dolphins lay on the beach writhing for far too long before they were killed.”
Why aren’t they all “in shock” about the many millions of innocent preborn babies brutally butchered in horrible pain everywhere and the murderers are never arrested??
Good point. What would the dolphins say if they knew how we treat our unborn?
The “Grind” needed to come to a grinding halt long before this happened. If you do not have the numbers to do a ‘traditional hunt” then the hunt needs not to happen or maybe it’s a sign that it’s time to stop the tradition or create a different one. Why should any animal suffer at the hands of man?
It’s a cultural tradition that we don’t comprehend but it’s no reason for finger pointing when we don’t value innocent human lives while demanding murderers be set free. I wonder what they think of us?
Very much agree with 65jack. It is amazing how many tears are shed for other animal species but our own. Not condoning the murder of all these dolphins and whales. I believe very much in most Native Americans way of thinking that you need to use the whole animal (as much as is possible), or there is no need to kill them. However, instead of crying for the many babies killed in the womb and in some cases after birth (legally), people want the woman’s ‘rights’ to be considered. Sorry, you gave up those rights when your baby was conceived. Pretty sure if people were killing baby dolphins and whales there would be an outcry the like of those yelling on the side of abortion.
Hopefully the ‘Grind’ will either come to a complete halt, or be modified. And sorry, the man in charge should be held accountable no matter how sorry he is. But glad that he is.
The grind are a bunch of want to be hunters/fisherman that ought to have the same thing done to them. Doesn’t take too much skill to stab helpless dolphins or whales that are out of the water and not able to move……sick fucks.
When we see stories where dolphins & whales have protected humans from the mouths of sharks; it’s time to find another tradition because these beautiful creatures can serve a better purpose just being who they are. To compare this barbaric behavior to abortions — it’s just not the same. Animals will abandon their young that have issues to die on their own, whereas humans, both male & female, decide the fate of an unborn child.