Slaughter of dolphins on Faeroes sparks debate on traditions

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) - The weekend slaughter of 1,428 white-sided dolphins, part of a four-century-old traditional drifting of marine mammals into shallow water where they are killed for their meat and bacon, has sparked a debate over the small Faroe Islands.
Hunting in the North Atlantic Islands is non-commercial and legal, but environmentalists consider it cruel. Even people in the Faroe Islands who defend the traditional practice fear that this year's hunt will attract unwanted attention, as it was much larger than the previous ones and apparently took place without the usual organization.
Heri Petersen, the foreman of a group driving pilot whales ashore on the central Faroese island of Eysturoy, where the murders took place on Sunday, said he had learned nothing about the dolphin hunt and "distanced himself greatly from it".
He told the news agency that there were too many dolphins and too few people on the beach to slaughter them.
According to the Faroe Islands, islanders usually kill up to 1,000 marine mammals each year. Last year there were only 35 white-sided dolphins among them.
Olavur Sjurdarberg, chairman of the Faroese Pilot Whale Association, feared the slaughter on Sunday would revive the discussion about marine mammal propulsion and negatively impact the ancient tradition of the 18 rocky islands halfway between Scotland and Iceland. You are semi-independent and belong to the Danish Empire.
“We have to remember that we are not alone on earth. On the contrary, the world has become much smaller today, everyone walks around with a camera in their pockets, ”said Sjurdarberg to the local broadcaster KVF. "This is a fabulous treat for those who want us (to look bad) when it comes to pilot whale hunting."
Faroe Islands Fisheries Minister Jacob Vestergaard told local radio station Kringvarp Foeroya that everything was done according to the rules when hunting for dolphins.
The Seattle-based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has resisted marine mammal thrusters from the late 16th century for years. On Facebook, the organization described the weekend's events as "illegal hunting".
The white-sided dolphins and pilot whales are not endangered species.
Every year, islanders drive herds of mammals - mostly pilot whales - into shallow waters where they are stabbed. A blowhole hook is used to secure the stranded whales and their spine and main artery leading to the brain are severed with knives. The rides are regulated by law and the meat and bacon are shared on a community basis.

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