On July 29, over 100 bottlenose dolphins were slaughtered on the Faroe Islands in what locals call a ‘necessary tradition.’

Source: Albi Deak/Youtube

The heartbreaking images have sparked a huge outrage, and the tradition has been condemned by animal rights groups. The pictures show hundreds of bloody bottlenose dolphins lying lifeless on concrete.

In the hunting tradition, whales and dolphins are killed with spears, hooks, and knives by islanders. The massacre was so bloody this year that it reportedly turned the sea dark red as the animals were stabbed and brought to shore. The marine mammals were stretched out on a pier, and many of them were cut to pieces with their intestines spilling out.

Last September, over 1400 dolphins were killed on the islands in a single weekend in a Foroese hunt. This year, the government set an annual catch limit of dolphins to 500 a year, a number still far too high.

Source: Sea Shepherd/Youtube

Residents say that the mass killing is important to their tradition and history and supplements the local’s diet. However, according to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation, a poll showed that most Faroese were against the hunts. Many because dolphin meat is not in high demand, and the animals are not a part of the island’s traditional whale grinds. Many in support of the hunts also say that they eat all of the animals, but this has been found to not be true.

Source: Albi Deak/Youtube

According to Sea Shepherd, 6,500 whales have been killed during the practice in the last decade. Robert Read, chief operating officer at Sea Shepherd, said in the Daily Mail, “The grindadráp is a barbaric relic of a bygone age. A needless hunt of hundreds of pilot whales and dolphins which should have ended a century ago which is not needed to feed anyone on the islands.”

Read more about whale hunting in Norway in One Green Planet, including whale hunting in the Faroe Islands and the Norwegian government’s response to hunting.

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