The review of this practice was launched in February after a petition, which had collected nearly 1.3 million signatures, calling for a ban on this traditional hunt was submitted to the Faroese government.

The Faroe Islands announced on Sunday that they would temporarily limit the number of dolphins hunted by its inhabitants to 500 per year, a highly controversial practice.

“An annual catch limit of 500 white-tailed dolphins has now been proposed by the Fisheries Ministry as an interim measure for 2022 and 2023,” the Danish self-governing territory government said.

1423 dolphins hunted in September

This quota was set after the “unusually large catch” of 1,423 white-tailed dolphins last September, it said in a statement.

“Aspects of this capture were unsatisfactory, particularly the unusually high number of dolphins killed,” he acknowledged, adding, “this is unlikely to be a sustainable level of capture … in the long term.”

A review of the practice was initiated in February after a petition calling for a ban on this traditional hunt was submitted to the Faroese government. The text had collected nearly 1.3 million signatures.

In the Faroese tradition, hunters surround the dolphins with a wide semicircle of fishing boats and lead them to a shallow bay where they are stranded. Fishermen on the shore kill cetaceans with knives.

A controversial practice

Every summer, images of this bloody hunt make headlines around the world and spark outrage among animal rights activists who view the practice as barbaric.

But hunting still enjoys wide acceptance in the Faroe Islands, where its supporters point out that the animals have fed the local population for centuries.

On Sunday, the government stressed that the catches were an “important supplement to the livelihoods of the population of the Faroe Islands” and felt that the capture of the dolphins was “sustainable” for the environment.

Given current stocks, the government said an annual quota of around 825 dolphins would be “well below sustainable limits,” but recommended 500 as a provisional limit.

After the opinion of the scientific committee of the North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission, scheduled for 2024, it will re-examine the provisional quota.

The government said it will also evaluate the procedures used to kill the dolphins.

Original article published on

VIDEO – Hugo Clément challenges “all representatives of the European Union” including “the French government” on the slaughter of dolphins in the Faroe Islands.

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