The Faroe Islands limit their hunting quota to 500 dolphins per year

The Faroe Islands announced on Sunday that they will temporarily limit the number of dolphins hunted by its inhabitants to 500 per year. β€œAn annual catch limit of 500 white-sided dolphins has now been proposed by the Ministry of Fisheries on a provisional basis for 2022 and 2023,” said the government of this autonomous territory belonging to Denmark.

This quota was set after the “unusually large catch” of 1,423 white-sided dolphins last September, he said in a statement. “Aspects of this catch were unsatisfactory, in particular the unusually high number of dolphins killed,” he acknowledged, adding, “it is unlikely to be a sustainable level of catch… long-term”.

Images that outrage animal rights activists

A review of this practice was launched 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 semi-circle of fishing boats and lead them into a shallow bay where they are stranded. The fishermen on the shore kill the cetaceans using knives.

Every summer, images of this bloody hunt make headlines around the world and spark outrage among animal rights activists who consider the practice barbaric. But the hunt still enjoys wide support in the Faroe Islands, where its supporters point out that the animals have fed the local population for centuries.

“A means of subsistence of the inhabitants of the Faroe Islands”

On Sunday, the government stressed that the captures were an “important supplement to the livelihoods of the people of the Faroe Islands” and considered that the capture of dolphins was done in a “sustainable” way for theenvironment.

Given current stocks, the government said an annual quota of around 825 dolphins would be “well below sustainable limits”, but recommended 500 as an interim limit. The government said it would also assess the procedures used to kill the dolphins.

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