Sea turns red with blood as 1,428 dolphins killed in 'largest ever' Faroe Islands hunt

Deplorable hunters slaughtered 1,428 Atlantic white-sided dolphins in the bay of Skálabotnur on Sunday. Shocking pictures have emerged of scores of hookfin porpoises washed up on the shores of the self-governing Danish archipelago, many of which have been bludgeoned to death with knives and harpoons.

In another image shared by the conservationist Sea Shepherd group, blood from the dolphin carcasses can be seen seeping into the sea.

The group said the dolphins were driven to shallow water for around 45km by the hunters on jet skis and speed boats. 

The annual hunting of sea mammals is a controversial tradition, known by locals on the remote island as the Grindadráp.

Robert Read from Sea Shepherd UK explained islanders were previously reliant on the archaic hunt as a source of food during the baron winter months.

But the barbaric act had been phased out and Mr Read described this as an “unprecedented situation”.

The shocking find on Sunday has led experts to believe it is the largest death toll of cetaceans, whales and dolphins ever recorded.

Mr Read told The i newspaper: “We’ve been looking at records from all over the world, and its quite possibly the largest hunt of cetaceans, whales and dolphins combined, possibly ever recorded.

“It’s unprecedented in Faroese history, and possibly in recorded history at all.
“The largest hunt even close to this – and the Faroese records go back over 500 years – was of 1,200 pilot whales in 1940.”

Mr Read explained hunters traditionally drive jet skis and speed boats into the pod, which then drives the dolphins into shallow water.

“But the Faroe Islands these days is an incredibly modern community, with a similar per capita income as Scandanavian countries like Norway, near-zero poverty, they have imports from all over the world, their shops and supermarkets are very well stocked.

“So there’s no sort of need for this to continue on a subsistence basis.”

The expert added it is not healthy for humans to consume dolphin meat as it is often “heavily contaminated with industrial pollutants”.

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