Press release

Once again: Dolphin killing in the Faroe Islands

September 23, 2021

Just ten days after a mass killing of more than 1,400 Atlantic white-sided dolphins, the Faroe Islands saw another drive hunt yesterday, September 22nd. This time, 52 pilot whales were driven into a beach and cruelly killed. The marine conservation organisation calls on governments of EU Member States and the EU Commission to react immediately and to convince both Denmark and the regional Faroese government to cease the whale and dolphin drive hunts right away.

“This killing of pilot whales is an intolerable provocation,” says Nicolas Entrup, Co-Director International Relations at OceanCare. While the government of the autonomic region of the Faroe Islands reacted to the worldwide outcry after the bloodbath of September 12th by announcing an evaluation of the regulations on the hunting of Atlantic white-sided dolphins, the current hunt targeted a different dolphin species. Pilot whales belong to the dolphin family and are strictly protected by EU species conservation legislation. However, the Faroe Islands are a part of Denmark, but not of the European Union and therefore do not care about the EU’s cetacean protection rules.

“The Faroese drive hunts, which wipe out whole schools of dolphins, undermine all efforts by governments to protect these small cetaceans, which are already suffering from a wide range of threats. Anyone who is not indifferent to biodiversity loss has to do everything to end these practices,” states Fabienne McLellan, OceanCare spokesperson and head of the anti-whaling programme.

OceanCare is calling for international protest and directs an online petition to the EU Commission and the governments of EU Member States to take decisive steps vis-à-vis the Faroese government.

OceanCare calls for

  • public condemnation of this hunt and engagement in bilateral and international negotiations towards ending the whale and dolphin hunts for good
  • a diplomatic demarche in collaboration with other governments to stop the drive hunt with immediate effect
  • Denmark to use its influence on the Faroe Islands and to provide positive incentives for an end of the whale and dolphin killings, as otherwise it undermines the Agenda 2030 and the EU Biodiversity Strategy
  • EU Members of the IWC to advocate a moratorium on direct hunts of all cetaceans in European waters for the upcoming IWC68 meeting

Further information

OceanCare’s Report UNDER PRESSURE, Chapter 5 on the direct hunts of whales and dolphins in European waters.