Press release

OceanCare criticizes massive kill of Atlantic white-sided dolphins off the Faroese-Islands

September 14, 2021

This Sunday, 12th of September 2021, the Skala Fjord in the east of the Faroese-Islands in the Atlantic has been the scene of one of the largest kills of dolphins in the history of these widely cirticised hunts. At least 1,428 adult Atlantic white-sided dolphins and dozens of juveniles were killed.

The international marine conservation organisation OceanCare is extremely concerned and greatly puzzled by the sheer size of this one particular hunt. “Why?” asks Fabienne McLellan, Programme Lead at OceanCare to stop direct takes of marine mammals. “You can’t justify such a hunt with the need for food”, an argument which is often used by those people involved in these drive hunts. “It is simply absurd and cruel, to cause so many highly evolved and sentient marine mammals to suffer. They have gone too far and we just hope that the local people will also strongly voice their criticisms and concerns” says McLellan.

In spring 2021, OceanCare released a Report called UNDER PRESSURE where the organisation raised concerns about the scale of intentional hunts on whales and dolphins in European waters. In this one recent hunt – whereby small cetaceans are driven into a bay to be killed with knives and lances – more animals of this dolphin species were killed than the total number recorded in the past 10 years. The population of the Atlantic White-Sided Dolphins also is also feared to be in decline due to changes in their habitat in the Atlantic caused by climate change.

“This is no longer about the acceptance of different views and cultures, it is about the deliberate, brutal killing of whole dolphin schools”, says Nicolas Entrup, Co-Director International Relations at OceanCare. He calls upon both the Danish Government and those responsible for the autonomous region of the Faroe Islands, which belongs to the kingdom of Denmark: “Yes, dialogue is needed, but so is action against those who are responsible for such a senseless act”.

Further information

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