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Faeroese put a cap on dolphin hunt after huge 2021 kill

Posted at 3:21 PM, Jul 11, 2022

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The Faeroe Islands government is proposing an annual catch limit of 500 white-sided dolphins for 2022 and 2023, after last year's slaughter of more than 1,400 dolphins in a day led to international condemnation.

The killing is part of a four-century-old traditional drive of sea mammals into shallow water, where they are killed for their meat and blubber.

The hunt in the North Atlantic islands is not commercial and is authorized, but environmental activists claim it is cruel.

The government said "aspects" of last year's catch were not satisfactory, and it was unlikely to be a sustainable level of catch.

On Sunday, the government said the capping measure was “in response to the unusually large catch” on Sept. 14, 2021.

The proposal should be implemented as an executive order by July 25.

Defenders of the hunt were worried last year after 1,428 white-sided dolphins were killed because it was higher than usual and took place with minor organization.

In 2020, only 35 white-sided dolphins were killed.

According to data kept by Islanders, usually up to 1,000 sea mammals — chiefly pilot whales — are killed annually.

The two animals are not endangered species.