The killing of about 1500 Atlantic white-sided dolphins in a Faroese fjord on the 12th of September shocked the world. In the Faroe Island, too, a large part of the population is very critical about such massacres, and even the whalers and the fish producers are unsettled because of potential repercussions on their business.
The hunt for pilot whales (which despite their English name are dolphins, too) and white-sided dolphins is carried our in the name of “tradition” (though with the latest technology) – or maybe even just to demonstrate that they don’t accept outside interference –, but in economic terms, it’s insignificant.
With fisheries and in particular salmon “mariculture”, it’s quite the opposite. These sectors account for about 20% of the GDP and more than 90% of exports of this archipelago, which is part of Denmark (but not of the EU). Here, killed animals are not counted by individuals, but only by weight. Last year, Faroese vessels caught about 340,000 kg of blue whiting, 108,000 kg of herring, 69,000 kg of mackerel, 22,500 kg of cod, 21,000 kg of saithe, etc., etc. The largest single export item in terms of revenue, however, is salmon, for the masting of which countless fish are processed into fish meal and fish oil.
Bad press is quite inconvenient, then. And there was a huge international media response (e.g. World Today, Dagbladet). Now diplomatic action has to follow. OceanCare sent corresponding appeals to the European Commission and to EU Member State governments. Join this call and sign OceanCare’s petition.