'Almost 1500' dolphins slaughtered in traditional Faroe Islands hunt

Warning: This article contains images of dead animals

Almost 1,500 dolphins were killed during an annual hunt in the Faroe Islands, a marine conservation charity has said.

A video posted on social media by Sea Shepherds shows hoards of Atlantic white-sided dolphins thrashing in shallow waters while being slaughtered.

Boats can be seen forming a barrier to stop the creatures from swimming away.According to the charity, the hunt took place in the Faroe Islands, an archipelago between Iceland and the UK, on Sunday.

Grindadráp is a local tradition in which boats herd whales into a shallow bay where they can be killed with knives.

According to Russell Fielding, an US academic who studies grindadráp, it "has provided meat and blubber for human consumption since at least the late 16th century" and is viewed by many as a key part of Faroese culture.

Robert Read from Sea Shepard, however, said: "For such a hunt to take place in 2021 in very wealthy island community just 230 miles from the UK with no need or use for such a vast quantity of contaminated meat is outrageous."

The charity, which has been challenging 'grinds' since the 1980s, said Sunday's "brutal and badly mishandled" hunt was not authorised in the usual manner, and locals have said it broke several Faroese laws.

According to national public broadcasting channel Kringvarp Føroya, the former 'chairman of the Grind said the killing was unnecessary."Many participants of the hunt had no license, which is required in the Faroe Islands, since it involves specific training in how to quickly kill the pilot whales and dolphins," the charity said.

It has written a letter to the Faroe Islands' Minister of Fisheries, Sea Shepherd have asked him to "do the right thing and listen to the Faroese calling for this to end".