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WDC provides supportive care to a live-stranded common dolphin. Credit: Andrea Spence/IFAW

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The Yushin Maru catcher ship of the Japanese whaling fleet injures a whale with its first harpoon attempt, and takes a further three harpoon shots before finally killing the badly injured fleeing whale. Finally they drowned the mammal beneath the harpooon deck of the ship to kill it.  Southern Ocean.  07.01.2006

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WDC is saddened to report yet another grind in the Faroe Islands where 45 pilot whales were killed on November 24th  in Fuglafjordur, Eysturoy.   The last grind occurred on October 25th, and this most recent grind signifies that the hunting season continues.

Since the beginning of 2010 2,552 pilot whales have been killed on the Islands, raising serious human health, animal welfare and conservation concerns. This year alone, 719 pilot whales have been killed in the hunts. WDC, along with the other organizations, are urging the Faroe Islanders to bring a permanent end to the hunting of pilot whales and other cetacean species.

The drive hunts are an extremely inhumane practice where entire family groups of pilot whales are rounded up out at sea by small motor boats and driven to the shore where they are killed in shallow bays. Once they beach, blunt-ended metal hooks inserted into their blowholes are used to drag the whales up the beach or in the shallows, where they are killed with a knife cut to their major blood vessels. WDCS believes that the driving, dragging and killing, all of which takes place within view of their pod members, is intensely stressful and cruel. Pilot whales, and other species, including bottlenose dolphins, Atlantic white-sided dolphins and northern bottlenose whales, are still hunted for their meat in the Faroe Islands.

In September, WDC joined a coalition of international animal welfare and conservation groups to renew its call for an end to the pilot whale drive hunts, or grinds, which occur in the Faroe Islands. Representing 6 different countries, including Denmark, the coalition sent a statement and letter to the Faroese Prime Minister Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen about its concerns regarding the high number of pilot whales killed over the past three years in the annual pilot whale drive hunts. 

WDC continues its work towards ending drive hunts, wherever they occur.