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A fluke of a North Atlantic right whale lifts out of the water

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Common bottlenose dolphin

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North Atlantic right whale. Photo by Regina Asmutis-Sylvia

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Even locals outraged as 1400 dolphins die in Faroese hunt

There has been widespread condemnation after over 1400 Atlantic white-sided dolphins were killed in the Faroe Islands last weekend, believed to be the largest number of dolphins ever killed in the country.

Much of the criticism has come from within the country where usually there is a strong defence of the hunts, which are portrayed by locals as a long-standing tradition providing a necessary supplement to their diet.

The dolphins were herded into a bay on the island of Eysturoy on Sunday after being encountered far out to sea. Even though the hunt was sanctioned by local authorities, it appears there was confusion over the number of dolphins being driven to shore with first estimates putting the number at around 200.

As a result, local reports suggest there were not enough people on the beach to kill the dolphins when it became apparent how many there actually were. The process took several hours as dolphins were left in a distressed state while their fellow pod members were killed with knives.

The meat from the hunt is traditionally distributed to local people but with so many dolphins killed, there are concerns that much of it may have to be discarded.

Find out more about whaling in the Faroe Islands

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