Dolphin slaughter continues in the Faroe Islands
The slaughter of dolphins in the Faroe Islands has continued after 53 more were butchered, just days after more than 1,400 were killed in a beach bloodbath that sparked global outrage.
Haunting photographs show slain pilot whales, among the largest of the oceanic dolphins, laying with their guts sprawled across the bloodied ground of Kollafjørður port on the south of the island.
Among the dead dolphins, which were lined up at the port to be distributed around the area, appear to be calves due to their smaller sizes.
The killings come just days after horrifying video emerged showing the sea turning red with blood as Faroe Islanders slaughtered 1,428 dolphins during a 'rogue hunt'.
Footage showed men appearing to butcher the animals with some of the dolphins seen writhing around on the shoreline.
It was one of the largest massacres ever recorded during the traditional centuries-old annual hunt known as the Grindadrap, or Grind, in Faroese. During the hunt, the whales are herded into a bay by local boats before having their spinal chords severed.
But the scale of the slaughter has turned even some of the most traditional islanders against the annual hunt with some calling it 'cruel and unnecessary'.
The latest hunt saw 53 dolphins killed in the village of Kollafjørður, just 10km away from where the 1,428 were slaughtered.
Islanders usually kill up to 1,000 sea mammals a year, with pilot whales being the main target according to data kept by the Faroe Islands, but now the figure has reached 1,461.
The Grindadrap dates back to the 9th century when Norsemen first settled on the North Atlantic islands, and it remains the only form of aboriginal whaling still in existence in Western Europe.
According to Faroese law, pilot whales, bottlenose dolphins, white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises can also be hunted, though pilot whales are the main target of the hunts.
The meat and blubber from the animals is used for food and dates back to a time when locals were reliant on whale and dolphin meet to survive.
But a recent study found the meat contains mercury and is not recommended for regular consumption.
Whaling is governed by Faroese authorities directly and is not regulated by the International Whaling Commission because of disagreements over the body's power to control the cetacean hunts.
Falling whale numbers led to an international moratorium on whaling in 1986 — but the International Whaling Commission still allows some 'subsistence' whaling.
The Faroe islands are semi-independent and part of the Danish realm.