scorecardA British cruise ship operator apologized after passengers watched 78 dolphins get slaughtered, part of the centuries-old whaling tradition of the Faroe Islands
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A British cruise ship operator apologized after passengers watched 78 dolphins get slaughtered, part of the centuries-old whaling tradition of the Faroe Islands

Reena Koh   

A British cruise ship operator apologized after passengers watched 78 dolphins get slaughtered, part of the centuries-old whaling tradition of the Faroe Islands
LifeInternational2 min read
The whaling tradition in the Faroe Islands is centuries-old.    ANDRIJA ILIC/Getty Images
  • A cruise ship docked at the Faroe Islands on Sunday, leaving its passengers to witness a mass hunt of dolphins.
  • The British cruise ship operator, Ambassador Cruise Line, has since apologized on Twitter.

On Monday, British cruise ship operator Ambassador Cruise Line took to Twitter to apologize after its passengers watched residents of the Faroe Islands slaughter wild dolphins.

Part of a mass hunting tradition, 78 long-finned pilot whales — a species of oceanic dolphins — were killed near the capital of Torshavn on Sunday, per Yahoo News Australia.

Cruise ship passengers were left to watch the mass hunting event take place after the luxury vessel Ambition docked at the European island. The British cruise ship operator has since apologized on Twitter.

"We were incredibly disappointed that this hunt occurred at the time that our ship was in port," tweeted Ambassador Cruise Line on July 10.

"We strongly object to this outdated practice," the British cruise ship operator added in a follow-up Tweet, referencing the mass hunt tradition.

Known as Grindadráp in Faroese, the mass slaughter of pilot whales is a centuries-old hunting tradition in the Faroe Islands, a Danish territory located between Scotland and Iceland.

Grindadráp — or "Grind" — takes place every summer, and involves the killing of sea mammals like pilot whales and dolphins with knives or spinal lance. The dolphin meat and blubber harvested are then evenly distributed amongst the participants and islanders for consumption.

Animal activists and conservationists have been against the controversial whaling practice for years, calling it unsustainable and cruel. Many have also called for the boycott of the Faroe Islands as a way to take a stand against the tradition.

"Cruise companies need to take a stand in support of ocean wildlife and remove the Faroe Islands from itineraries," Rob Read, the chief operations officer at Captain Paul Watson Foundation UK, told Yahoo News Australia.

"Their continued visits to the Faroe Islands inadvertently supports the abhorrent practice that is the Grindadráp," he added.

The Faroe Islands have been a semi-autonomous region since 1948 and are not part of the European Union, which means the whaling traditions are likely to continue unless the island's government decides otherwise.

Both Ambassador Cruise Line and the Faroe Islands Ministry of Fisheries did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment sent outside business hours.




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