The Faroese government has said it will review the role that hunting Atlantic white-faced dolphins plays in society after a mass killing drew widespread criticism this week.
The release of a gruesome video showing the slaughter of nearly 1,500 dolphins on Sunday sparked a worldwide outcry.
The scope of the slaughter was so great, much greater than in previous years, that it seemed that the participants had not been able to follow the regulations to minimize the “suffering of the creatures”.
In a statement on Thursday, the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands, Bárður á Steig Nielsen, said: “We take this matter very seriously.
“Although these hunts are considered sustainable, we will take a close look at dolphin hunts and the role they should play in Faroese society.”
Residents of the 18 islands, located midway between Scotland and Iceland, kill white-faced dolphins and pilot whales for their meat and blubber.
Neither is an endangered species, but activists nonetheless oppose the practice on the grounds of cruelty. A total of 1,428 dolphins are believed to have died on Sunday.
Sea Shepherd, the group that filmed the massacre, did not immediately react to Thursday’s announcement.