Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus) are an unfamiliar species in Faroese waters. A large group was driven into the bay of Klaksvík on 16 September 2009. After three animals had stranded and it was confirmed that this was not a familiar species, the local authorities stopped the drive and ordered the rest of the group to be driven out again. A small group of Risso’s dolphins taken in Hvalba in April 2010 was initially thought to be bottlenosed dolphins.
In both cases, samples were taken from the stranded animals by the Museum of Natural History for full biological investigation, which will provide new data on a species not previously sampled in this region of the Northeast Atlantic.
Risso’s dolphins are not one of the species of small whales and dolphins for which Faroese regulations permit hunting. There is no intention of amending the regulations to permit the hunting of this species in Faroese waters, as too little is known about Risso’s dolphins in the Faroese area. After the two incidental catches in 2009 and 2010, the relevant district authorities have been advised by the Ministry of Fisheries that particular precaution should be taken to ensure that no further drive hunts of this species are initiated.