Barrouallie (pronounced Bah-roh-lee by locals) is a small, farming and fishing town located on the central, leeward coast of mainland St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). It was established by the French in 1719, the first European settlement on St. Vincent, and was the original capital until the island was ultimately handed over to British. The aboriginal inhabitants of Barrouallie were the Amerindian tribes known as the Arawaks and Caribs who settled the island thousands of years before the arrival of Africans and Europeans. SVG later gained independence on October 27, 1975, and Kingstown is now the capital.
Though a quaint and obscure town, Barrouallie should be notorious for its routine and indiscriminate hunting of dolphins. Fishermen use speedboats with mounted harpoon canons donated by the Japanese Government to chase down and kill their prey. According to the fishermen, over 350 animals are slaughtered every year. The species of dolphin hunted include Orcas, Pilot whales, False killer whales, Bottlenose and Spinner dolphins, to name a few. All small cetaceans are on the menu and, occasionally, so are large cetaceans as well.
Many animals miraculously survive capture but are kept wounded and alive in the baking sun for as long as possible to keep their meat from spoiling. Others are attached to floatation devices such as mooring buoys and fenders and then left to bleed out while the fishermen continue hunting the rest of the pod; a technique used to maximize the number of kills. The fishermen then circle back to retrieve the harpooned dolphins, however, many are never recovered because they often swim over the horizon to die a slow death. Every now and then, sailors from St. Lucia and Martinique heading for the Grenadines tell stories of finding the dead and bloated bodies of dolphins floating around on the ocean’s surface with tackle still embedded in them.