Published January 21, 2014
The yearly Taiji dolphin hunt, in which fishermen from the small Japanese village round up pods of dolphins for sale to marine parks and for slaughter for meat, has been a source of global controversy since the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove drew attention to the event in 2009.
Despite the notoriety of the Taiji dolphin drives, which take place from September through April and have drawn condemnation from animal welfare groups and from some governments, Taiji fishermen continue to capture or kill more than 1,000 dolphins a year.
Last weekend, one of the largest dolphin roundups in recent years drew global media attention. An estimated 200-plus bottlenose dolphins were driven by the Taiji fishermen into their shoreside nets.
The hunt sparked widespread condemnation. Among others, Caroline Kennedy, newly installed U.S. ambassador to Japan, expressed her opposition via Twitter.
Over the course of four days, the Taiji fishermen separated and selected 52 dolphins for sale into captivity, killed 41 for sale as meat, then drove the surviving pod members back out to sea, according to the dolphin activist group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Despite the fishermen's use of tarps and other screening strategies, Sea Shepherd and some news organizations obtained photographs and video of the hunt, which helped fuel global response.
Hunt at Taiji Cove
Taiji fishermen use boats, nets, and swimmers to select bottlenose dolphins for sale to marine parks. The weekend roundup saw 52 dolphins removed from the 200-plus dolphins herded into the cove and sold to marine park brokers, according to Sea Shepherd.
In Japan, some 50 aquariums keep around 600 dolphins and take many of the Taiji dolphins, with business also coming from many aquariums abroad. And with growing demand for dolphins from China, which already has 35 aquariums displaying dolphins, the sale of live dolphins from the Taiji drive hunt is lucrative business.
Netted for Removal
A bottlenose dolphin emerges from the water as an apparently younger dolphin is netted for removal. Scientists have long wondered why hunted dolphins do not fight back as members of their pod are segregated and taken away, but some believe that the stress of the drive and capture operations could play a role.
Rare Albino Calf
A rare albino dolphin calf was allegedly among the large group of dolphins herded into the nets by fishermen. This calf was reportedly one of the first dolphins removed for sale to marine parks.
Selection Amid Roiling Waters
The waters of the bay are roiled as Taiji fishermen use their skiff and its outboard motor to herd and separate dolphins from the larger group.
Pulled Aboard, Sold Abroad
To remove a dolphin from the pod, swimmers manhandle it alongside a skiff, where it will be pulled aboard or held alongside and taken to shore. Taiji dolphins have been sold to buyers in locales as far ranging as Turkey, Dubai, and Russia.
Those people are animals!
How they kill those dolphins!
Need to talk immediately with Japan government to stop immediately those killings!
Need confiscate truism to Japan till stop those killings also to whales!
very soon there will be no more dolphins, no wales, no more wild life, few sick and lonesome in captive around the world. not even then man would leash his greed. there should always be something we express our evil upon. human, animals, soon enough ufo :p, i'm not sure who said " the best evidence of the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life is that they haven't contacted us."
The problem is the people who run that operation worship money, and they will do anything to get it.
They claim this is 'traditional', which is a lie. Fishing was a tradition here, but this capture of dolphin for sale to aquariums has only been going on for a few decades! The animals that aren't 'attractive enough' for display and performance, are butchered as a by-product!
The meat is unsafe for regular human consumption, due to contamination. Approximately fifty percent of dolphin sold to aquariums, die within 2 years. So there is absolutely NO excuse for this foul and cruel business at all!
It's utterly horrific to hear about these atrocities, it's barbaric. What does this say about humans? About us?
I HOPE THIS WILL HAPPEN TO THEM AND ALOT MORE WORSE. THESE POOR DOLPHINS DOESNT DESERVE SUCH TORMENT AND SUFFERING THAT THEY ENDURE. AND I HOPE SOON THAT THEY WILL DEDORE THIS AND ITS ONE HUNDRED TIMES NO THOUSAND TIMES WORSE THAN THESE POOR INNOCENT CREATURES ENDURES. THEIR SUCH GENTLE AND CARING CREATURES THAT THEY JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN AND ENJOY LIFE. DENMARK, JAPAN, AND WHOEVER DOES THIS SHOULD BE PUT TO DEATH INSTANTLY. SORRY PPL WHO READS THIS BUT THATS HOW I FEEL.
Strange that the barbaric way the dolphins are slaughtered has been left out, though that is probably the most important part of this story. For more info there is an offshoot of The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, called "The Cove Guardians". This is their link: http://www.seashepherd.org/cove-guardians/
A country that never apologizes, even after second World War. Brutally hunt down dolphins and whales.
Removing these massacres all the Japanese voice is the killer. They can also get in without thinking of the sea, the sea and earthquakes with my tusina is back from the Japanese. I apologize if this review is harsh. even able to create a marching ants that live, desperately upset me is to take the lives of other creatures.
thank you NG for this report~ may I request on behalf of all of us at https://www.facebook.com/events/268655416618183/271114989705559/?comment_id=271115799705478¬if_t=event_mall_comment that you air The Cove & Blood Dolphins to continue bringing awareness to this horrific cruelty to these gentle sentients
I think it is fine for them to capture and sell but why do you have to slaughter them? Why can't you just eat regular meat? Why eat such an majestic animal?
I'm no expert but perhaps it's part of their culture. Sounds like an annual thing. It also sounds like this dolphin business is regulated. Again i'm no expert but I'm under the impression the bottle-nose dolphins are not necessarily rare. Before make judgments it's good to look at the facts.
I HOPE THEY DROWN KARMA NEEDS TO WIPE THEM OFF THE PLANET NO ROOM FOR THERE INBREAD WRONG TURN FREAKS MADE ME CRY IT WAS THAT SAD TO SEE EVERY ANIMAL THAT DIES THEY SHOULD DIE THEY WOULD BE GONE NOW I WISH
They have done this for thousands of years. Why do liberal fools insist on telling everyone what is right and wrong. Thankfully there are not so many ignorant countries like America that kowtow to all of their nonsense.
Either the world should support a
ban on killings of all animals for food or pleasure or it should adopt a
very simple policy on hunting of endangered species. There should be an end to this emotional nonsense like dolphins are cute, intelligent blah blah which makes no sense at all. If killing is considered a brutal act then this should be true for all animals whether dumb or intelligent.
Very interesting round up of dolphins . I like dolphins because it's very intelligent animal and friend friendly with people
People need to wake the f*** up and realize that animals have feelings and emotions too! These types of hunts need to be stopped in order to preserve our planet along with all its amazing and rare inhabitants.
Now lets consider how hunting is something that a lot of people do for fun or for competition. Or, how ridiculous amounts of cows and other innocent animals are slaughtered every year, when we don't even need most of the meat that comes from those animals. Also, don't forget the fact that MILLIONS of turkeys are farmed and killed every year for some stupid Thanksgiving holiday. And none of that is ever frowned upon, or even considered barbaric.
@Sunday WoodZ i actually dont really think so. i have to say that it seems that media especially american media really dont want to miss any chance to try to get China involved into anything negative.
@Sunday WoodZ i actually dont really think so. it really seems like that the global media dont want to miss any chance to try to get China involved into anything negative.
@CP PangStupid! don't mix up!
Cetaceans are not domestic animals.They are not livestock.Dolphin meat is not fit for human consumption due to high mercury levels.The only reason to herd these extremely gentle, highly social, intelligent animals into the killing cove is to brutally separate the youngest and the prettiest to sell to the highest paying bidder, and to kill the rest using barbaric methods that are not even permitted in pig slaughterhouses in Japan.So a very small group of "fisherman" are basically looting the ocean - in a national park -for their own profit and greed, with the full knowledge and support of the local police and coast guard who all get a cut of the action.It has nothing to do with culture and tradition.This is a highly profitable bloodsport.Watch the live streams of the daily slaughter if you can stomach it.They are horrific.Research Taiji, Sea Shepards, Ric O'Barry or Hardy Jones to understand what is actually happening in Taiji.
@This StupidRegular meat will be different depending on culture and tradition. there are people eat dogs, cats, kangaroos. rabbits and foie gras. Shouldn't judge other people by your background.
@This StupidIt is culture, regular meat will be different depending on culture and tradition. Please try to know other culture, there are people eat dogs, cats, kangaroos. Shouldn't judge other people by your background.
Just wanted to invite you to research for yourself just how 'traditional' this practice is? I think that you'll find that hunting dolphin in this region is a relatively new 'tradition' of a few decades! These animals are likely to be as intelligent as us, with more developed brains in the areas of bonding and emotional control.
The way that they are captured and killed is particularly brutal...having a metal rod hammered into their spine, infront of each other. The hole is then plugged with a wooden plug, to try to conceal that they bleed to death for a period of up to half an hour.
I also don't think that 'culture' can be allowed to be a justification for cruelty in 2014. And yes...there are many other countries that are responsible for animal torture too... and these also need challenging.
I think that it is ok for them to take them and sell them but why would they eat them, can't they just eat regular meat instead of poor dolphin meat?!! :(
I think that it is ok for them to take them and sell them but why would they eat them, can't they just eat regular meat instead of poor dolphin meat?!! :(
@John Jay Expertise, regulations, and population numbers are irrelevant. Wrong is wrong. Murder is morally incorrect. Slavery is morally incorrect. ALL sentient beings deserve the right to life, liberty and bodily integrity. Those are the facts.
This particular tradition of dolphin capture is only a few decades old... driven by the worldwide demand for animals to display in aquariums.
Call me a 'liberal fool'...but to me condoning the NEEDLESS brutal torture and suffering of a sentient animal, for nothing but money...is wrong.
Maybe we shouldn't be calling for an end to human slavery, abuse and torture either? After all...what right does any one have to say what's right and wrong, following your logic? Maybe we shouldn't even attempt to have any laws or treaties...because that's just one person inflicting their morality onto others?
To me, protection for the weak and the voiceless is a moral duty in a civilized society. But maybe in your eyes, the weak should just accept their fate in a cruel and ammoral world?
@Mark Meyer From Sakae Hemmi of the Elsa Nature Conservancy in
”The history of dolphin hunting in Taiji is short.
According to The History of Taiji, edited and published by Taiji
town in 1979, the first recorded dolphin drive was in 1933, with subsequent
hunts occurring in 1936 and 1944. It was not until 1969 that dolphin drives
have been conducted on a large scale. The history of the dolphin drives spans
not so-called 400 years, but a mere 45. Furthermore, in 1969, the main goal of
the dolphin drive was to capture pilot whales as prized showpieces for the
Taiji Whale Museum. In other words, the dolphin drive was purely for profit,
having nothing to do with cultural history.” it has to do with GREED
@Mark Meyer Really? "Thousands of years"? Do your research. They can hide behind the word "tradition"- but it's NOT.. The meat isn't healthy, and if they NEEDED to do this (which they don't), they could at least make it HUMANE.
@Lewis Gallagher Your comment has to be one of the most disgusting things I have ever heard in my life.
@Lewis Gallagher YES I SAID THAT
To a point, I agree. The killing of any sentient creature for pleasure or food(when there are alternatives that are healthy and available) is wrong.
I do think that all creatures suffer when captured and killed... however, I do believe (rightly or wrongly), that animals with more advanced intelligence and complex social structures are even more distressed when witnessing the destruction of their family members. But yes...you are right... all animals suffer. I am trying to learn how to live without being a part of this process.
@Jonathan Patchett Dolphins are considered to be very intelligent animals while the part of their brain that controls emotion is larger than in humans. Considering this, the method slaughter and especially separation of calves from mothers is inhumane . Granted a lot of other animals are not farmed humanely but free range foods are becoming more popular. On top of that dolphin meat is not even safe for human consumption due to the build up of toxins from the ocean which is then taken via their food and stored in their muscle and blubber. Also, we do not allow terrestrial animals that are kept in zoos to be kept in large concrete cages anymore, zoos attempt to mimic their natural environment and do the best for their health. The same cannot be said for marine parks that keep mammals in captivity.
Cetaceans are not domestic animals.They are not livestock.Dolphin meat is not fit for human consumption due to high mercury levels.The only reason to herd these extremely gentle, highly social, intelligent animals into the killing cove is to brutally separate the youngest and the prettiest to sell to the highest paying bidder, and to kill the rest using barbaric methods that are not even permitted in pig slaughterhouses in Japan.So a small group of "fisherman" are basically looting the ocean - in a national park -for their own profit and greed, with the full knowledge and support of the local police and coast guard who all get a cut of the action.It has nothing to do with culture and tradition.This is a highly profitable bloodsport.Watch the live streams of the daily selection process and slaughter if you can stomach it.They are horrific.Research Taiji, Sea Shepards, Ric O'Barry or Hardy Jones to understand what is actually happening in Taiji.
@Twitch Outhwaite @Jonathan Patchett I was talking about how we relentlessly kill all kinds of animals, then complain about this. I wasn't even talking about zoos' or aquariums, even though mimicing an animals natural environment in a zoo doesn't always guarantee the best treatment from humans to those animals.
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