500 Dolphins Slaughtered in Taiji, Japan

Posted on by Ashley Fruno

Five hundred dolphins were driven into the infamous cove in Taiji, Japan, for the annual dolphin slaughter. In response to international outrage over the “hunt,” Japanese fishers placed tarps over much of the cove to keep cameras from obtaining images of them sorting out which dolphins would be sold to marine-mammal parks and which would be slaughtered for meat. It’s unclear how many dolphins were captured, how many were killed, and how many, if any, were released. What is clear is the horror of it all: the fear, panic, and stress of the dolphins. And it’s also clear that we must all get involved to stop the killing!

dolphin slaughter Taiji

© Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

In addition to international protests, dolphins gained a strong new ally this year. U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy tweeted her opposition to the slaughter, writing, “Deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing. [The U.S. government] opposes drive hunt fisheries.”

As for Japan’s claim that the killing is a “tradition”? The annual dolphin slaughter began only in 1969—when buyers started popping up who were willing to pay for dolphins they could keep in captivity for entertainment purposes. And in any event, “tradition” is never an excuse for unethical behavior.

Humans started the dolphin slaughter by shelling out big bucks to marine-mammal parks and swim-with-dolphins programs. And now we have to stop it.

There are many things that you can do, no matter where you live, to help dolphins. Follow PETA on Facebook and Twitter in order to get updates on our campaign to end marine-mammal captivity, which we urge you to share with your friends. Lead a demonstration at a marine-animal park in your area, or leaflet about the cruelty of these places. And when it’s your turn to pick the movie, choose The Cove or Blackfish.

Together, we can make sure that the water in the Taiji cove never runs red again.

Posted by Jason Baker