Japanese dolphin poachers have also killed mother dolphins and their young during their annual search drive off the coast of the whaling town of Taiji, according to environmentalists. As the non-governmental Japanese Life Organization (LIA) announced on Monday, groups of dolphins with nursing mothers were attacked and babies left to their fate at sea.
Along with other environmental and animal rights activists, the activists keep track of the daily hunt, which always takes place between September and March off the coast of Taiji. The small town in Wakayama Prefecture gained notoriety as the scene of the annual slaughter in the Academy Award-winning documentary “The Cove.”
Earn from profitable business
While the number of dolphins and baby whales killed in Japan has dropped dramatically due to a drop in demand for meat, which is often contaminated with toxins, the export of live animals is a very lucrative business for the fishermen involved in the hunting expedition, according to the environmentalists. According to the LIA, at least 527 animals were killed for meat processing in the hunting season that just ended, with a hunting quota of 1,849 animals applied. 33 dolphins were captured live for sale in aquariums.
“In Japan, dolphin hunts are no longer funded by the sale of dolphin meat, but by the unscrupulous demand of dolphins,” Sandra Ether of animal and species protection organization Pro Wildlife complained before the latest hunting season began. A trained dolphin will pay $50,000 or more.
Hit with metal rods
Japan sells most of its intelligent marine mammals to China. The Libyan intelligence agency reports that 280 dolphins are now being held in Taiji for entertainment and later sale after the end of the last hunting season.
Once local fishermen spot dolphins off the coast of Taiji, they graze the animals in the bay. To do this, fishermen paralyze the dolphins’ sense of direction by gripping metal rods in the sea and knocking them over. Healthy young animals – according to animal rights activists, females are preferred – are then screened in cooperation with dolphin trainers on behalf of domestic and foreign dolphinariums in front of a beach in Taiji.
The remaining animals are slaughtered in a nearby bay. The hunters have repeatedly rejected accusations leveled in Western countries that the massacre is brutal.
“Alcohol buff. Troublemaker. Introvert. Student. Social media lover. Web ninja. Bacon fan. Reader.”