Taiji One of Many Places Where Dolphins Are Killed
After U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy tweeted that she is “concerned about the inhumaneness“ of the dolphin hunt at Taiji, world attention was once again focused on that small village east of Osaka.
As when The Cove won an academy award, protests erupted and demands for an end to this brutal practice flooded into Japanese embassies and ministries.
Hardy Jones and BlueVoice have been working to stop the slaughter of dolphins in Japan since 1979, first at Iki, where the killing did end as a result of film taken by Jones of the slaughters airing around the world, and later at Futo where there has been only one hunt since we helped start dolphin watching tours in 2002. Jones and BlueVoice worked consistently at Taiji beginning in 2001 but had rescued 200 melon-headed whales there as early as 1980.
It should be remembered that Taiji is not the only place in the world where dolphins are killed. Elsewhere in Japan up to 18,000 Dall’s porpoise were killed yearly until the tsunami destroyed the boats and facilities. Now that hunt is rebuilding.
The reasons for dolphin hunts vary from place to place. In Iki it was pure predator eradication. In Futo as in Taiji, it’s for meat and to capture dolphins for captivity. In Hokkaido it’s strictly for food.
As we documented in Peru, some fifteen thousand dolphins are killed for shark bait each year. Dolphins are also taken either intentionally or as bycatch and used for food. In addition mass mortality events involving the deaths of hundreds of dolphins have occurred in Peru in 2012 and 2014.
Large numbers of dolphins are killed in Vietnam and Indonesia for shark bait. In the Faroe Islands thousands of dolphins, pilot whales are killed in the infamous “grinds”.