Every year, in Taiji, Japan, dolphins are chased into a small cove and butchered in the most horrific and cruel way imaginable. The hunts are subsidized by the dolphin captivity industry, which pays top dollar for a few “show quality” dolphins that are ripped from their families. The rest of the pod is killed for meat laden with mercury and PCBs. Most Japanese don’t even know the hunts exist. The Japanese government supports the dolphin killers and denies any health issues.
In 2004, we started our Save Japan Dolphins campaign. Through our educational work in Japan, the number of people eating dolphin meat has dropped dramatically. When we started, about 1,600 dolphins were killed inTaiji every year. In the 2014-15 season, fewer than 750 were killed. The Academy Award–winning documentary, The Cove, depicts Earth Island Institute’s campaign in Taiji to stop the dolphin hunts. Recently, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, after 10 years of pressure, agreed to suspend the membership of any Japanese aquarium sourcing dolphins from Taiji. In response, Japan zoos and aquariums voted overwhelmingly to stop buying live dolphins from Taiji.
The Taiji dolphin slaughter continues. The government claims the kills are part of Japan’s traditional culture when, in fact, they only started in 1969. Many Japanese who oppose the hunts are afraid to speak out publicly because of threats from the government and the extremist anti-foreigners groups. We continue to work inside Japan with Japanese activists and organizations to fight the dolphin killing and spread the news about mercury contamination of dolphin meat. We also joined in filing the first-ever lawsuit in Japan against the Taiji Whale Museum, which brokers many of the live dolphins caught in Taiji during the slaughter.
Mark J. Palmer, January 2017
The current season of the bloody dolphin hunts, that take place every year in Taiji, Japan, is now two-thirds over. For four months, from Sept. 1st through the end of 2016, the dolphin hunters (weather permitting) would head out to sea to herd pods of dolphins into the notorious Cove, featured in the Academy Award-winning documentary, The Cove. The hunts will continue for another two months, until around the end of February 2017.
Mark Palmer, December 2016
On December 5th, we sent copies of “The Cove” DVD to the heads of the International, Japanese and USA Olympics Committees, with a message about dolphins and whales.
The 2020 Olympics will be held in Tokyo, and we believe Japan would benefit from ending whaling and the killing of dolphins as the world turns a spotlight on that country during the Olympic games.
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Helping kids affected by the Fukushima disaster experience nature and learn about and swim with wild dolphins.Read More
Sign this petition telling the Mayor of Taiji and Japanese Prime Minister Abe that the slaughter and trade in live dolphins are unacceptable and must end.Sign Here