© Michael Nolan
Stop the Taiji Slaughter
© Michael Nolan
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Save Japan Dolphins

The Problem

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.  

Our Action Campaign

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.

Current Challenges

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.

Taiji Whale Museum Gets Grilled in Court

Taiji Whale Museum Gets Grilled in Court

January 5, 201t

Sparks fly at the recent trial of the Taiji Whale Museum in the suit by Australians for Dolphins (AFD) and joined in support by Save Japan Dolphins. The whale museum has been regularly discriminating against westerners being able to get into the museum to check on the status of the albino dolphin Angel.

Of particular concern to Earth Island and AFD is the welfare of the little albino dolphin we have named Angel. Angel was caught in a drive hunt, and her mother and the rest of her pod were butchered for meat. As a true albino dolphin, Angel is a prized exhibit at the Taiji Whale Museum, but living in conditions that are less than ideal.

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Save Dolphins T-shirt with Your Donation!

Save Dolphins T-shirt with Your Donation!

January 8, 2016

Donate today and receive this beautiful new Save Japan Dolphins campaign t-shirt.  

It's a gift that makes a difference for dolphin lives.  

Organic Cotton. Free Shipping. 


Susan Casey presents

Susan Casey presents "Voices in the Ocean" at Earth Island Institute

Bestselling author Susan Casey, flanked by IMMP activists Mark Berman, Mark Palmer, and David Phillips, was featured at a reception, presentation, and book signing on at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, Ca to hear stories from Susan’s worldwide sojourn exploring the mystery, science, and intelligence of dolphins, as well as how imperiled they are.

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Check the status of the Taiji dolphin killing through early 2016

Check the status of the Taiji dolphin killing through early 2016

Latest numbers and analysis of what is happening on the ground in Taiji, Japan, site of the horrific dolphin killing as depicted in "The Cove." With approximately six weeks to go until the killing season ends, dolphins are still at risk. Help take action by signing the petition to Taiji Mayor Sangen.

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Sign the petition to Japanese Prime Minister Abe and Taiji Mayor Sangen

Sign the petition to Japanese Prime Minister Abe and Taiji Mayor Sangen

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

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Sign the new petition to Japanese Prime Minister Abe to stop the Taiji slaughter.