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.
Eva Marrero, November 2017
Only one-third of the publications from whaling countries were admitted to scientific journals. This was half the number of publications from non-whaling countries. Not only were there fewer publications overall in accredited journals from whaling countries as compared to non-whaling countries, but that the research conducted through lethal means was about four times less likely to be cited by other researchers.
The study, produced in December of 2016, is a shining example of science at its core: capable of undoing misconceptions, or in this case, dismantling intentional fallacies, of prior so-called science.
Mark Palmer, October 2017
On October 11th, the International Marine Mammal Project of Earth Island Institute, supported by 27 global environmental and animal welfare organizations, issued a challenge to the International Olympics Committee to ban products of whales and dolphins from being offered or sold at the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“The Olympics are about fair play and international cooperation,” stated David Phillips, Director of the International Marine Mammal Project. “The Japanese hunters’ ways of killing these intelligent, social animals is anything but fair, and the Japan Fisheries Agency has for years flaunted international efforts to protect whales and dolphins.
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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