Fishermen transfer selected dolphins caught at the
drive hunt to sea pen for the dolfinarium trade
from the European conservation organisation The Black Fish have last night
cut the nets of six holding pens in Taiji, Japan, that were holding dolphins
caught during a dolphin drive hunt a few days earlier. During this hunt
a number of dolphins were selected for the international dolphinarium trade
and transferred to these holding pens. In rough weather conditions the divers
swam out and cut the nets of six of these holding pens, allowing a number
of dolphins to swim back out to
sea. No arrests were made.
year, between September and April, the sea around the fishing village of
Taiji on the east coast of Japan turns red as it becomes the scene of one
of the biggest mass slaughters of marine wildlife in the world. The dolphin
drive hunt, which recently made global headlines through the Oscar winning
documentary 'The Cove', is responsible for capturing and killing over 2,000
dolphins of Japan's annual quota of 20,000. Fishermen drive the dolphins
from sea into a cove, where some animals are selected for dolphinariums
while the others are killed for their meat.
Fish and other marine conservation and animal welfare organisations run
ongoing campaigns to push for the closure of the remaining dolphinariums
in Europe, where some of the dolphins caught at Taiji inevitably end up.
Dolphinariums are already banned in United Kingdom. The Black Fish believes
that it is unacceptable to keep dolphins, orca's and other marine wildlife
in captivity, given the vast areas which these animals normally inhabit,
the miserable and squalid
conditions under which they are often kept and the stress that public performances
put on them.
of The Black Fish, Wietse van der Werf, explains about their decision to
intervene: "The connection between the dolphin entertainment industry
and this annual drive hunt can no longer be denied. To be successful in
our campaigns in Europe we need to get to the root of this illegal trade,
which is right at Taiji."
Fish is aware of the sensitivity surrounding the hunt at Taiji this year.
With an international media spotlight on the Japanese dolphin hunts, tensions
within the country have heated up and Japanese nationalists have seized
the opportunity to defend this 'traditional' activity. While we acknowledge
that change also needs to come from within Japanese society, we vow to continue
to work for the protection of these defenceless dolphins and push to make
dolphinariums and the drive hunts which supply them history.
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