Taiji slaughter: activists defend dolphins from Japanese killers

Fishermen are killing hundreds of dolphins in the Taiji Bay, on the west coast of Japan. It's tradition, they say. Humans call it slaughter.

Up to 500 dolphins, including juveniles and babies, will be killed in less than a week. Dolphin drive hunting is a long-held tradition in the Taiji community.

"We have fishermen in our community and they are exercising their fishing rights. We feel that we need to protect our residents against the criticisms", says Kazutaka Sangen, the mayor of Taiji. But what if killing politicians becomes a tradition?

The local captors trap dolphins in a cove with nets, and had let them die without food and with their spines cut in the beach.

"The drive hunt and slaughter of 20,000 dolphins, porpoises and small whales occurs throughout Japan each year", underlines the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS).

"The dolphins slowly and painfully bleed to death or drown in the blood of their family. These inhumane killings would not be allowed in any slaughterhouse in the world".

"Japan refuses to sign on to many protection efforts and regulations for marine mammals, despite most of the world recognizing the need to protect these imperiled animals".

Dolphins are often regarded as one of Earth's most intelligent animals. Bottlenose dolphins have developed their own cognitive abilities, including memory, monitoring of self behavior, discrimination and matching, comprehension of symbols, mirror self-recognition, etc.

"The Cove" is documentary that follows a high-tech dive team on a mission to discover the truth about the dolphin capture trade as practiced in Taiji, Japan.

Dolphins are surfers' best friends. Support the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and do whatever you can to ban dolphin hunting in Japan.

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