Dolphin Slaughter in Taiji, Japan
Problem: The slaughter of 20,000 dolphins, porpoises, and small whales occurs in Japan each year. Starting on September 1st and usually continuing through March of the next year, fishermen herd whole families of small cetaceans into a shallow bay and mercilessly stab and drown them to death (Sea Shepherd Conservation Society).
Where: According to Sea Shepherd, the small fishing village of Taiji is responsible for roughly 2,000 of these deaths. Taiji is located on Japan’s east coast and is home to the infamous “Cove”, which gained notoriety based on the documentary exposing the atrocities to dolphins occurring here every year.
Description of the Hunt: In a collaborative effort, fishermen in Taiji actively search for dolphin pods both near and offshore. When located, the dolphins are herded in the direction of “The Cove.” The herding of dolphins is done with the use of long poles placed partially in the water while the top is located on deck level. The fishermen then beat the poles creating a sound, which both scares the dolphins and disrupts their acute senses. Once the pod is driven into the cove, the result is worse than any horror movie. They are netted off and systematically paralyzed by a blow to the spine and dragged, still conscious, onto the boat’s deck to be gutted alive.
What is being done: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is the leader in ending the deaths of these dolphins as well as all threats to marine life (including: whales, sea birds, sharks, tuna, sea turtles). Sea Shepherd’s current campaign to help the dolphins in Taiji is “Operation Infinite Patience.” The objective is to harass the fishermen through a constant presence and provide documentation of the atrocities to bring a global awareness.
How you can help: You can donate to help further this campaign or join it yourself! Every bit helps and there are dolphins that need your help right now.