Dolphins are being herded with a terrifying “curtain of noise” so that they can be captured for meat and aquariums during the annual dolphin hunt in Japan.

Source: 60 Minutes Australia/Youtube

The annual Taiji dolphin hunt takes place in the village of Taiji, also known as “the Cove” every year from September to March. During this time, hunters herd dolphins close to the shore so that they can capture them in nets before slaughtering them for meat or capturing them to take them to live out the rest of their lives in captivity in small tanks at aquariums.

The Dolphin Project and Life Investigation Agency are documenting the hunt this year on their Facebook page and posting updates. On January 23, the California-based organization reported that 58 melon-headed whales were driven into the cove, including calves.

“Sadly, 21 were killed and 37 were chased back out to sea. Our heart breaks for these small cetaceans.”

 

Previously, the organization reported that hunters killed an entire pod of 12 Risso’s dolphins.

“Even though the Risso’s dolphin can dive to 1,000 feet and holds its breath for over 30 minutes, the Taiji hunters have developed techniques to confuse and panic dolphins, causing them to stay on the surface to breathe faster. This year the Risso’s have been a constant target of these hunters, making this the 11th time they slaughtered Risso’s this season. 108 Risso’s have been slaughtered so far this season.”

Despite years of calls for the hunt to be banned, the dolphin hunt continues to be authorized by Japan’s Fisheries Agency. This year, they set the annual quota for the 2022/2023 season at 1,849. Hunters say that the event helps supply the demand for meat and pays hunters a lot for capturing the dolphins for marine parks.

So many innocent creatures have lost their lives and been slaughtered since the hunts began in September 2022. Activists are dutifully keeping track of the number and species of cetaceans that are caught, killed, and released. You can stay informed by following the data and statistics through Ceta Base or Dolphin Project’s weekly updates

Please check out these 5 Ways You Can Help End the Dolphin Slaughter in Taiji, Japan!

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