The Connection Between the Butchers of Taiji and the Dolphin Captivity Industry

Parts of the Japanese dolphin captivity industry, with their aquariums, water parks and "Swim with the Dolphins" programs, work in partnership with the butchers in Taiji, supporting them with large sums of money for live dolphins.

Some dolphin trainers who, in public, appear to love their dolphins, in reality work with the Taiji fishermen showing the same level of cruelty and lack of care for the dolphins.

The "selection for captivity process":

  • The fishermen force the dolphins into the bay.
  • The dolphins panic as nets close in forcing them into a confined space.
  • The dolphins are dragged out of the water with ropes around their tails.
  • While making their choices, the trainers line-up the dolphins on the beach where, being out of water for the first time in their lives, they are subjected to the forces of gravity exerting pressure on their internal organs.
  • The dolphins flail around on the beach, accidentally hitting each other with their powerful tails.
  • The trainers particularly look for young female dolphins, those which frequently have unweaned calves with them. Mothers and babies call out in distress as they separated.
  • While the mothers are often chosen for a life of captivity, the babies will eventually be slaughtered with the remaining dolphins.
  • The dolphins chosen for a life of captivity are moved on stretchers to cages next to the deafening roar of motor boats.
  • Others become entangled in their nets and slowly drown as the trainers stand and watch.
  • The rest are slaughtered.

The bay runs red with dolphin blood


Problems for Beached Dolphins

A dolphin is used to being supported by water pressure evenly spread over every square inch of its skin. When it is taken out of the water the whole weight of the dolphin rests on the narrow strip of skin which is touching the ground. Any flesh or organs near the ground are bruised and crushed by the weight of the dolphin pressing down on them.

dead beached dolphin