Sea Shepherd's Dolphin Defense Campaign in Taiji, Japan
Opposing the Mass Slaughter of Small Cetaceans Fueled by the Captive Industry
In the small coastal town of Taiji, Japan, hundreds to thousands of dolphins and small whales are slaughtered or taken for captivity each year during the annual drive hunt season.
For a staggering six months of every year – from September 1 until March – hunters from the Taiji Fishermen’s Union herd wild dolphins and small whales from the ocean’s open waters into a hidden shallow bay, now infamously known around the world as “the cove.”
Though the majority of the cetaceans driven to the cove are slaughtered for meat, it is widely believed that the sale of dolphin meat for human consumption is not enough to sustain the drive hunt. It is the highly profitable international trade in captive dolphins that is the economic fuel behind the slaughter.
The hunters capture entire families, or pods, of dolphins at a time in order to satisfy the international demand for live dolphins in the entertainment industry. Those taken captive are sent to aquariums and marine parks in Japan or in other nations around the world. The remaining dolphins are killed by a technique known as “pithing,” which leaves the still-conscious dolphins paralyzed and often drowning in the blood of their own family members. Despite claims from the killers and trainers, Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians have documented time and time again that the violent and traumatizing captive selection process occurs simultaneously to the horrific slaughter.
In 2010, Sea Shepherd launched its annual Taiji Dolphin Defense Campaign. Each year since, Sea Shepherd has had an ongoing presence of volunteers from around the world who remain on the ground in Taiji throughout the entire six-month hunt season, documenting and live streaming daily so that no dolphin is taken from the waters of the cove unseen by the world.
These dedicated Sea Shepherd volunteers are the Cove Guardians..
On September 1, 2015, Sea Shepherd returns to Taiji for Operation Henkaku (Operation Metamorphosis). In addition to documenting the drive hunt, this year Sea Shepherd’s campaign will feature a stronger focus on the inextricable link between the slaughter and the global captive indutry.
We will not stop until the slaughter ends! We invite you to follow and support Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians and Operation Henkaku. With your help, we will bring an end to Taiji’s unnecessary hunt and capture of these incredibly intelligent, sentient beings.
I am a Cove Guardian