The controversial Taiji dolphin hunt, which has captured the attention and criticism of the international community for the past few years, has reportedly ended as of Wednesday. Eco-activist group Sea Shepherd says that the fishermen captured around 250 dolphins, selling around 50 of them to aquariums and killing an estimated 40 that will be sold for meat.
The anti-whaling group, which has also taken on this dolphin slaughter issue, said that this has been the biggest “catch” so far in four years. The rest of the 250 dolphins that were not sold or killed were returned to the ocean. Among those sold were a rare albino calf and its mother, while one of the dolphins became stuck in the net and consequently drowned. Sea Shepherd released a video on Tuesday, showing the dolphins that were culled being observed and looked over by the fishermen. The video showed the dolphins that were chosen for sale were put in nets that were hanging from the boats.
The dolphin hunt received even more attention the past few days when US ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy tweeted about it, calling it “inhumane”. This has prompted Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga to defend the practice, which he says is a cultural tradition in Taiji and has promised to explain Japan’s position to Washington. A fishing official from the town has also invited Kennedy to visit the coral to see the “humane” way in which they kill the dolphins and also to understand how the fishermen are making their living from hunts such as these.
[ via AP ]