Life as a small whale or dolphin can be precarious at the best of times, but off the coast of Japan they face a sinister threat – the fishermen of Taiji. If they’re caught up in the maelstrom of one of the infamous ‘drive hunts’ the outcome is unlikely to be a good one.
Taiji, the Japanese coastal town where the notorious dolphin drive hunts take place, announced on Wednesday that it has established cultural links with Klaksvik, the second largest town in the Faroe Islands. Those cultural links include the fact that Klaksvik is also a location where drive hunts take place, primarily targeting pilot whales.
In a news conference the Taiji mayor announced he had visited the Faroes and his counterpart in Klaksvik would likely make a recipricol visit later this year.
Fishermen hunting whales and dolphins in Taiji, Japan have been allowed to increase the number of both melon-headed whales and rough-toothed dolphins only mid-way through the hunting season.
Both species were new to the list of those allowed to be caught in the 2017 hunt but the numbers caught already have reached the initial quota levels, so the government have agreed to raise the limit.
I have the pleasure of introducing a guest blog by Kame-Kujira-Neko, a Japanese whale and dolphin advocate and author. Kame regularly blogs about whaling and dolphin hunting, mainly in Japanese. His novel “Whales Ocean” was published in Japan in 1995.
In Japan, "Alternative facts" about whaling are spreading.
We have received another boost to our campaign to stop airlines transporting dolphins around the world and fueling the captivity industry.
Air India has joined the growing list of major airlines that have now confirmed to us that they will not carry live dolphins taken from cruel hunts in Japan on their aircraft.
The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the organisation behind the world’s leading zoos, is being taken to court in Switzerland by conservation groups over claims that it is directly linked to the infamous dolphin hunts in Taiji, Japan.
Waza stands accused of helping secure captured dolphins for one of its members, despite publicly condemning the hunts. The organisation is alleged to have allowed a deal between the fishermen in Taiji (who herd and slaughter the dolphins) and the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA), which is an associate WAZA member.
The first bottlenose dolphins to be driven into the killing cove this season met an all-too-familiar tragic fate over this past weekend in Taiji, Japan.
WDC has welcomed the launch of a body promoting whale and dolphin watching in Japan which could help the country turn its back on whale and dolphins hunts for good.
Representatives from WDC were present at the first ever meeting of the Japan Whale Dolphin Watching Council in Tokyo, together with whale and dolphin watching operators based in Japan.
Whales and dolphins can actually benefit from responsible watch operators. It is a great defence against hunts as it provides local people with a source of income without having to kill them.
Japanese government claims that the annual slaughter of dolphins in the Taiji Cove is some sort of traditional, centuries-old cultural practice, has been dismissed by a former Japanese dolphin hunter who has stated that the hunting method was first used as recently as 1969.