Otherwise known as an International Day of Awareness, Japan Dolphin Day will coincide with the beginning of the dolphin drive hunt season in Taiji, Japan with over 100 events and demonstrations set to occur all over the globe on, or around, September 1st to rally support against the hunts. WDC is participating through its global offices and encourages everyone to join us in our united call for an end to these hunts by finding a location nearest you. The hunts begin on September 1st and will run through April or beyond.
This devastatingly cruel practice involves the herding of dolphins at sea and driving and corralling them into the confines of the cove in Taiji where they are then slaughtered for meat or kept alive for sale to marine parks across the globe. Yearly quotas for these drive hunts reach into the thousands, where small cetaceans of several species including bottlenose dolphins, striped dolphins, Risso’s dolphins, false killer whales and short-finned pilot whales, are killed or taken for captivity. Dolphins from the drive hunts are being shipped within Japan and all over the globe to captive facilities. Dolphins from the Taiji hunts have been most recently sent to Egypt, Ukraine, Armenia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Vietnam and China.
Last season, nearly 900 dolphins of mixed species were killed, and 247 were taken alive for a life in captivity. Quotas have been set for the 2013-2014 season, and allow for 2,103 dolphins to be taken in the drive hunts in Taiji alone. Of this total, just over 1,000 bottlenose and striped dolphins may be killed, along with hundreds of other spotted, Risso’s, Pacific white-sided dolphins, false killer whales, and short-finned pilot whales.
We are determined to end these brutal hunts, and are working in coordination with the coalitions and individuals that are active on the ground in Japan. We are continuing our support of Japanese groups working hard to oppose both captivity and the drive hunts in Japan through educational outreach and advocacy, promotion of whale watching, creation of sanctuaries, and other activities that nurture the love of whales and dolphins within Japan. We are also continuing our outreach through the highest diplomatic channels to encourage political action against these hunts. And our work to raise awareness within the scientific community continues. Finally, we are supporting global grassroots efforts to consolidate public opposition to these hunts, within and outside of Japan.