A young minke whale trapped in nets off Taiji, Japan, since Christmas Eve, was killed early today by local fishermen.
The whale's carcass was then taken to shore to be butchered for sale in local meat markets.
It was hoped that the local fishing cooperative would try to free the whale however, Ren Yabuki, director of the Life Investigation Agency, a Japanese NGO, who documented the whale's distress over the past 19 days and witnessed this morning's killing, condemned the fishermens' efforts to free the whale as 'half hearted'.
Taiji is a small coastal village (also known as the cove) where every year, on 1 September, the drive hunt season begins. Whales and dolphins are herded (or driven) together to shore by the local fishers and slaughtered for meat, or hand-picked and sold to dolphinaria where they will be forced to perform tricks for human entertainment.
Recently, Japan awarded itself a quota to kill 171 minke whales during 2021, along with 187 Bryde's whales and 25 sei whales, a total of 383 whales.
We remain determined to continue our efforts to protect every whale and dolphin, including from entanglement in the destructive set nets that indiscriminately catch anything and everything, including whales who have the misfortune to be curious and become trapped.
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