Town famous for dolphin slaughter to build marine park
The Japanese town of Taiji, made famous in the oscar-winning documentary The Cove for its revelation of the town’s annual slaughter of hundreds of dolphins, has announced its intentions to build a 69-acre pool where visitors can swim and kayak with marine life. The park feature bottlenose dolphins and small whales caught from nearby, and is to be built relatively close to where the yearly harvest takes place. Taiji’s mayor, Kazutaka Sangen, has stated that the town will continue to hunt and kill dolphins, regardless of any criticism they continue to receive.
In the 2009 documentary, U.S. activists broke into the restricted fishing area and using hidden cameras, recorded footage of the slaughter taking place. The film brought international attention and criticism to the town, which for over a decade has killed almost 1,000 dolphins a year for the value of their meat. The footage revealed the method in which the hunters attract and then herd the mammals into a cove, and then proceed to kill them with spears and knives. The residents view the activity as part of their tradition and an important way of getting food.
The marine park is expected to be completed within the next five years. The town of Taiji has a population of around 3,500, and only a handful are involved in the yearly harvest. Most of the residents realize that the animals would be more beneficial to the economy alive as opposed to sold for meat. While the Japanese government allows the killing of about 20,000 dolphins a year, they also acknowledge that the animals have high levels or mercury. It it also important to note that the vast majority of Japanese people do not eat dolphins, only a small amount of traditional coastal communities consider it acceptable. …
- Japan activists for stopping Dolphin Slaughter in Taiji,Japan (ireport.cnn.com)
- Sea Shepherd to Stream Live from the Cove Tonight (ecorazzi.com)
- Japan Dolphins Day 2013 (eleventhbeatnik.wordpress.com)
- Taiji deceives skillfully as tradition for eating , and shifts to dolphin-trade business. (indybay.org)
- Ready, Set, Slaughter: Dolphin Killings to Begin in Infamous Cove TAKEPART (spiritandanimal.wordpress.com)
- Taiji’s First Drive Hunt Plunders Bottlenose Dolphins for Marine Parks: The WAZA Agreement (championsforcetaceans.com)