Elisabeth Torres, Global Animal
(TAIJI DOLPHINS) The annual dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan, is ending early this year, according to Japanese reports. The killing season usually runs from September 1 to April 1, but sources claim this season is ending a few weeks early due to lack of demand for dolphin meat. Animal rights activists, however, point out that Taiji’s lucrative business of capturing and selling dolphins to sea parks and aquariums worldwide ran its full shameful course again this year.
The sharp drop in dolphin meat sales is partly attributed to the release of the documentary The Cove in Japan, which brought attention to the brutal slaughter and the high levels of mercury found in the dolphin meat given to the public, including school lunches. This marks the fifth year the number of dolphins killed in Taiji has declined since activist Ric O’Barry’s “Save Japan Dolphins” campaign launched.
The 2011 earthquake and tsunami wiped out several Japanese ports, putting a temporary stop to harpooning in those areas. Yet even without the extra dolphin meat, fisherman are having trouble selling their catch. Although it’s beginning to look like the tide is turning for the dolphins in Taiji, now is not the time to stop working on their behalf. The organization “Save Japan Dolphins” will continue fielding cove monitors, getting mercury facts to consumers, and working with the Japanese people. These killings cannot stop soon enough!
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