Japan: BREAKING: Season Ends for Taiji’s Dolphin Hunts.


Taiji’s Drive Season Statistics, 2007-2019. Credit: DolphinProject.com



BREAKING: Season Ends for Taiji’s Dolphin Hunts

Officials have confirmed to Dolphin Project that on March 1, the 2018/19 drive season in Taiji, Japan ended. For six months, dolphins of all ages have been chased, harassed, manhandled, captured and slaughtered. Entire pods have been decimated.

Taiji March 1

Bottlenose dolphin is netted against skiff, selected for “life” in captivity, Taiji, Japan. Credit: DolphinProject.com

Live dolphins were shipped to resorts, marine parks and aquariums. The meat from slaughtered mammals filled shelves at local grocery stores, despite being loaded with toxins and unfit for human consumption. And, as we’ve seen year after year, dolphin trainers worked alongside dolphin hunters, selecting which would be drafted into show business and which would end up on the butcher’s floor.

For six months, Dolphin Project Cove Monitors stood on the ground while you were by our side in unity. Our team withstood two typhoons, choosing to remain in Taiji in order to continue their efforts to document, live stream and keep shining a light on the atrocities committed against dolphins.

This season, we estimate 556 dolphins were slaughtered, while 241 were taken captive from seven species of dolphins. This figure does not include the untold numbers that die during the drives themselves. In addition, Taiji’s controversial practice of releasing young calves (so their small bodies won’t be counted against seasonal quotas) almost certainly resulted in additional deaths.

Worldwide demand for dolphin entertainment is the reason wild dolphins are caught – all to supply a lucrative display industry. Compared to last year, 135 more dolphins were taken captive, thus, it’s imperative that we continue to keep the pressure on and say NO to the dolphin show!

Taiji March 2.jpg

Dolphin Project Cove Monitors watch as banger boats leave the harbor in Taiji, in search of migrating dolphin pods. Credit: DolphinProject.com

Dolphin Project extends a huge “THANK YOU” to our dedicated Cove Monitors and to those who watched our broadcasts, shared our social media and blogs and clicked on the “Take Action” links to act on behalf of those who have been silenced. We will continue to educate on the horrific realities of dolphin captivity throughout the year, including ongoing educational outreach to school-aged children. As part of our international campaigns, teams are also on the ground in the Solomon Islands and Indonesia, all made possible because of your generous support.

Taiji March 3

Taiji’s Drive Season Statistics, 2007-2019. Credit: DolphinProject.com

When this level of cruelty is absolute, we must all oppose it absolutely. Documenting and live streaming is imperative. We will never abandon the dolphins of Taiji. As long as Taiji has dolphins, they will have Dolphin Project. Planning is now underway for the 2019/20 season.

Read our full recap here.

Ric O’Barry, Founder/Director of Dolphin Project


Taiji March 4.png

The blood of the dead: striped dolphin slaughter, Taiji, Japan. Credit: DolphinProject.com

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