Much attention has been paid to Japan’s seasonal hunt for whales in the Antarctic oceans, while the anti whaling movement has garnered global media coverage, another hunt for marine mammals is in full swing – almost unnoticed – along Japan’s own shores.
Taiji has long been well known as a whaling town and spearheaded the development of more sophisticated traditional whaling techniques in the 17th century. In 1988, a ruling by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) caused Taiji to suspend commercial whaling. However, the town continues to hunt small whales and dolphins. Taiji’s annual dolphin hunt is a subject of controversy and the town faces continued pressure from protest groups.
Each year Japanese fishermen harvest around 20,000 dolphins and small whales as part of what they say is a centuries-old tradition. The biggest hunt is in Taiji 太地町, a small town – population 3,225 – on the Pacific west coast of Japan.
Sea Shepherd says that it has a permanent team protesting the annual slaughter of dolphins, porpoises, and small whales. Starting on September 1st and usually continuing through March of the next year, Sea Shepherd holds a vigilant watch and interrupt over these horrifying proceedings.
This annual slaughter of dolphins was virtually unknown until 2003 when Sea Shepherd globally released covertly-obtained film and photographs of the now infamous “Bloody Cove” in a village called Taiji. Starting in 2010 and continuing to this day, Sea Shepherd has a ongoing presence of volunteers standing watch on site at the Cove. They are The Cove Guardians. Read the full article »»»»