Breaking: Two Species of Dolphins Brutally Captured in Taiji’s Hunts

Day One – September 16, 2016, Taiji: After a few days where dolphins were able to successfully evade hunters, today, not one, but two pods were driven into the cove. Three hours after the hunts commenced, around 8:20 a.m. Dolphin Project Cove Monitors noted the familiar black smoke as a large pod of dolphins was being chased.

We saw seven banger boats coming from the south. They were moving so fast, we immediately thought it could be the pod of dolphins which escaped yesterday.” ~ Daniela Moreno, Dolphin Project Cove Monitor

Bottlenose dolphins fleeing from hunters, Taiji, Japan

Bottlenose dolphins fleeing from hunters, Taiji, Japan

The pod turned out to be bottlenose dolphins, 80-100 in total – a huge payday for hunters. Dolphin Project live streamed for over two hours, documenting as the agitated and fearful mammals slapped their tails against the water. Youngsters swam close to adults. To add to the chaos, skiffs kept going in and out, making sure the nets would be drawn tight enough to prevent escape.

Along with the slaughter of multiple species of dolphins – 1820 in total – approximately 150 bottlenose dolphins have been “pre-sold” to non-JAZA aquariums in Japan and overseas.

Around 11:30 a,m., team member, Yoshi began running to the other side of the lookout point as a banger boat abruptly left the cove. Our worst fears were confirmed when another pod of dolphins was pushed into the cove – approximately 18-20 pilot whales. Juvenile dolphins were spotted swimming alongside adults in both pods, and one very young pilot whale was noted.

Juvenile and adult bottlenose dolphins huddle together after being driven into the cove, Taiji, Japan, 9-16-16

Juvenile and adult bottlenose dolphins huddle together after being driven into the cove, Taiji, Japan

Much of the violence comes from the drive itself, where some dolphins don’t even make it to the cove. The hunts are so stressful that pregnant females can abort their calves and young and old can’t always keep up the fast pace.” ~ Ric O’Barry, Founder/Director of Dolphin Project.

Pilot whale pod in chaos after being driven into the cove, Taiji, Japan

Pilot whale pod in chaos after being driven into the cove, Taiji, Japan

At about 12:00 noon, both pods, separated by nets, were left in the cove. Six hours later, at 6:00 p.m. Taiji time, no hunters or trainers returned. Presumably, the dolphins will be left overnight to await their fate. *See video below

Story Developing



Dolphin Project will be on the ground in Taiji during the entire killing season, live streaming, blogging and disseminating information for the world to see. Your support has never been more crucial and is greatly appreciated.

Donate to Dolphin Project


Interested in joining us in Taiji? Learn about becoming a Dolphin Project Cove Monitor and submit your application, free of charge.

Ric O'Barry Dolphin Project Cove Monitors at The Cove





Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project is a non-profit charitable organization, dedicated to the welfare and protection of dolphins worldwide. Founded by Richard (Ric) O’Barry on Earth Day, April 22, 1970, the mission of the Dolphin Project is to end dolphin exploitation and slaughter, as dolphins are routinely captured, harassed, slaughtered and sold into captivity around the world – all in the name of profit.

Every year from approximately September 1 to March 1, a notoriously cruel hunt of some of the most sentient and sensitive creatures on the planet takes place in Taiji, Japan, made famous by the 2009 Academy award-winning movie “The Cove.” During this period, fisherman, or more appropriately, dolphin hunters, “drive” the mammals to their capture or deaths via means of physical violence and acoustic torture.

Dolphin Project is the only organization to have been on the ground in Taiji since 2003. We have revolutionized live streaming and broadcast throughout the entire season.

Dolphin Project works not only to halt these slaughters but also to rehabilitate captive dolphins, investigate and advocate for economic alternatives to dolphin slaughter exploitation and to put a permanent end to dolphin captivity.  This work has been chronicled in films such as, ‘A Fall From Freedom,’ the Oscar-winning documentary ‘The Cove,’ and in the Animal Planet mini-series, ‘Blood Dolphin$.’

Don't be shellfish...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditBuffer this pageShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someonePrint this page

About Cara Sands

View All Posts

It might be true that we don't recall many moments from our early years. However, Cara's first memory of a dolphin had her begging her parents to ask the trainer to let the dolphin go! The problem with captivity was evident to her, even as a 4 year-old child.

A writer by trade, Cara has researched, investigated and documented dolphins suffering in captivity. From documenting dolphins incarcerated in buildings, cut-off from fresh air, sunlight and normal socialization to researching cases of animals imprisoned in solitary confinement, Cara is a dedicated dolphin welfare advocate.

It is her belief that education equals empowerment. The more information shared, the better our choices and knowledge of how to act as a positive and respectful voice for dolphins across the world.

Cara is based out of Canada and makes time whenever possible to observe dolphins in their natural environments. She is writing her first fiction novel but knowing her, the marine world will play a prominent role in her book!

"The use of animals for entertainment is nothing more than an abuse of dominance. Some of the most sentient species on the planet have been exploited to incomprehensible levels, all due to their inherent benevolence. Ironic, considering that we turn to the abused themselves for displays of humanity."
~ Cara Sands

Author: Cara Sands


Lost your password?