Taiji Prepares to Steal Lives for Profit

Preparations are now underway in Taiji, Japan as the 2016-2017 dolphin hunting season is slated to commence next month, on or around September 1. Along with the brutal slaughter of multiple species of dolphins (quota has not yet been released), approximately 150 bottlenose dolphins have been sold to non-JAZA aquariums in Japan and overseas.

According to The Sankei Shimbun, 20 brokers participated in a lottery held in Taiji to determine purchase orders for wild-caught dolphins. The mammals will be chased, harassed, separated from family pods and captured from the wild for a life of performing, breeding and public display. The capture process is violent and traumatic, with many animals injured, some seriously.

On July 3, 2015, the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) announced that member aquariums can be expelled for acquiring dolphins caught in the brutal hunts in Taiji. In addition, members were required to submit certificates indicating where their dolphins were bought. JAZA implemented these procedures after being threatened with eviction from the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), as their purchases of dolphins violated its code of ethics and animal welfare.

Captive dolphins transported in wooden crates

Captive dolphins transported in wooden crates
Photo credit: Dolphin Project

The buyers of these innocent dolphins are not members of JAZA or WAZA, thus, they are not required to follow such codes of ethics or conduct. Where these animals will ultimately end up is anyone’s guess, their living conditions as good – or as bad – as the aquarium or marine park they will be shipped to.

About half of the dolphins caught in Taiji in recent years have been exported to facilities in China, South Korea and Russia. With no oversights or regulations, one can only imagine what these dolphins might face.

Dolphin Project will be on the ground during on Taiji during the entire hunting season, documenting and disseminating information. Follow us on our social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for live posts throughout the season.

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Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the USA (Tax ID 47-1665067), and donations are tax-deductible.

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About Cara Sands

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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


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