Two More Species of Dolphins Added to Taiji’s Hunts

Taiji’s notorious drive fisheries, scheduled to commence on or around September 1, will now include two additional species for either capture or slaughter. Rough-toothed dolphins and melon-headed whales – both pelagic, or deep water species – will be added to the 2017/18 catch quota, as set by the Japanese Fisheries Agency.

Outrageous and unnecessary, Taiji’s war on dolphins has just escalated.” ~ Ric O’Barry, Founder/Director of Dolphin Project

It has been previously reported that the agency was considering the addition of 46 rough-toothed dolphins – possibly for captive display, and 704 melon-headed whales – likely for a combination of display and consumption – but these numbers have not yet been confirmed. During the 2016/17 season, a total of 804 dolphins across six species were taken captive and/or slaughtered. Dolphins were chased, harassed, manhandled and injured – all fueled by the lucrative captivity trade which supplies dolphinariums and marine parks across the world with cetacean “entertainment.”

Panicked dolphins trapped in nets, Taiji, Japan

Panicked dolphins trapped in nets, Taiji, Japan

With a trained dolphin worth as much as $155,000 USD, it’s feasible that additional species of dolphins have been added to fill orders, especially if bottlenose stocks have been depleted.

The species targeted in the drive fisheries include:

  • Striped dolphins
  • Bottlenose dolphins
  • Pacific white-sided dolphins
  • Pantropical spotted dolphins
  • Risso’s dolphins
  • Short-finned pilot whales
  • False killer whales
  • Rough-toothed dolphins (new to 2017/18 season)
  • Melon-headed whales (new to 2017/18 season)

Dolphin Project Cove Monitors will once again, be on the ground in Taiji for the entire six-month dolphin hunting season to document and disseminate information on the hunts. Planning is currently underway for our 2017/18 campaign.





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.

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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



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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$.’

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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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