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About 50% of Dolphins Killed in Japan Were Exported to Foreign Aquariums
International, 7/8/2015

In the last five years, about 50% of captured dolphins living off the coast of Taiji (western Japan) were exported to other countries, despite the harsh international criticism this practice has received, according to Japanese media gathered today.

760 dolphins were hunted between 2009 and 2014 by fishermen in this town and then sold, of which 354 were obtained by aquariums and zoos in China (216), Ukraine (36), South Korea (35) and Russia (15 ), according to data compiled by Kyodo news agency.

The practice has been especially criticized for its cruelty since the premiere of "The Cove", winner of the 2009 Oscar for best documentary.

This film reveals the method invented in this town, the largest supplier of dolphins in the world, where several boats create a wall of sound that pushes the animals to a bay where they are selected to sell, and the rest is harpooned and destined for food consumption in Japan.

International criticism recently led the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums to prohibit members of Taiji to buy dolphins.

Taiji dolphin sales could be reduced considerably if the parks in Japan decide to go ahead with the ban on purchasing these specimens and the practice itself could then be threatened.

The sale of dolphins is what really sustains fishing of these cetaceans in Taiji, as it is believed that a live specimen can exceed one hundred thousand euros, while for consumption are sold for a price that would be just around 500 EUR.


Topic(s):    Biodiversity