Starting on September 1st and usually continuing through March of the next year, fishermen herd whole families of small cetaceans into shallow bays and mercilessly stab them to death or drown them. This is how the slaughter of 20,000 dolphins, porpoises, and small whales occurs in Japan each year. The waters turn red with the blood of thousands of slaughtered dolphins and whales.
There is an undeniable link between the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji and the captive marine mammal industry. Taiji is ground zero for the international trade of captive dolphins, and it is this trade that continues to fund the killing in the infamous Cove. It is estimated these killers make about $32,000 USD for each live dolphin it captures. Trained dolphins sell for much, much more.
Supporting a live dolphin show or participating in a confined swim-with-dolphin program anywhere in the world is the same as slicing open a dolphin in Taiji. The dolphin entertainment industry drives the hunt. The killing of the dolphins follows in its wake. Well-intentioned marine mammal trainers and the dolphin-show-viewing public all have the blood of innocent dolphins on their hands.
For the dolphins pulled from their families and sold into captivity, life is beyond horrible. Even those dolphins born in captivity exist in prison-like conditions. It is now illegal in the United States to import a dolphin which has been caught in the wild, so there is a big business in captive-bred dolphins. One wonders though how many of the so-called captive bred dolphins imported into the US each year are actually wild-caught. Even the captive-bred dolphins most likely have ancestors who were captured in Taiji. The link to the killing in Taiji is undeniable, and the life of these beautiful creatures ends up like this…