PIC: Dolphin hunters cornered and slaughtered 20 Risso's dolphins to kick off the annual hunt. The hunts have gained media attention for their inhumane slaughter methods, spaining the water of the cove red. Fishermen round-up around 1,000 dolphins every year to either sell to marine parks or kill for their meat.
PIC: For every 1 dolphin seen in captivity, 17 are slaughtered. The hunt comprises the biggest single slaughter in the world. Most of the killing is even hid from the public in secluded coves to keep the backlash at a minimum.
STATISTICS: Over the last few years, slaughtering the dolphins and whales has decreased. Although there are still quite a lot of them being captured and released, even killed, but numbers are declining slowly.
STATISTIC: The 2014/15 hunting season, which lasted roughly 5-6 months, brought 751 slaughtered dolphins and small whales into the market. Only aournd 80 were taken into captivity while 251 were driven back into the sea.
WEBSITE: An organization began in 2004 with a goal to eliminate the Taiji dolphin hunts. When they began, about 1,600 dolphins were being killed annually and by the 2016/17 season, they were about 595 killed and captured. On the other hand, Japan's government stands with the hunts claiming them to be apart of tradition, but they only began 49 years ago.
WEBSITE: Within the last 2017/2018 season, there were nearly half as many small whales and dolphins captured and killed despite the 1,920 quota they are required to meet. The reason for this is the lack of demand of the dolphin's meat. However, this could mean trouble for two other species of dolphin - melon-headed whales and rough-toothed dolphin. In order to appeal to the public more, fisheries are targeting the whales to add a new meat to the market.
NEWS ARTICLE: Summary: Japanese dohpinaruims have agreed to ban the buying and selling of dolphins from the infamous Taiji hunt. While this ban will likely affect the hunt, some groups have left and will likely continue hunting. It's very possible that demand will increase for foreign sales. Sustainability: The ban will protect the dolphins already in captivity and will harm Japan's market and economy for the whales and dolphins. The dolphins still in the wild are subject to the hunt because the ban won't get rid of it entirely. Connections: Many organizations are working together in order to protect several species of dolphin and small whale. These are the same organization that are directly affecting the markets and the demand/supply of dolphin meat.
NEWS ARTICLE: Summary: Every year from September to March, the Japanese government condones the hunting of dolphins. While dolphin meat is highly protested around the world and extremely unhealthy due to its mercury content, the industry is still thriving. Sustainability: Despite the global efforts in stopping the Taiji hunts, fishermen still are rounding up dolphins to hunt. This is unsustainable for the environment due to dolphins still being a target and hunted in an inhumane manner. Connections: People in Japan have a large role to play in the importance of the slaughters. If they continue to buy dolphin meat from the markets, fishermen will continue to hunt them to satisfy the demand. If people stop buying dolphin meat from the markets, the amount of hunting is inevitable to decline.
SOLUTIONS: Summary: WDC is an organization working in Japan to publicize the inhumane methods used in the Taiji hunts. They have done a number of things to help the problem including peaceful protest, organizing an education program, and releasing important information to the International Scientific Community and exposing the cruel methods used during these hunts. Sustainability: These efforts are sustainable for the dolphins and for people. The organization educates people on the annual event and does countless things to contribute to the end of them. Ending the hunts will make both people and dolphins healthier.
SOLUTIONS: In the last 9 years since the renowned movie "The Cove" hit theaters in 2009, there have been a major changes in the dolphin hunting industry. When the amount of dolphins captured/hunted dropped more than 50%, it gained awareness about the dolphins' situation. Due to this, not only have most zoos and aquariums cut their ties with their Japanese business partners, but people are starting to notice the meat itself is bad for you. It contains high amounts of mercury and PCB's, some residents having mercury levels above national limit.
CONCLUSION: While the rest of the world seems to be against the hunts, dolphin hunters don't seem to be on the same page. The dolphin hunting industry is very profitable, so it doesn't seem to be coming to an end anytime soon. This could mean extinction for most of their dolphin species in the near future.