Japan: global trade in live dolphins for marine parks increasing

Posted on December 23, 2012

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Today (23rd December), an item was published in The Sunday Times newspaper titled ’100 dolphins snared for theme parks’ (page 5), with images and a graphic.

‘… JAPANESE fishermen have trapped more than 100 live dolphins for sale to amusement parks in what is thought to be one of the biggest such catches.

The dolphins, mostly juveniles, were part of a pod of 200 animals that were penned into a bay at Taiji cove in the south of Honshu, Japan’s main island, in the past two weeks.

The 100-odd youngsters have been separated from their parents and moved into pens as part of a global trade worth millions of pounds a year.

Another 25, mostly adults, have been killed for meat while 75 animals were released because earlier hunts meant the market for dolphin meat was saturated.

The capture has infuriated British and other environmental groups with organisations such as the Whale and Dolphon Conservation Society (WDC) and Sea Shepherd sending activists to Taiji to monitor the capture.

They fear that the live trapping of dolphins on such a scale marks the emergence of a new industry, in effect a global trade in live cetaceans.

“This hunt was the largest round-up of bottlenose dolphins in recent memory,” said a WDC spokesman. “The number of of dolphins being taken into captivity is rising and the demand is fuelled by people choosing to visit marine parks with captive dolphins.” …’

The item is posted in full on The Times web-site but, unfortunately, you must be a subscriber to access timesonline.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society oppose the annual Taiji slaughter and capture of dolphins; read more about the horrors of Taiji on their web-site at www.seashepherd.org/

Please support Sea Shepherd and all their campaigns.

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