New Videos: “What Happens To Dolphins In Taiji? Honoring The Victims Of Slaughter and Captivity”

Yesterday, the infamous dolphin abduction and killing season began in Taiji, Japan, and with it, season 4 of Operation Infinite Patience. The following videos were created in honor of Japan Dolphins Day 2013 and tell the story of the victims of Taiji’s brutal Oikomi Drives.

Through the lens of Activists on-scene in Taiji, we follow the killers out to sea and witness the terror of the drives — and ultimately, the macabre, Auschwitz-like selection process which takes place in the cove. Trainers from nearby Taiji Whale Museum, Dolphin Base and Dolphin Resort are called in to examine the dolphins and mark the young, “pretty” (scar-free, ‘show-quality’) dolphins for enslavement in captivity. The rest are condemned to suffer a long, slow, gruesome death on the kill shore. Afterward, the video takes us to the captive dolphin pens, and we see how the captives are housed and trained. The mini-documentary closes with a call to action.

The video comes in two versions: a shorter, non-graphic version, and a longer one containing very graphic footage of the kills — revealing the indescribable horror of what happens to dolphins subjected to the sickly slow and excruciatingly painful spike-and-plug method (designed solely to reduce blood in the water and make the kills *look* more humane).

Please see the full description below for more information.  May we see an end to the capture and slaughter of cetacea — as soon as possible!

What Happens To Dolphins In Taiji?  Honoring The Victims Of Slaughter and Captivity

 What Happens To Dolphins In Taiji?  Honoring The Victims Of Slaughter and Captivity [GRAPHIC]

This video tells the full story of what happens to dolphins in Taiji, and hopefully, inspire you to join the fight to help them!  Over 100 events took place all over the world for Japan Dolphins Day 2013. The Cove Guardians are also in Taiji for the fourth season of Operation Infinite Patience, standing in solidarity with the People Of The Sea. The killing begins again on September 1st. Please join the fight to stop this cruel, horrific practice. The suffering must end!
Every year, from September 1 to March 31, thousands of dolphins are brutally slaughtered in Taiji, Japan. The killing method is slow and horrific, as is the dark truth about what motivates these massacres: the ‘money dolphins’ taken for captivity. This is not about ‘food culture’. Taiji killers have only been hunting dolphins regularly since post-WWII, and only 6-8% of the town’s population is associated with Isana Fisheries Union, which issues the kill permits and represents the killers. Worse still, the Japanese government knows that the meat is poisoned with high levels of mercury. Mercury poisoning sickens and kills people, and cause deformities in babies. They’ve dealt with this before in Minamata, where mercury poisoning from consumption of toxic meat devastated the town. Now, the resulting pathology is named after this tragedy (Minamata Disease). Despite international outrage and worldwide activism to stop the senseless killings of these bright, beautiful animals, Japan allows the massacres to continue.
Recently, scientists have presented evidence that dolphins meet the definition of personhood. The complexity of their brains, self-awareness, language and even culture place them closer to us than any other species — and the gap between our two species and the rest of Life on this planet is wider than ever previously imagined. Recognizing the depth and significance of this knowledge makes the reality of both the slaughter and captive keeping of cetaceans morally and ethically bankrupt. Dolphins even have names for each other, and when separated, they call for specific loved ones. One is devastated, thinking what they must say when in the hands of the cruel killers in Taiji.
What is done:
The dolphins are hunted by a method called “oikomi” drives. Killers go out to known dolphin migratory routes and find a pod (family). Then, they spread out, placing long metal pipes with flared ends into the water and bang on the tops with hammers. The sound is terrifying and disorienting to dolphins, disrupting their sensitive sonar. They flee the resultant wall of sound. In this way, the killers drive the dolphins from open sea into a small cove. Many thrash themselves against the rocks in their desperate attempt to flee the painful noise. Once driven into the cove, the dolphins are netted off. If the family caught is of a “money dolphin” species (e.g., bottlenose), trainers from the nearby Taiji Whale(ing) Museum and associated dolphin profiteers are called in. They select the most attractive animals, for which they pay top dollar (a Live dolphin is worth $10,000 USD; a trained dolphin, $150-300,000 USD or more. A dead dolphin is only worth ~$700. Taiji is the largest exporter of captive dolphins in the world). After the family is robbed of their young and attractive loved ones, the killers herd the remaining dolphins toward shore and the sick, slow killing begins. The screams and thrashing sounds of the agonized dolphins can be heard as the killers move from one to the next, driving a metal spike by hand behind the head of each deeply traumatized animal, purportedly to sever their spinal cord and “kill them instantly” — only accurate if one defines “instantly” to mean as much as TWENTY MINUTES or more. This sickening technique is called pithing, and done by hand, slowly and ineffectively, it is nothing short of pure torture for the victims.
The Academy Award-winning film, “The Cove,” addresses the Taiji dolphin slaughters and the issues surrounding them. The killings are still happening, right now. Please join the fight to END this cruel, senseless, inhumane and unethical action!


@CoveGuardians #tweet4taiji #tweet4dolphins #captivitykills #sjdolphins

To learn more about cetaceans meeting the definition of personhood, please visit: