Why The Taiji Drive Hunt Is A Big Deal

No matter what way you look at it, the death of a single dolphin is sad. The best we can hope for is that if a dolphin has to die it’s to save it from misery. When a healthy dolphin dies it is just devastating. So, every year when the Taiji Drive Hunt starts up the season it is one of the most tragic periods of the year. Those who recognize the intelligence and empathy of these creatures feel an ongoing, never ending devastation and sorrow.

I know that not everyone knows about these drive hunts and, like many others, I would like to bring awareness to this…event… that they call a tradition. The Taiji Drive Hunt begins on September 1st and proceeds through April, or further. The animals are driven to a cove that has infamously been named The Cove where they pick out the ones they want to sell and slaughter the others.

  • First off the Dolphins are not so much a renewable resource. Unlike cows, we do not breed dolphins to produce meat and continue to replenish the species. Instead, we are hunting wild dolphins without giving back. The amount of dolphins, various species, killed during these hunts every year ranges from 800 to 2,000. These are absolutely devastating numbers.
  • The animals that are involved in the slaughter are inhumanely killed. The technique the fisherman use to kill the animals does not provide them an instant death.
  • Mercury. It can be a big deal. Being carnivores anything they eat will have mercury making the amount that they carry hold potentially horrible effects to humans. If humans consume enough meat that holds mercury it can cause some pretty bad issues. Dolphin meat is a definite health concern and it should honestly be illegal from that alone.
  • Last, but definitely not least. The hunt stocks aquariums all over the globe. It has been stated that U.S. aquariums do not participate in the purchasing of animals caught in these hunts, but whether that’s true or not it is known that Japan as well as other countries do get their animals from this event. Not only do these animals have to witness the horrifying massacre of their family, but afterward they are shipped off to a facility where they are trained to perform. When not in the shows they are left to nothing but mindless drones swimming around in circles in their tanks or floating out of miserable boredom. The hunt is funded mainly by aquariums when they purchase a dolphin from them. The price of a single dolphin can range from $40,000 – $80,000. Couple that price with each of the over 100+ dolphins they have sold this year alone and you can see why the drive is so persistent in staying around.

“But, it’s their tradition. Who are we to tell them to stop doing something they’ve done for over 400 years?” Yeah, apparently that is not the case. Documentation shows that this ‘tradition’ has only been going on for 45 years, not 400. And even if it had been going on for 400 years and was a legitimate tradition, why would that make it ok? It wouldn’t.

Here are some links to further educate you on the matter. They go far more in depth on the topic and explain the points that I’ve made. They can also point you in the right direction on how you can help end these hunts.

Save Japan’s Dolphins

Cove Guardians

Economics of the Hunt

If there are any other links or points you think I should add just say so in the comments or contact me personally.