Dolphin Slaughter Resumes in Japan

Each year in early September, Japan opens season on dolphins, and today marks the start of the season in Taiji, a now notorious place for slaughtering cetaceans thanks to the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove. And of course, activist Ric O'Barry is on the move. He delivered a petition to the US Embassy in Tokyo signed by 1.7 million people from 155 countries demanding an end to the hunt. The embassy wasn't his first destination -- the Japanese fisheries agency was. But death threats from a group known for violence kinda put a damper on that.


As reported by the AP, "The Japanese government allows a hunt of about 20,000 dolphins a year, and argues that killing them -- and also whales -- is no different from raising cows or pigs for slaughter. Most Japanese have never eaten dolphin meat and, even in Taiji, it is not consumed regularly."

Last year, buzz from The Cove halted the hunt for a few days, as the area was flooded with media. But Japan refused to bend to the pressure, and resumed the hunt as usual. Since then, the documentary has spread like wildfire and has even managed to be screened in some Japanese theaters -- after much protest, of course.

Though the hunt began again this year, O'Barry says, "I'm not losing hope. Our voice is being heard in Taiji." He provides a phone number for calling leaders at the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C., as well as donate to the cause on Take Part.

Pressure from the global community is not about to lessen for Japan. The Cove has even been turned into a miniseries on Animal Planet, titled Blood Dolphins, the first of which aired Friday, August 27th.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.