Dolphins Escape as Nets Are Cut During Japan's Annual Hunt

Japanese police have launched a probe after nets on holding pens for dolphins in the coastal town of Taiji were cut during an annual hunt, possibly by foreign activists, a press report said Wednesday.


They are looking into whether the incident is connected with a statement posted on the website of Black Fish, a European conservation organisation, Kyodo news agency quoted investigators as saying.

The statement said the group's divers had cut the nets of six pens holding dolphins caught during the hunt which started on September 2, the report added.

A number of dolphins were able to swim back out to sea as a result, the statement said.

Taiji, located on the western Japanese peninsula of Kii, has drawn worldwide attention after a US documentary film, The Cove, which described the slaughter of dolphins there, won an Oscar for best documentary this year.

Every year, fishermen in Taiji herd about 2,000 dolphins into a shallow bay, select several dozen for sale to aquariums and marine parks and harpoon the rest for meat.

On September 2, animal rights activists protested against the dolphin hunt in a rally outside the US embassy in Tokyo, calling on President Barack Obama to pressure the country over the issue.

Ric O'Barry, star of The Cove, handed a petition with 1.7 million signatures from more than 150 countries to US embassy officials.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close