Pod of Dolphins comfort each other before hunters move in for kill
Sept. 17, 2019
In video footage captured in a cove near Taiji, Japan by U.S. non-profit organization Dolphin Project, a family of pilot whales — a dolphin species — gather together on Sept. 10, with the mother swimming around in a circle and “rubbing up against members of her family.”
The next day, divers apparently went into the water and selected eight dolphins to hold captive while the remaining animals were offed, the Daily Mail reported.
Additional footage showed the pod being separated with the water heavily splashing as dolphins struggled with slings attached to the side of hunting boats.
The mother of the family was among the animals killed. Other dolphins killed had their corpses slung under the boats’ bows to be taken away for food.
The Daily Mail reported dolphin hunting season occurs between September and February in Japan. The animals are legally hunted by fishermen thanks to permits issued by the Japanese government.
“The primary driving force that keeps these hunts going is the money made from selling live dolphins into the multi-billion dollar captivity industry,” Dolphin Project said in Facebook posting.
According to the Daily Mail, hunters use metal poles put into the water which are then struck by hammers to create a sound that confuses the dolphins, driving them to the cove. The entrance of the cove is closed off by nets where divers then go in and kill the captured animals.
As of the third week of hunting in the Taiji cover, Dolphin Project claims 21 animals were slaughtered, 16 were held captive and none were released.
The kill quota for dolphins is 1,749, which includes 101 pilot whales. Annually, the Japanese Fisheries Agency green lights the killing of about 16,000 cetacean animals.
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