Officials in Taiji, Japan, the fishing village made famous by the Oscar-winning film The Cove, are preparing for its annual dolphin hunting season—and not in the way that animal activists would hope.
The Associated Press is reporting that around 100 police and coast guard officers have held a security drill to practice protecting the village from protesters.
A Wakayama prefectural police official says Wednesday's drill was aimed at guarding the southwestern town of Taiji from protesters before hunting season starts in September.
The officers practiced responding to a ship carrying several activists intruding the bay and damaging a fishnet. The official said the drill ended safely without incident.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity for security reasons.
As depicted in The Cove, fishermen in Taiji, Japan, lure between 1,500 and 2,000 dolphins into the shallows of the cove and separate out the ones deemed worthy of selling to an aquarium.
The rest are harpooned and slaughtered, their meat sold in supermarkets.
Despite a blanket ban on commercial whaling instituted by the International Whaling Commission, Japan, Norway and Iceland continue to annually hunt whales through loopholes or in outright defiance of the prohibition.
The Japanese government defends the annual hunt, calling it a tradition.