Another Day, Another Slaughter: 65 Striped Dolphins Killed in the Cove

The latest cull means that 694 dolphins have been killed in the 2013–2014 hunting season so far.

Fishermen in Taiji, Japan, struggle to lift a striped dolphin into their boat on Jan. 28. (Photo: Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians)

Jan 29, 2014· 0 MIN READ
Salvatore Cardoni holds a political science degree from the George Washington University. He's written about all things environment since 2007.

Continuing an exceptionally murderous run, fishermen in Taiji, Japan, slaughtered 65 striped dolphins on Tuesday, reports Sea Shepherd.

“It was nothing short of a horror movie,” read a statement on the group’s Facebook page. By the end of the daylong hunt, the entire pod, “including babies and juveniles, was nothing more than slabs of meat loaded onto skiffs and used as seats for the killers on their way to the butcher house.”

The 65 deaths came on the heels of the town's fishermen killing 40 bottlenose dolphins on Jan. 22 and 24 on Jan. 9. Prior to the Jan. 22 cull, the largest one-day kill in the 2013–2014 hunting season had occurred on Nov. 23, 2013, when 54 striped dolphins met their demise.

According to Ceta-base, 1,270 dolphins from six species have been driven into the notorious killing cove this season; of those, 694 were killed, 422 were released, and 153 were captured live.

Every year beginning Sept. 1 and ending the following April, approximately 25 fishermen from the village, population 2,000, drive pods of dolphins and smaller whales from Japan’s Kuman-nada Sea into a shallow inlet. The younger ones are separated from their pod mates and sold for upwards of $125,000 each to aquariums in Japan and around the world. The others are impaled with harpoons and butchered—their mercury-rich meat destined for dining tables across parts of Asia.

Click here to learn more about what you can do to stop the annual slaughter, which was first brought to the world’s attention in 2009 by the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove.