- Posted January 17, 2014 by
Over 250 bottlenose dolphins await their fate
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
On January 17, 2014, over 250 bottlenose dolphins were herded into a small trapping cove in Taiji, Japan, made infamous by the Academy Award-winning film, The Cove. The dolphins will be held until the brutal process of selection for the aquarium industry begins, which could begin as early as sunrise January 18.
Among the captives in this community is a young albino bottlenose dolphin, an extremely rare child, and one which is likely to be among those kidnapped. The considerable monetary value of this albino and the other dolphins taken captive is established by aquariums and marine parks, modeled generally after the U.S. aquarium industry, that make millions from using dolphins as entertainment. The incentive to drive these dolphins is made lucrative by this monetary incentive more than any other.
The fate of those not taken to perform in dolphin shows and exhibits is either death-by-spike or a process of being “driven” back to the open ocean by the same horrific cacophony generated by the “banger boats” that corralled them in The Cove. Those so driven will now be but a fractured remnant, without the youth of the next generation and likely without many of the elders to guide them. Those who escape capture or slaughter and are left to fend for themselves without their community are less likely to survive and thrive. With this process of capture/kill/drive the remnant, entire communities of dolphins who migrate along this coast of Japan are being decimated.
The unrelenting drive by the Isana Fishermen's Union to capture and kill dolphins is matched by a commitment of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Cove Guardians to document the truth of this hunt for a public who is largely ignorant of this horror. While The Cove brought the world's attention to Taiji, the hunt has continued till the present.
Photo courtesy of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Cove Guardians