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    Posted September 15, 2012 by
    Taiji, Japan
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    Fifty pilot whales killed in Taiji


    About 50 pilot whales were killed earlier today in Taiji, Japan. The animals, which were captured by members of the Isana Fisheries Association, were netted off and held without food for two days. Witnesses from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Save Japan Dolphins, who are in Taiji to document the slaughter, observed the bloodshed.


    From her vantage point on the ground in Taiji, Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian Leader Melissa Sehgal wrote on her facebook page, "The water has turned bright red from mass slaughter and a small number of remaining whales and dolphins alive and forced to swim in their own family's blood. Horrifying!"


    The dead pilot whales are part of a large mixed pod of about 100 pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins.  According to witnesses, about 40 to 50 of the animals remain netted-off at this time.


    Although the meat of pilot whales is known to be contaminated with toxic levels of mercury, the animals will be butchered and the meat sold for human consumption.


    The 2009 Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove, shined a spotlight on the annual slaughter of marine mammals in Taiji. Three years later, the capture for the aquarium and marine park industry, and the killing, which is actually incidental to the capture, continues. During the recent 2011-12 killing season, 848 marine mammals were herded into the killing cove. Fifteen percent were captured for the aquarium industry; 85% were killed.


    Photo courtesy of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

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