Dolphin Killing Season Opens in Japan

Dolphin Killing Season Opens in Japan

Laura Bridgeman,, 415-688-6105
Toni Frohoff,, 805-705-7071


Taiji, Japan (August 31, 2017) - In Defense of Animals denounces the cruel dolphin killing season that officially opens tomorrow, on September 1 in Taiji, Japan. The hunting season, which goes until March each year, sees the brutal slaughter of hundreds of dolphins.

“The primary motivation for the hunting and killing of dolphins is the captivity industry, where live, trained dolphins fetch a much higher price than dead ones,” says Dr. Toni Frohoff, In Defense of Animals’ Cetacean Scientist. “We call on the captivity industry in the United States to stop contributing to the demand that fuels these cruel hunts.”

During the hunts, wild dolphins are driven into a cove along the coast of Taiji and held, sometimes for days, while “show-quality” individuals are selected and torn away permanently from their families. These individuals are then trained and sold to aquariums in Japan and around the world. Often, some or all of the remaining dolphins are killed and butchered for their flesh, or turned loose into the ocean where they suffer from the significant trauma of severed familial ties or in some cases witnessing the deaths of their podmates.

While demand for captive dolphin entertainment may be declining in certain places within the United States, in others the industry is attempting to gain foothold. The Mississippi Aquarium, slated for downtown Gulfport, plans on including a new dolphin aquarium.

“Promoting captive dolphin entertainment is tantamount to promoting the brutal killing of dolphins that happens each year in Taiji,” continued Dr. Frohoff. “The only way to stop these slaughters is to stop promoting captivity, which in itself causes enormous stress, suffering and premature death for dolphins.”

The quotas for this year’s dolphin hunting season in Taiji, set by Japan’s Fisheries Agency, total 1,940 individuals, including 414 bottlenose dolphins, 450 striped dolphins and 400 pantropical spotted dolphins, according to Cetabase.

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In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 30-year history of fighting for animals, people and the environment through education, campaigns and hands-on rescue facilities in India, Africa, and rural Mississippi.

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