TIME Japan

Japanese Fishermen Slaughter Dozens of Dolphins

Annual hunt was subject of 2009 documentary The Cove

Japanese fishermen killed dozens of dolphins Tuesday in the Taiji cove, the focus of the 2009 Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, despite protests from the West.

The fishermen put up a blue tarpaulin that partially hid them from activists and journalists during the final, killing phase of the annual hunt that began on Friday, Reuters reports.

Every year the fishermen herd hundreds of dolphins into the cove where they pick some to sell to marine parks, others to kill for meat, and release the rest. On Tuesday, Reuters reports, fishermen waited in the shallow water where they wrestled the exhausted and food-deprived dolphins into submission, tied their tales with ropes, and killed some of them. Activists with Sea Shepherd say 41 dolphins have been killed and 52 were taken captive.

United States Ambassador Caroline Kennedy said ahead of the killing that she was “deeply concerned” by the hunt and said the U.S. opposes the practice.

Japan says killing dolphins is not banned under international law and the animals are not endangered.


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