Dolphin Killing in Taiji

Topics: Cetacean intelligence, Dolphin, Animal echolocation Pages: 3 (908 words) Published: May 19, 2011
Dolphin Killings in Taiji, Japan

Brutality, crimson waters, what a gruesome spectacle it is to see the horrifying sight of dolphins being slaughtered by Taiji fishermen for a profit. In a total of six months the murderers will catch and kill about twenty three hundred of Japan’s annual dolphin population of twenty thousand dolphins. The capture of the dolphins is sinister. The fishermen bang pipes together under the water to throw off a dolphin’s hypersensitive sonar in order to drive the dolphins into a large hidden cove that is then closed off by nets ensuring no escape. Bringing the dolphins to the cove looks like an orchestrated ballet when you see the boats performing their moves out on the horizon. What a person cannot see or even appreciate when you’re standing at the beach in the cove is the terror that the dolphin hunters are forcing upon the dolphins. There are three primary species of dolphins hunted by the Taiji dolphin hunters: bottlenose dolphins, Risso’s dolphins, and Pacific white side dolphins. Even though all three of these species panic when they are herded in from the ocean, the white sided dolphins are especially panicked. They rarely come close to shore; they prefer to stay out in the deep ocean. The entire process from the locating of the pod to the kill can take twenty four hours. During this time the dolphins panic until they are exhausted. The dolphins will often throw themselves against rocks in an urgent attempt to flee from the terrifying noise of the banger boats.

The Taiji fishermen kill the dolphins using a technique called pithing to avoid getting too much blood into the cove. Pithing involves severing the spinal cord and plugging the wound by hammering a reed into the hole with a mallet. This is not a humane way to die, it is only a way to avoid getting the water bloody, some dolphins have been known to thrash in the water for twenty minutes after being pithed. After this process they are loaded onto boats and the dead...
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