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Dolphin Killing Declining in Japan

Market for Dolphin and Whale Meat Collapsing Due To Increased Awareness About Mercury Contamination

The mass slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan, as depicted in The Cove documentary, is declining.  Earth Island’s Cove Monitors – volunteers who observe and record the dolphin hunts during the entire 5-month season from September through the end of February – estimate that fewer than 800 dolphins were killed this past season. In the 2010-2011 hunt season, 1,190 dolphins were slaughtered for food. Japanese supporters tell us the market for dolphin and whale meat is collapsing due to IMMP’s educational efforts about high levels of mercury in dolphin meat.

Photo by Arpad IkumaFewer than 800 dolphins were killed at the Cove in Taiji this past season.

In March, Ric O’Barry, director of IMMP’s Dolphin Project, joined local grassroots groups in Germany and Switzerland to protest dolphins in captivity.  Switzerland’s parliament has banned import of any live dolphins and has only one dolphin park left. Germany has two.

O’Barry also told German reporters that tuna caught by killing dolphins is being sold in Germany’s EDEKA supermarkets and should be boycotted.  Brusfoods, a tuna broker in the Netherlands, is marketing tuna from a Colombian company that chases and nets dolphins in order to catch tuna swimming with them. Ironically, the tuna is being promoted as more “sustainable” and “environmental” than Dolphin Safe tuna. The same broker is attempting to import tuna from several Pacific Island nations into Europe under the company name Pacifical. This company has so far refused to sign an IMMP Dolphin Safe policy or allow Earth Island tuna monitors to verify the tuna is caught without harm to dolphins.

Follow Ric O’Barry’s work to protect dolphins around the world and find out how you can help: savejapandolphins.org.

Mark J. Palmer
Mark J. Palmer is Associate Director of the International Marine Mammal Project.

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Comments

This is great news. Obviously it would be nicer to hear that NO dolphins were killed this year but this means there is progress and as long as the numbers keep declining, and people keep getting educated the number will hopefully rapidly decline.

By Sherrie on Tue, May 08, 2012 at 8:14 am

yyyaaaaayyyy for progress….. Thank you for the encouragement. We CAN and DO make a difference. smile EDUCATION IS THE KEY! Namaste smile xo

By Ashlee on Tue, May 08, 2012 at 8:02 am

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