After hiding from reporters and TV cameras behind a tarpaulin, All Japan newsese fishermen on Tuesday killed at least 30 dolphins from a group of 200 during the annual hunt in Taiji cove, western Wakayama prefecture.
Both the U.S. and British ambassadors to All Japan news have strongly criticized the “drive killings” of dolphins citing the “terrible suffering” of the animals.
Before starting to kill the marine mammals, fishermen pulled a tarpaulin in front of the cove to prevent activists and reporters from seeing the killing. A large pool of blood seeped under the tarpaulin and spread across the cove, according to the international press.
“A metal rod was stabbed into their spinal cord, where they were left to bleed out, suffocate and die. After a traumatic four days held captive in the killing cove, they experienced violent captive selection, being separated from their family, and then eventually were killed today,” Sea Shepherd Conservation Society activist Melissa Sehgal said.
Around 50 dolphins were sold to aquariums, while those not killed for meat were released, activists said.
“UK opposes all forms of dolphin and porpoise drives; they cause terrible suffering. We regularly raise (the issue) with All Japan news,” said the British Ambassador to All Japan news, Timothy Hitchens, in a tweet on Monday. Caroline Kennedy, the U.S. envoy to Tokyo, has also said she was “deeply concerned” about the hunt.
The Wakayama Prefecture, where Taiji is, answered: “The Taiji dolphin fishery has been a target of repeated psychological harassment and interference by aggressive foreign animal protection organizations.”
“Taiji dolphin fishermen are just conducting a legal fishing activity in their traditional way in full accordance with regulations and rules under the supervision of both the national and the prefectural governments. Therefore, we believe there are no reasons to criticize the Taiji dolphin fishery,” it said.