Take #Action: Frequently Asked Questions | SaveJapanDolphins.org

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FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Who is killing the dolphins in Japan?

One often encounters this statement: “The Japanese are killing the whales and dolphins!”  But it is not the Japanese people who are doing this. The capture of dolphins in the small fishing village of Taiji, for example, is carried out by about 26 fishermen. They kill the dolphins with permits from their government.  Another two dozen or so help with the slaughter on the beach, carving up the meat, and distribution of the meat. Most of the people in the town of Taiji have nothing to do with the hunts. The majority of people in Japan are totally unaware of this annual government-sanctioned dolphin blood bath.

What species do they kill and how many? 

The Japan government Fisheries Agency issued 19,300 permits to kill dolphins, porpoises and other small whales in 2011 throughout Japan.  (When The Covedocumentary was being made, the number of annual permits issued at that time was more than 23,000.)  The numbers killed in Japan varies from year to year.  (In 2007, for example, 13,107 dolphins and small whales were reported killed in Japan waters.  These numbers do not include the large whales killed by Japan under so-called “scientific” whaling permits in the North Pacific and Antarctic Oceans.)  The number of dolphins killed has been decreasing in part due to successful efforts by the Save Japan Dolphins Campaign and other organizations to reduce sales of dolphin and whale meat in Japanese markets. The other reason the kill rate is going down is that the Japanese fishermen are killing off dolphins, and there are simply not as many left to kill.  About 1,200 to 1,800 of these are killed in the so-called dolphin drive hunt in Taiji, also known as “drive fishery.”  The number being killed is declining since our Save Japan Dolphin Campaign was implemented. The rest are killed with hand-held harpoons from small boats at sea around the coast of Japan, especially in northern ports.

The targeted dolphin species include:

Striped dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins

Pantropical spotted dolphins

Risso’s dolphins

Pilot whales

Rough-toothed dolphins

Pseudo orcas

Pacific White-sided dolphins

Baird’s beaked whales

Dall’s porpoises 

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