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Annual dolphin hunt starts in Wakayama whaling town

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Seems like a lucrative business. Where do i apply?

-27 ( +7 / -34 )

They were each around 3 meters long and will be sold to aquariums, according to participants in the hunt.

Most people that visit dolphinariums have no idea as to how the dolphins are caught. Education is a key factor, seeing dolphin in the ocean is a much better, happier experience. We have to stop abusing our oceans and those who inhabit them.

38 ( +46 / -8 )

Whale meat is very delicious. It used to be a part of school lunch back in the Showa era. How about dolphin meat? I have never tried.

-41 ( +10 / -51 )

The article didn't mention the this type of fishing is forbidden by international law.

24 ( +38 / -14 )

I saw the document - the fishermen would herd the dolphins into a shallow cove and plunge a metal rod into their blowhole and put a cork in it to stop the blood from turning the water red. This was done to stop the water turning red so people wouldn't realise they were killing dolphins.

I think they were given a set amount to kill but usually went beyond that number, hence preventing dolphin blood spilling into the water. (I haven't fact-checked this though).

Honestly, it doesn't take much to realise that this is a cruel and horrific practice, especially on an intelligent animal. I'm not sure if it's for food, but it's for tradition - it's an old practice that needs to adapt to modern times of preserving and protecting the environment.

The fact that police and other officials work together on this is also disgusting.

I highly recommend everyone to watch the document (available on Youtube) and inform yourself to become aware of what goes down here.

30 ( +40 / -10 )

Cool Japan, the dark side.

Having snorkelled off Japan with welcoming, inquisitive IndoPacific bottlenose dolphins, this practice is quite, quite abhorrent.

Let's not forget that we all used to slaughter these creatures, not that this is an excuse.

The late CW Nichol's novel about Taiji, Harpoon is a page-turning adventure of immense narrative and descriptive power. Surely these communities and their stories would make a lot, lot more from tourism than they do from this?

21 ( +30 / -9 )

"The article didn't mention the this type of fishing is forbidden by international law."

International law applies only to weak countries, dont you know that yet? Does the US follow "international law"?

7 ( +22 / -15 )

Dolphins are whales. They might have hunted and ate dolphins as whales for long. If they do not hunt dolphins, fishing business there will be affected since dolphins eat other fishes.

-26 ( +5 / -31 )

Imagine a village in Wakayama promoting ecotourism and allowing people to interact with dolphins in a natural environment.

It could be a reality, couldn’t it?

14 ( +20 / -6 )

Their country, their customs, their rules.

Its unfair Wakayama people are bullied so much over their indigenous tradition and food customs.

-23 ( +14 / -37 )

Tradition does not make it right. We need to look at our traditions and re-think its place in society.

23 ( +34 / -11 )

Barbaric. But if it comes under the title “Japanese culture” they can do what they want

13 ( +25 / -12 )

The article didn't mention the this type of fishing is forbidden by international law.

On what basis? Japan isn't signed up to any treaty that would make this illegal.

-6 ( +13 / -19 )

Abhorrent

21 ( +29 / -8 )

Disgusting

21 ( +29 / -8 )

As well as being ignorant of international law and moral standards, people who cannot see how abhorrent this is we’re born without compassion. And yes this is a real phenomenon. Ask yourself if you feel for other people and animals in trouble and you’ll know if you are a decent human being or not. Citing traditional is no excuse for how barbaric and cruel this is.

10 ( +19 / -9 )

The article didn't mention the this type of fishing is forbidden by international law.

Nonsense.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

They also eat the dolphins. Unbelievable this

3 ( +10 / -7 )

"As well as being ignorant of international law and moral standards, people who cannot see how abhorrent this is we’re born without compassion"

You cannot force your "moral standards" on others.

-9 ( +10 / -19 )

Japan has to kill a few thousand dolphins a year to make sure that it is hated and reviled by the rest of the world. Trying to think of some other reason but cannot. This is not "traditional". It started in the 70s to supply aquariums.

19 ( +26 / -7 )

During the drive-hunting period through next spring, police and the Japan Coast Guard will boost security to prevent activists from obstructing hunting, maintaining a 24-hour presence at stations temporarily set up in the town.

I’m guessing that the cost of maintaining 24 hour Coast Guard protection is higher than whatever proceeds these idiots make from selling the dolphins.

Our tax Yen at work.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

 captured three bottlenose dolphins and a Risso's dolphin after driving them into a cove.

This has to be fiddled news. They are only plugging the ones sold to aquariums. I’m quite sure there were more than three dolphins herded from 12k out to sea. They have failed to mention the ones slaughtered for human consumption, pet food and fertilizer.

16 ( +22 / -6 )

You cannot force your "moral standards" on others.

Compassion and a disgust of needless killing of creatures in such a barbaric way (herded up and clubbed to death swimming in the blood of other dolphins) is a humane reaction. It’s not about forcing moral standards on others. These moral standards should not need to be forced on others. They are a sense of right and wrong all decent people are born with. They are the moral standards of any human with compassion. If you don’t understand this then you are without it.

13 ( +21 / -8 )

culture stops at cruelty.

22 ( +25 / -3 )

It’s not about forcing moral standards on others.

It is though. Killing animals is a gruesome thing. They die. Whether it happens in a slaughterhouse or a bay, it’s still murdering living beings for food.

Vegetarians are the only ones standing from a position of moral high ground on this matter, as all meat eaters are eating the dead carcasses of murdered animals.

However, that’s only if you are of the belief that killing animals for food is immoral. If you are not of that position, objectively there is no moral high ground to take.

So either you believe eating meat is morally unethical, in which case you’re forcing your moral standard upon others who disagree, or you’re a meat eater and you already allow that this is ok, but through some hypocritical moral compass have okayed other murders of animals, while condemning the dolphin hunt.

-6 ( +10 / -16 )

"Compassion and a disgust of needless killing of creatures in such a barbaric way (herded up and clubbed to death swimming in the blood of other dolphins) is a humane reaction"

What if they were killed in a more "humane way", would that be OK with your "moral standards"?

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

culture stops at cruelty.

That needs to go on t-shirts.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

This news comes up every year and it upsets me every time. It’s a real blight on Japan’s mostly good image.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

They feed this meat to school children knowing full well that the levels of Mercury and other heavy metals are unacceptably high. Any other developed country would not allow this.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

n1k1Today  08:13 am JST

They also eat the dolphins. Unbelievable this

Not really. If I absolutely had to, I'd eat dolphin before some other animals.

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

On what basis? Japan isn't signed up to any treaty that would make this illegal.

So what you are saying if Japan doesn't agree with the rest of the world on something then everything goes right ?

5 ( +12 / -7 )

If I absolutely had to, I'd eat dolphin before some other animals.

If you life depends on it, sure bon appetite.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Their culture, their right to hunt and eat animals as they see fit. No one has a right to judge.

-19 ( +6 / -25 )

The article didn't mention the this type of fishing is forbidden by international law.

It only started in 1969, so I think it's incorrect to call drive-hunting "traditional" as well. That's younger than the Shinkansen, Japan's most iconic symbol of modernity.

Apparently the guy that taught the locals now opposes it.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Their culture, their right to hunt and eat animals as they see fit. No one has a right to judge.

Absolutely wrong ! The world has the right to judge and it has the right to intervene. USA starts wars for less. Eating wild animals leads to pandemics , pandemics kill people.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Did anyone ever see that South Park episode at Seaworld?

Satire at its best.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

StewieToday  09:16 am JST

They feed this meat to school children knowing full well that the levels of Mercury and other heavy metals are unacceptably high. 

Let's stop with the fake info. Dolphin meat is not used in school lunches. In fact, even Whale meat isn't anymore. As for Mercury levels, which is a concern in all seafoods, there are no issues as monitored. Only the anti-whaling crowd constantly cite this as if the health of the population of Japan is suddenly their concern.

I have tasted 3 kinds of whale meat in Japan over the years. Never have I even seen dolphin meat for sale, although I don't doubt it may be found in local villages. From what I have been told, dolphin meat meat is pink and watery, compared to whale meat which is red and very close to beef.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Their culture, their right to hunt and eat animals as they see fit. No one has a right to judge.

I wonder what the minimum acceptable time frame is that needs to be established in order to call something "culture".

Does labeling anything as "culture" make it okay? Or do we need to consider the merits of the thing itself and not simply rely on an arbitrary length of time to make the decision for us?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Let's stop with the fake info. Dolphin meat is not used in school lunches. In fact, even Whale meat isn't anymore.

Whal meat is still occasonally served in school lunches, although I've never heard of dolphin meat being 'sold' to the kids.

As for Mercury levels, which is a concern in all seafoods, there are no issues as monitored.

There most certainly are issues! Dolphin meat contains very high levels of mercury, PCBs and other heavy metals, and as a result so do the residents of Taiji.

Never have I even seen dolphin meat for sale, although I don't doubt it may be found in local villages. From what I have been told, dolphin meat meat is pink and watery, compared to whale meat which is red and very close to beef.

I've seen it on sale in many places outside of 'local villages'. It is also dark red and whale like. You may be thinking of dolphin sashimi, which is pale in colour and harvested from 2 month old baby dolphins. But culture etc

The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Different cultures eat different foods. No big deal.

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

Leave the dolphins alone!!

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Love japan. I will probably die here.

as a scuba diver and an environmentalist, swam with dolphins many times. Ive been to Taiji 3 times, one time turned away by police. I hate this dark side of Japan....Yasukuni Shrine, US bases, child soft porn manga, Nippon Kaigi, sexism etc.

but I give up. No point any more. It is the lesser of the worse. Dolphin/whale killers will suffer bad karma.

every morning I try to find the wonderful things about japan. There are many.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Textbook example of a FTW attitude.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

As with the "scientific" whaling the Japanese just do it out of spite. If the rest of the world hunted Dolphins the Japanese would protest.

Their culture, their right to hunt and eat animals as they see fit. No one has a right to judge.

oldman, how many Japanese do you know who eat Dolphin meat? Only one small town basically.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

ClippetyClop - Whale meat is still occasonally served in school lunches, although I've never heard of dolphin meat being 'sold' to the kids

Whale meat ‘was’ served commonly in school lunches before the 1983 moratorium. It is not served in schools at present due to it being expensive. However, the J-Gov has given away some of the surplus stockpile of frozen whale meat to a few schools because they cannot sell it. It is also very common to see dolphin meat sold as whale meat, especially in izakaya chains.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Many people who visit this website would not appreciate it, at all, if any Japanese citizen criticized the practices of their home country. Again, no one has a right to judge how other people hunt their food.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Many people who visit this website would not appreciate it, at all, if any Japanese citizen criticized the practices of their home country. Again, no one has a right to judge how other people hunt their food.

Criticize away. Most people aren't that sensitive and ignorant. People and culture change because others point out deleterious practices.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

http://savedolphins.eii.org/take-action/take-action-save-japan-dolphins/

(I hope this petition is still on-going and something will really happen with it.)

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Many people who visit this website would not appreciate it, at all, if any Japanese citizen criticized the practices of their home country. Again, no one has a right to judge how other people hunt their food.

Taro Aso.

I told these people, ‘Between your country and our country, mindo (the level of people) is different.’ And that made them speechless and quiet. Every time,” Aso boasted.

The mindo level is definitely different. And this article proves it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What if they were killed in a more "humane way", would that be OK with your "moral standards"?

There is no 'humane' way to kill a marine mammal.

Chase them, terrified, around the ocean until they slow down from exhaustion, then shoot them with a harpoon, which is very likely to maim without killing; the final cut, often after hours of suffering, is delivered by rifle.

Or herd them, again terrified, into a cove, into shallow water, then ram a spike into their blowhole, in front of family members awaiting the same fate.

Dolphins are for watching in the wild, and if you are lucky, swimming with.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

If you eat animals and criticize others for doing the same, you're a hypocrite. Simple.

Humans are primates and therefore animals. Not Simple. There are limits.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Again, no one has a right to judge how other people hunt their food

Please explain what law prohibits me from criticizing or judging.

Do you have the right to deny my rights?

Are you uncritical of everything?

5 ( +12 / -7 )

If so much hatred and grudge against this classic culture, Why don't you first stop taking your kids to the Zoo and Aquarium so that those animals can have freedom.

Show the world an example of your country 100% free of animal cruelty, then others will follow rather than blaming and arguing.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

I keep hearing that it is part of Japanese culture so we shouldn't interfere blah blah..

Archaic practices of slaughtering dolphins by herding them into a bay to be stabbed and bludgeoned to death is truly barbaric and has nothing to do with customs or traditions.

Disgusting disgraceful behaviour and a stain on Japan's image.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

ClippetyClopToday  10:02 am JST

*Let's stop with the fake info. Dolphin meat is not used in school lunches. In fact, even Whale meat isn't anymore.*

Whal meat is still occasonally served in school lunches, although I've never heard of dolphin meat being 'sold' to the kids.

Really? Please show me a link supporting that claim. Whale meat was used after WWII because it was a cheap source of protein. In fact it was a GHQ directive. The problem with using it for school lunches is that it is nowhere near cheap. But since you're so sure await your link.

As for Mercury levels, which is a concern in all seafoods, there are no issues as monitored.

There most certainly are issues! Dolphin meat contains very high levels of mercury, PCBs and other heavy metals, and as a result so do the residents of Taiji.

Please post a link to a government source supporting your claim. Japan is a country that experienced the Minamata disaster. It is about the last country in the world that could or would hide mercury in food issues.

Never have I even seen dolphin meat for sale, although I don't doubt it may be found in local villages. From what I have been told, dolphin meat meat is pink and watery, compared to whale meat which is red and very close to beef.

I've seen it on sale in many places outside of 'local villages'. It is also dark red and whale like. You may be thinking of dolphin sashimi, which is pale in colour and harvested from 2 month old baby dolphins. But culture etc

Please state exactly where you've seen this. And your argument about dolphin "sashimi" being pink but otherwise being red is ridiculous. But I have to give your crreativity credit for this "2 month old baby dolphin" nonsense. You really know how to heap fake info on top of fake info,

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Very outdated and cruel.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Please show me a link supporting that claim. 

No. Anyone who has ever worked in a school can confirm this. Google it yourself.

Please post a link to a government source supporting your claim. 

No. You don’t get to tell me what source is valid for you.

Dolphin meat is toxic muck, this is not debatable. That is my the government recommends that kids and pregnant women not consume it. Google it yourself.

*Please state exactly where you've seen this. *

No I don’t need to since you already have stated that you have ‘no doubt’ that it is being sold

And your argument about dolphin "sashimi" being pink but otherwise being red is ridiculous. But I have to give your crreativity credit for this "2 month old baby dolphin" nonsense. You really know how to heap fake info on top of fake info,

Again, a quick google could save you from embarrassing yourself

http://dolphinandwhalefoods.com/dolphin-sashimi/

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Oldman, how many Japanese do you know who eat Dolphin meat? Only one small town basically.

Actually Wakayama prefecture stopped serving dolphin meat in school lunches after Greenpeace exposed the cancer causing high levels of Mercury in dolphin meat.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Australian activists have been trying to stop this "tradition" and 60 minutes did an eye opening report. You can watch it here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSxOSexVX4I).

It's honestly terrifying.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Hungry man got to eat, and make money! Whatever it takes!

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

Imagine someone taking a screwdriver and ramming it up your nostrils. How would you like that? Death should be quick and as painless as possible unless you’re bent on continuing the barbaric culture.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

That:s OK because we slaughter other mammals and eat them on a daily basis

Of course it's not OK. Two (or three, or fifty) wrongs do not make a right.

Instead of 'It happens in slaughterhouses, so it's OK to do it in the cove,' try 'It's horrific and disgusting when we see it happen in the cove; we need to stop that, and give really serious thought to what happens out of sight in the slaughterhouses - stop that, too.'

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I can understand the "tradition" argument, but really? were in the 21st century for goodness sake! surly there could be a different approach to the celebration without slaughtering creatures to death.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Ossan-America - Please post a link to a government source supporting your claim. Japan is a country that experienced the Minamata disaster. It is about the last country in the world that could or would hide mercury in food issues.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2362-extreme-mercury-levels-revealed-in-whalemeat/#:~:text=On%20average%2C%20concentrations%20of%20mercury,about%20100%20times%20the%20limit.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2009/09/23/national/mercury-danger-in-dolphin-meat/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/packaged-whale-meat-in-ja/

Really? You trust and believe what governments? LOL.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Its unfair Wakayama people are bullied so much over their indigenous tradition and food customs.

The people of Wakayama have various views. It was actually two politicians from Taiji who acted to get dolphin meet removed from school meals in the prefecture.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Really? Please show me a link supporting that claim. Whale meat was used after WWII because it was a cheap source of protein. In fact it was a GHQ directive. The problem with using it for school lunches is that it is nowhere near cheap. But since you're so sure await your link.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12220065

https://www.weirdasianews.com/2010/09/18/whale-meat-served-18-japanese-grade-schools/

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Let's stop with the fake info. Dolphin meat is not used in school lunches. 

It was:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.voanews.com/archive/toxic-dolphin-meat-served-school-lunches-japan%3famp

Using Google is difficult, especially if your want to constantly make excuses for everything repugnant Japan does.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

absolute low life barbaric pieces of trash!!!

the tradition argument is such a poor excuse...

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Barbaric behaviour. All this 'their country, their rules' nonsense.

An ocean isn't a country, and it isn't the property of humans.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

There are limits.

Surely people of different cultures should be free to decide their own limits.

Otherwise, I'm not sure what happens to hamburgers.

Not sure who people think they are, complaining about what another group of people are eating. Time to learn some tolerance, it's 2020 already.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Killing animals for food is not barbaric, killing for game is.

But if you really think eating animals is barbaric then why don't you stop doing so.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Killing for game is not my bag, but I’m ok with that so long as conducted in a responsible manner - natural resources must be adequately conserved, otherwise such game hunting would cease to be feasible and incomes for people would be lost. Not to mention the loss of biodiversity. Sustainability is the key.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Touche. Great posts @fxgai

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not sure who people think they are, complaining about what another group of people are eating.

I don't think it is just about what is being eaten, it is the way it is being hunted. @Kuruki posted a video link earlier (I'll repost it below too). I'd challenge anyone to watch the scene from 6:30 into it and not feel revulsion at the barbarity of it.

Japanese dolphin hunters see 'their' dolphins as a resource to be exploited. Naturally, this means killed for meat (which is dangerous to consume) or captured for momentary human amusement. But they aren't only 'their' dolphins.

People are starting to question such a wanton squander of marine life, especially when it is such an obviously intelligent one. It all seems so unneccessary and idiotic, wrapped in politics and national pride.

The only saving irony is that the reckless actions of humans may eventually make these animals so inedible that even the people who hunt them won't want to eat them anymore.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSxOSexVX4I

3 ( +3 / -0 )

they aren't only 'their' dolphins.

There are no complaints on those grounds against sustainable fishing (of fish) though.

Some are used to the notion of farming animals, but I can’t see that as overall superior to using natural, wild animals (call them resources) in a sustainable manner. Indeed I would prefer to eat animals that lived a free life, rather than one farmed solely for human consumption. At least that’s how I’d feel about it if I were the one being eaten.

That death is not a pretty sight, granted, but then look at the quality of life before those final instants.

I’m not suggesting that farming be banned or anything, but I think having a diverse array of ways to obtain food is good and acceptable. Solely from an environmental angle, I favour naturally occurring food sources over farmed ones, with the obvious caveat that utilization be sustainable.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

As a lover of all kinds of meat I am being hypocritical, but killing animals for food consumption is cruel. I think that the perceived level of cruelty is based on many factors, including culture. I have seen crabs and prawns packed in plastic wrapping for sale at supermarkets in Japan. Looking at them closely, they are still alive, suffocating away.... Obviously for the sake of freshness. To me, this is down right cruel. But to others, they can only think of these animals as food, not as living creatures, and are more than happy to purchase the product.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

fxgal

I’m not suggesting that farming be banned or anything, but I think having a diverse array of ways to obtain food is good and acceptable. Solely from an environmental angle, I favour naturally occurring food sources over farmed ones, with the obvious caveat that utilization be sustainable.

100% agree. It is possible to keep at least minimally acceptable standards for lifestock farming, although that will make meat more expensive. So be it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sad practice. No need. Barbaric. I was at an izakaya about 25 years ago with a Canadian buddy having a meal and drinks, he ordered a dish that I tried and it tasted terrible and he told me that I had tried porpoise. My late j-wife told me that in school their lunch meal included whale meat and she said it was disgusting and like chewing fish bubble gum.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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