If you follow the Dolphin Project you have likely heard of the annual hunt at Taiji, here at Ocean Helper we do our best to keep up to date on blue cove days and red cove days as often as we can and as heartbreaking as it is.
What is the Taiji Hunt?
Each year on the 1st of September in Japan the "dolphin drive" begins. Hunters will go out for the next 9 months to drive dolphins into the cove in Taiji. A range of dolphins are targeted including bottlenose dolphins, melon-headed whales, rough-toothed dolphins and false killer whales.
There is a quota set for how many dolphins can be 'taken' from the ocean but they do not specified how many will be captured for captivity or killed for their meat. This quota has stayed roughly the same each year since 2010, with around 2,000 dolphins destined to be 'taken' from their home. See the infographic below from the Dolphin Project for the 2020/2021 season quota:
What happens to the dolphins?
The hunters will lookout for a pod of dolphins and once they have spotted their target they create a lot of noise to form an underwater curtain of noise which disorientates the dolphins which they then drive together towards the shore. Once the whole pod has been herded the younger ones may be allowed to return to the open ocean, traumatised and stressed, whilst the rest are either slaughtered for their meat or selected for captivity in dolphinariums.
There are dangers to consuming dolphin meat, as studies have found that they contain much higher levels of heavy metals. Different heavy metals can have different negative effects on the human body, ranging from diarrhoea and vomiting to memory loss and immune system damage.
What can we do to help?
The best way that we can all do our part to put an end to these vicious dolphin hunts is through raising awareness. There are still many people in Japan that are unaware of how these hunts operate and they don't have the full picture on the Taiji drives.
One of the best ways to get more information on these hunts is through the Dolphin Project who work tirelessly to bring the facts to the public. Support them and share their information on their website here.
The Dolphin Project
Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project is a cause that is close to our hearts, the work they do is fantastic. The founder of the Dolphin Project is Ric O'Barry, he was originally employed by the Miami Seaquarium for 10 years as a dolphin trainer. But, in the 48 years since he has fought against that very industry. He has rescued and rehabilitated dolphins around the world and exposes the horrors of dolphins hunting, slaughter and capture. They also work hard to improve dolphin conservation around the world, including the fight against the Taiji dolphin hunt.
Read more on their website here and if you want to support the work they do then please consider making a donation on their website.
During March 2021 we are donating 10% of sales to the Dolphin Project to support their incredible work!
Dolphin Awareness Bracelets
We have the perfect offer for all you dolphin lovers! These Dolphin Awareness Bracelets come as a pair, one in a slightly larger size and the other slightly smaller making them perfect for couples of parents and children.
They are made from leather with metal pendants attached and a clasp to secure them on your wrist. The hemp rope is dyed in red for the smaller bracelet and blue for the larger one.
Save $15 when you buy this pair together PLUS 10% of gross profits are go to incredible marine conservation charities! So your purchase will make a difference.