Dolphins trapped in the killing cove at Taiji in Japan risk being slaughtered in what can only be described as a bloodbath.
In a coastal village in Japan between September and March, dolphins and pilot whales are herded into a quiet cove. Fishermen hold large poles underwater and bang them with hammers to create a wall of sound that disorientates the animals and causes them to swim toward the shore. Here, mothers and babies are separated by ropes, some dolphins are tied to boats, some become injured or break their pectoral fins in the watery panic, some die from stress or exhaustion.
The bewildered animals are kept enclosed by nets overnight, and as the sun rises on the cove, the sea turns red as ‘drive fishermen’ pierce the dolphins and whales with long spears. Some fishermen use hooks to haul live dolphins into the boats where their throats are slashed.
This modern-day atrocity has also been captured on film and is the subject of the Academy Award winning documentary ‘The Cove’. Yet worldwide condemnation has yet to convince the Japanese government that this brutal butchering should end.