Outrage after sea turns red in mass dolphin hunt as hundreds lured to death

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A mass dolphin hunt that sees hundreds of species lured into shallow waters as part of a killing spree has commenced.

Activists have marched over to the Japanese Embassy in Manila in a bid to stop the brutal attacks which turns the sea red.

The Taiji dolphin hunt hit headlines after the film The Cove exposed the deadly practice used to capture dolphins for human consumption and entertainment.

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Harrowing footage was watched across the globe and showed hundreds of the animals being knifed.

The yearly pursuit sees fishermen chase pods of dolphins by banging metal poles against their boats to confuse them. The animals are either slaughtered or sold to aquariums and attractions.

Although the hunts are carried out across Japan, Taiji is particularly known because fishermen can catch entire pods, which has a major impact on the population.

Yoshifumi Kai, of Taiji’s fisheries cooperative, previously told The Guardian: “We’ve mostly stayed silent since The Cove, and that’s why our point of view was never put across in the media.

"Activists say we are concealing something because we know that what we are doing is immoral, but that’s nonsense.

“You never see cattle or other animals being slaughtered in public. It’s not something you do out in the open.”

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Authorities in Japan have continuously defended the six-month hunt and said the practice allows the community to thrive.

Mayor Kazutaka Sangen previously said: “Foreign activists ask us why we kill these cute animals, but we see them as a vital source of food, even now.

“When I was a boy, a third of the town would turn out to greet a whale being brought back to shore, because they were desperate to eat its meat. We are grateful to the whales – we want Westerners to understand that.”

In the year 2000, as many as 2,077 dolphins were caught by the fisherman, reports Al Jazeera.

In earlier years, around 1,700 were captured on average in one season, but the amount has since declined.

An investigation by The Dolphin Project revealed that at least 563 dolphins were captured in Taiji during the 2021-22 season.

According to the research, 498 of the animals were killed for meat, while 65 were sold to aquariums.

The event commenced today (September 1) and usually ends on March 1. The annual Government quota for hunters to meet is listed at 1,849.

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