The hunting season in Japan has finally begun; it will last from September to February. The Japanese Fisheries Agency has authorized their fishermen to kill or capture almost 16,000 cetaceans every year. In Taiji, fishermen have been granted a quota of 1,749 dolphins. This includes 101 short-finned pilot whales. However, a video showing the behavior of dolphins before they get killed will surely melt your hearts.
|Photo Credit: Daily Mail|
Unilad, a British Internet media company and website owned by LADbible Group, reported that a video circulating on the internet shows a group of pilot whales swimming in a circle together to comfort each other before hunters slaughter or take them into captivity. According to US charity Dolphin Project, they have been rubbing against each other for reassurance and comfort. “Exhausted and traumatized, the family surfaced and spy hopped as they caught their breath. Once the nets were dropped and their fate was sealed, they swam in a tight circle, always touching one another. Their beautiful matriarch could be also be seen swimming around them, always rubbing up against members of her family,” it said.
|Photo Credit: @Dolphin_Project on Twitter (via Unilad)|
It was reported that the dolphins were manipulated by a ‘wall of sound’ to bring them into the Cove. It was used to confuse them. Before they could even get away, the entrance was closed off with nets. The hunters held eight pilot whales in captivity while the rest were slaughtered. According to an article by the Daily Mail, a British daily middle-market newspaper published in London in a tabloid format, among the dead was the mother who spent the night comforting her brood.
|Photo Credit: @Dolphin_Project on Twitter (via Daily Mail)|
According to witnesses, the dolphins that were killed last "gave the least amount of struggle… and made us wonder if they had just given in to their fate." This has caused massive criticism from the international community. However, Japan resumed its practice of commercial whaling at the start of this year. As of now, the number of marine animals slaughtered since hunting resumed is still unclear.