As every year at the beginning of August, Japan announced the quota of dolphins – 1,900 specimens – that will be slaughtered in the Taiji bay during the 2021/2022 hunting season. Some of them will not be cut in pieces for supermarkets, but will be sold for their weight in gold to dolphinaria and water parks around the world, complicit in this barbarism as well as the paying public.

A dolphin caught in Taiji Bay. Credit: Dolphin Project / LIA / Facebook

In just under a month, the the first of September, the coasts of the Japan will return to be tinged with blood red, that of dolphins that will come barbarously killed at the “bay of death” from Taiji, in Wakayama Prefecture. The Land of the Rising Sun has in fact just announced the quota of children cetaceans odontoceti to be captured for the 2021/2022 season, equal to 1,849 specimens, one hundred more than those planned for the 2020/2021 hunting season. The majority of these marine mammals will be dragged under a tent and massacred with blows knife, without mercy, to make slices to sell at the supermarket. Some will come instead selected to be sold – at very high prices – to water parks and there dolphins of all the world. The specimens will be torn from their own families, deprived of the freedom and of dignity, condemned to live for the rest of their lives locked up in skimpy tubs often lacking the minimum conditions of “well-being”, treated as pagliacci for i selfie they applause of the paying public, complicit in this unbearable castle of atrocities.

As every year, the Japanese authorities have precisely indicated the numbers of the individual species to be taken. The one most affected will be there as always striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba), a small pelagic dolphin reaching 2.5 meters in length, the most common in the Mediterranean Sea. Japanese hunters will be able to kill up to 450. Since the species does not adapt well to the captivity, only blades will be provided for striped dolphins. The second species that will have the most casualties will be the peponocephalus (Peponocephala electra), a dolphin that lives in tropical waters. Up to 300 can be killed in Taiji Bay, one hundred more than the quota set for last season. Last year 35 peponocephalus were tied for caudal fins and dragged like bouquets of flowers under the awnings of death. The hunters mercilessly killed the young and the pregnant females. Another particularly affected species will be the tursiope (Tursiops truncatus), the quintessential dolphin that is often seen in water parks and aquariums. Since the bottlenose dolphin is adaptable to captivity, the Japanese will not kill these animals, but will catch them for resell them at bear’s weight. Up to 298 specimens can be plucked from the ocean. The other species involved in the slaughter are there stenella maculata pantropicale (Stenella attenuata), with an expected quota of 280 specimens; the clip (Grampus griseus), with 251 specimens that can be captured or slaughtered (some will be sold to dolphins such as bottlenose dolphins); 101 Gray’s pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus), large delphinids reaching 6 meters in length; 100 slanting-toothed lagenorinks (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens), also partly “transferable” to dolphinaria; 49 pseudorch (Pseudorca crassidens), large predators similar to the more famous killer whales that can reach 6 meters in length; and 20 walls (Steno bredanensis), dolphins reaching 2.4 meters in length.

As always, there will be the people watching over Taiji Bay activists of the non-profit organization Dolphin Project, for years committed to documenting – not without difficulty and obstruction by the Japanese authorities – the atrocities that are taking place there. The volunteer team is led by Rick’o Barry, former repentant dolphin trainer who was among the protagonists of the documentary film “The Cove“. Louie Psihoyos’ film won the Oscar award in 2010 and showed for the first time to the whole world the cruelty and suffering inflicted on cetaceans dragged into the infamous bay of death. Japan never cared about international pressure on cetacean massacres; from 1 July 2019, after the abandonment of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), has also resumed commercial whaling in its territorial waters, after decades of slaughter based on the excuse of “scientific research”.

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