Japanese whalers may or may not have logged any kills yet this season in the Southern Ocean, but dolphin hunters operating out of Taiji, Japan, reportedly made up for lost time after a long period of inactivity.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Save Japan Dolphins (of Earth Island Institute) report that the slaughter resumed today after a 17-day lull. Sea Shepherd activists report that hunters killed an estimated 15 bottlenose dolphins and captured seven.
Volunteers from Save Japan Dolphins reported that the number of dolphins herded into the infamous killing cove numbered between 18-25. The group did not list a kill tally.
In today's blog post for Save Japan Dolphins, volunteers Tim and Carrie Burns commented that trainers in support of the captive-dolphin industry were present, hand-picking animals to be sold to marine parks while the slaughter was in progress. They described the scene as "horrific."
Sea Shepherd estimates that about 540 dolphins have been killed this season, and another 140 have been captured. The group asks that people opposed to the hunts call or write officials mentioned on this website link. Save Japan Dolphins advises opponents to visit this link and follow instructions. Opponents also are advised to complain directly to the Dolphin Base in Japan via email.
-- Pete Thomas
Video of the dolphin capture is courtesy of Save Japan Dolphins