Taiji: Small town, Big secret

Along the idyllic coastline of Taiji, Japan, there is a cove which hosts one of the most unknown, inhumane animal slaughters. Every year, from September to April, dolphins are found, manipulated, and either taken for a torturous life of captivity, or butchered for their Mercury poisoned meat.
Every morning, at sunrise, a dozen fishermen set out in their ‘banger’ boats, in the hope of finding a pod of dolphins – ranging from the traditional Bottlenose Dolphins to the less common Striped Dolphins. Once a pod is located, the fishermen exploit the dolphin’s primary sense – sound. They build a “wall” of sound, which directs them to where they are netted into the holocaust venue – the cove.
 the blood of the affectionate, magnificent mammals, turns the ocean red – indicating a “red cove” day.
Stressed, starved, and scared, the dolphins huddle together in attempt to protect their family, while trainers from marine parks around the world examine them by measuring and comparing, in attempt to find the dolphin which will generate the most money. Those who don’t live up to the standards of the animal abusing organisations are butchered and the blood of the affectionate, magnificent mammals, turns the ocean red – indicating a “red cove” day. This ends the horrendous ordeal the dolphins have suffered, and their meat is then taken to the butcher house to be prepared for selling in Japan.
The dolphin drive hunts are considered to be a part of the Japanese culture, however, the documentary “The Cove”, proves that a lot of the Japanese population are unaware of the hunts. Half of the time, they are not aware that they are even purchasing dolphin meat, as it is often put on the market as expensive whale meat, when in actual fact it is dolphin meat which contains dangerously high levels of Mercury. This results in a lot of mercury poisoning within the population, which can harm the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs and immune system. The exposure of the high levels of mercury from the dolphin meat is a reason in itself why the dolphin hunts should cease.
Although the awareness of the slaughter is increasing across the globe, there was still 631 of the innocent, intellectual mammals slaughtered and 118 taken for captivity in 2015. By buying a ticket to a dolphin show, you are giving the fishermen fuel to continue this massacre, as they can secure up to £150,000 for a dolphin. Be a voice for the voiceless and say no to captivity. End this holocaust. Let the dolphins live in liberty, after all, “All good things are wild and free.”
“All good things are wild and free.”
By Bethany Alexander