Its a good moment in the history of conservation as Japanese Aquariums have agreed to stop taking dolphins in from Taiji drives fisheries. Drive fishing basically translates to using boats to force dolphins into a bay where they are trapped with nets and either killed for their meat or sold to aquariums.
If the eye-opening documentary, The Cove, has taught us anything, it is that life in captivity is unnatural for these free-spirited, incredibly intelligent sea creatures. Free Willy may have been a box office hit but across the world but in my opinion, it increased the number of tickets sold at Sea World as opposed to the number of sea-life released back into the ocean.
According to the Dolphin Project, 751 dolphins were slaughtered at Taiji during the last season, which ran from September 2014 to March 2015. Another 80 were kept for captivity, while 251 were released. Last month, WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aqariums) took a strong stance against this by suspending JAZA's (Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums) license on grounds of violation of its code of ethics on animal welfare. Kudos to WAZA for successfully giving a #Voice2theVoiceless!
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Japanese aquariums have narrowly avoided being thrown out of the global industry body by agreeing to stop buying dolphins caught in the controversial Taiji hunt. Graphic images of slaughtered dolphins in red pools of blood attracted worldwide attention when Taiji was featured in the Academy Award-winning 2009 film "The Cove." Every year, hunters descend on the town in Wakayama Prefecture, where they're licensed to kill nearly 2,000 and dolphins and porpoises from seven different species. Japan defends the practice as being in accordance with local customs.