CNN is reporting that Japanese aquariums have finally agreed to stop taking dolphins hunted at Taiji, but only due to international pressure after the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) suspended the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) for violating its code of ethics on animal welfare:
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.
Most are killed for their meat, but a “small proportion” are caught for live sales to aquariums worldwide, according to the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).
I am really glad to see the movie The Cove has had a major impact on such a horrible act of violence against these innocent animals and essentially for no good reason.
With more international pressure hopefully Taiji will come to the realization their so-called tradition is no better than other ostensible traditions like forced genital mutilation in Africa. Not that these acts are in any way, shape, or form are even remotely similar. That is not the point.
I mention this because the mere fact that those who perpetrate both acts claim tradition as the backdrop framing their argument. Just because something is tradition does not make it right.
In this case, Taiji is completely in the wrong about the history of their dolphin hunting tradition. The sooner they stop hunting dolphins the better.