From Keiko Conservation Japan team member Tracie during her time with our friends at Ric 'O Barry's Dolphin Project.
"For the past 2 months, I volunteered with Dolphin Project as a cove monitor in Taiji, Japan. I helped document, expose and livestream the cruelty inflicted upon dolphins both wild and captive. In this time, I witnessed some of the most heartbreaking things I have ever seen… young Risso’s dolphins being ripped away from their mothers, thrashing while they were taken to be dumped out at sea because they were too small to be counted towards the hunting quota… Bottlenose and rough toothed dolphins spyhop in panic and paralyzed by stress as their family members got captured… Primarily in the name of captivity. My work on this issue is far from done. Over the next few days, I will be sharing some of my photos from my first time in Taiji.
Although these dolphin hunts are often put under the spotlight in Western countries, it is an extremely miniscule part of the Japanese population that is involved in them. Being half Japanese and heavily raised in the culture and country myself, it greatly saddens me that dolphins and whales are not protected here. There is still so much to be done and so much awareness to be raised. So many Japanese people still do not know these hunts exist in their own country, as much of the media stays quiet about it here. The greatest change is when you work with people, not against them.
Drive hunts are fueled by the captivity industry. Buyers from marine parks and aquariums all around the world buy wild-caught dolphins from Taiji. It is only when people stop buying tickets to see captive dolphins that the demand for the hunts will end. Please follow and support the work of @dolphin_project if you’re not already!"