Recent reports from Taiji reveal the tragic chase, capture and slaughter of at least two separate small pods of bottlenose dolphins on November 10th. Of these driven and captured, five dolphins were selected alive for aquaria shortly after the herding occurred, while three were reportedly released back into the ocean. The remaining 8-10 dolphins were taken under cover of the tarpaulins and slaughtered.
The last reported capture and round-up of a large number of bottlenose dolphins occurred on September 19th , where at least 50 dolphins were selected alive for captive programs after releasing the remaining pod of 30 or so individuals to the ocean the following day. In the past, the round-up and capture of large numbers of bottlenose dolphins has met international condemnation.
With this recent hunt, since the start of the season on September 1st, at least 250 dolphins have been driven into the cove in Taiji, Japan. Of this total, at least 150 have been slaughtered, and 57 have been taken alive into captivity. The drive hunts may run into the month of April (for pilot whales), and therefore not even nearing the halfway point for an already brutal season.
Hunting quotas have been set for the 2015-16 season and allow for 1,873 dolphins to be taken in the drive hunts in Taiji alone. Of this total, over 900 bottlenose and striped dolphins may be killed, along with hundreds of other spotted, Risso’s, Pacific white-sided dolphins, false killer whales, and short-finned pilot whales. The town of Futo has been given a quota of 137 dolphins.
During the 2014-15 season, nearly 800 dolphins were killed in the drive hunts. An additional 80 individuals were selected alive from the hunts for captivity. The year prior during the 2013-14 hunt season, official figures indicate that at least 834 dolphins were killed and 158 dolphins taken alive into captivity. Although Futo has not conducted a hunt since 2004, its quota is still active and can be resumed at any time.