I first came across the Japanese dolphin slaughter last summer in a magazine called Shock (if I recall correctly).
As you can determine from the name, the publications intent is really just to curl your toes. I forget what really drew me to flip through it, but among the first few pages was a picture of a boat (I believe in Taiji) and a couple of guys in wet suits one of whom was swimming in what appeared to be V8. Draw your own conclusions.
And I thought I had a shitty job.
There were little details so I wasn't sure how to go about finding out more about it, but I figured sooner or later I'd come across it again. And sure enough it resurfaced in an e-mail from the Earth Island Institute. They refer to a site named savejapandolphins.org, on which I came across the following blog entry:
The Save Japan Dolphins Coalition is back on the ground in Taiji, Japan. The dolphin hunters appear to be extremely angry, even more so than we have ever seen them in the past. Every action has a reaction. Our success in getting the Okuwa Supermarket chain to ban the sale of dolphin meat must cost the dolphin hunters a great deal of money. No doubt this upsets them greatly. Adding to their frustration is the fact that we are currently working to block the export of the Taiji Twelve to the Dominican Republic.
Apparently the dolphin hunters have seen our recent dolphin capture footage, which is running on YouTube and is being viewed by thousands of people worldwide every day. They have reacted by putting 24 new signs up in the same area from where we shot the compelling video. To further prevent anyone from witnessing the dolphin massacres, they have erected a wall that prevents anyone from entering the tsunami mountain – a favorite location for observing the victim dolphins who are driven into the secret killing cove.
There was a time when the dolphin slaughter took place in the open. Those days are gone forever. As the international exposure grows larger and larger, the circle is getting smaller and smaller for these few dolphin hunters in Taiji. It is only a matter of time before their anachronistic and barbaric practice is abolished forever, and they know it: They once told us that if the world ever learned about the annual dolphin slaughter, they would have to stop it. And the world is finally learning about it.
The 13 dolphin drive boats went out to sea at daybreak today. They did not find any dolphins. It is getting late in the killing season and the dolphins are thinning out. The pickings are – fortunately – slim.
In terms of numbers, we're talking about 23,000 or so killed per year.
I'm a little surprised, considering the amount of attention the Canadian seal hunt gets, that this doesn't get talked about more. Granted, it's less than a tenth of the volume of seals killed, but nonetheless I would think that it would generate more outrage ( I know, I know...if they smelled more donations to come from, they'd give it more attention).
Another good source of information about this, from what I could gather at first glance, is the One Voice Project site. And this link you'll be able to contact, if you're so inclined, the International Marine Animal Trainers Association in order to ask that they cease doing business with the Taiji dolphin hunters.