It would be silly not to mention that dolphins are suffering while being caught, killed, or sent to aquariums/dolphinariums. When caught, dolphins were initially killed by slitting their throat, but this method of slaughter has been banned by the government. Currently, they are killed by driving a metal pin into the neck of the dolphin. It has been proven by plenty of studies that cetaceans, including dolphins, suffer in captivity, are separated from their families, are forced to perform for food, and experience extreme stress in tiny tanks.
Here are certain facts about dolphin hunts:
“The Japanese hunts are the biggest single slaughter of whales and dolphins in the world involving drive and hand-held harpoon hunts. It has been documented that some dolphins have taken more than thirty minutes to die.
The dolphin hunters make approximately $32,000 USD for each live dolphin they capture. These figures can skyrocket from $32,000 USD up to $250,000 USD for a trained captive dolphin.
In the wild, dolphins can live into their 40s and 50s―some have been documented to be more than 90 years old. But more than 80 percent of captive dolphins whose ages could be determined died before they turned 20.”
Dolphins that are caught during the Taiji dolphin drive hunt - and not only - die oftentimes due to shock, injuries, and stress. Many of them also die during transportation to the entertainment facilities.
Taiji dolphin drive hunt and other types of dolphin hunting raise a lot of concerns from the public and animal rights activists. The practice itself is considered cruel, especially after the public witnessed the released footage from the activists. A lot of campaigns and projects have been initiated to raise awareness about the tormenting practice of catching and killing dolphins.
Slaughtering dolphins is leading to a lot of animal and environmental issues. The ocean ecosystem has a balanced network of symbiotic life, each species of aquatic animals is dependent on one another, and so removing large predators especially can affect and even destroy the ocean balance and marine health. Unlike some other aquatic animals, dolphins are among the marine mammals, whose reproduction process is slow, which makes it difficult to restore the population. Additionally, consuming dolphin meat has raised a lot of serious health concerns because of the toxins stored in the fatty tissue of these animals and mercury contamination.
At present, the Taiji dolphin hunt is not prohibited in the country. There are certain ways to urge the public and the government to end this senseless practice of killing dolphins for human needs. Refrain from visiting aquariums/dolphinariums/circuses and any shows that involve the cruel treatment of dolphins in the field of entertainment. Education is another important step to spread awareness about the importance to end the exploitation of animals.