Where can a person buy a dolphin

Despite international protests, the hunt for dolphins in Japan never ends. Every year Japanese fishermen kill thousands of dolphins and other small whales in drive hunts. In this type of hunting, groups of dolphins are encircled by boats and driven into a bay or harbor, where they are then captured with nets and downright slaughtered. Some animals are slaughtered lively selected for trade in the lucrative zoo and aquarium industry.

While the hunt for large whales such as minke whale, fin whale and humpback whale is regulated by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and an international whaling ban for commercial purposes has been in force since 1986, there is no organization for small whales, which include all species of dolphins the worldwide catching and killing of animals is prohibited.

It is estimated that more than 400,000 dolphins, porpoises and other small whales have been killed in Japanese coastal waters over the past two decades. The fishermen fall victim to all species that occur off Japan, including striped and spotted dolphins, round-headed dolphins, pilot whales and killer whales as well as bottlenose dolphins.

The "Drive-Hunts" are one of the most cruel hunting practices and are also carried out in Europe on the Faroe Islands. As soon as the fishermen spot a group of dolphins, they hold metal rods in the water and hit them with hammers. The noise caused by this irritates and frightens the animals, so that it is easy for the fishermen to drive them into a bay on the coast.

There is no longer any escape for the dolphins. Access to the sea is blocked with nets, and the animals are brutally killed with knives, iron hooks and lances. Ropes are tied around the tail fins of animals, some of which are still alive, in order to pull them ashore or onto the boat. Then they are transported to the slaughterhouse for cutting.

Contaminated dolphin meat

The meat of the small whales is sold in the Japanese market. Since dolphin meat is considered inferior, it is often declared as whale meat, with which a higher price can be achieved. Due to the heavy pollution of the coastal waters with environmental toxins, pollutants accumulate above all in the fat layer under the skin and in the organs of the animals. During studies by scientists, mercury levels were found that exceeded the permissible limit values ​​by up to 1,600 times. The effects on the animals are tragic, but the consumption of meat also represents an enormous health risk for humans.

Dolphins serve as a scapegoat and basis of legitimation for the collapsed fish stocks. The Japanese government tacitly agrees to the driven hunts and tries to divert attention from its misguided fisheries policy as the real cause. Among other things, the misconception was spread in some communities that the small whales were responsible for the shrinking yellowfin tuna population. As a result, regular community hunts were carried out by various coastal communities and hundreds of bottlenose dolphins, Pacific white-sided dolphins, killer whales and round-headed dolphins were slaughtered. In fact, yellowfin tuna are only consumed by the killer whale and not by other species.

Dolphinariums support dolphin hunting

Since the 1980s, the Japanese fishing fleet has been cooperating with amusement parks around the world that capture dolphins. The dolphinariums thus support this hunt. At the beginning of the collaboration, Sea World (USA) was the main driving force behind the hunt for killer whales in Japan. Today, Asian dolphinariums in particular get their animals from the "drive fishery". The dolphinariums pay up to 100,000 US dollars per animal.

There has been evidence that several bottlenose dolphins have been imported into Turkey from Japan in the past. They should be used there for therapeutic purposes. Scientifically tenable evidence that a therapy with the popular figures made famous by "Flipper" works better than other therapies has not yet been produced. Rather, they hide the economic interests of the dolphinarium operators.

Both the fishing methods and the keeping conditions in captivity can drastically reduce the life expectancy of a dolphin. Some animals die during the hunt, others even before they have even reached the dolphinarium. For those who arrive alive, the conditions in the dolphinariums are unacceptable. Research has shown that death rates are particularly high in the first five days of captivity.

We asked the Japanese embassy to end the brutal dolphin hunts. The killing and suffering of thousands of animals are unacceptable from our point of view. In addition, wild whale and dolphin populations are threatened by these wild catches. The obvious entanglements in the amusement parks and dolphinariums are evidence that animal welfare is being sacrificed to economic interests.

His Excellency Mr. Takeshi Yagi
Hiroshimastraße 6
10785 Berlin
Email: info (at) bo.mofa.go.jp