Japanese aquariums vote to stop buying Taiji dolphins

Discussion in 'Animal Welfare' started by ThirdTerm, May 21, 2015.

  1. ThirdTerm

    ThirdTerm Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:

    Aquariums in Japan have voted to stop buying live dolphins from the town of Taiji, where the annual slaughter of hundreds of cetaceans has drawn widespread condemnation, after being threatened with expulsion from the world’s leading zoo organisation.

    The Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (Jaza) voted to stay part of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (Waza) on Wednesday, a move that in effect ends the procurement of Taiji dolphins by aquariums and sea parks in Japan.

    Swiss-based Waza suspended its Japanese members on 22 April after they ignored requests to stop acquiring Taiji dolphins, almost all of them bottlenoses. The suspension came soon after the Guardian revealed that Waza had been targeted in a court action launched by Australia for Dolphins. The group accused it of being complicit in the infamous hunts by failing to take decisive action against Japanese aquariums.

    Australia for Dolphins described Wednesday’s vote as “the beginning of the end of dolphin hunting”. “We are absolutely delighted to hear Japan’s peak zoo body has voted to uphold international animal welfare standards and stop purchasing Taiji dolphins,” Sarah Lucas, the chief executive, said.

    “This momentous decision marks the beginning of the end for dolphin hunting in Japan. The capture of live dolphins, which sell for up to $100,000, is the motivation for the brutal dolphin hunts in Taiji. This decision, which stops Japanese aquariums demanding more Taiji dolphins, is a huge blow to the hunts.

    “Jaza aquariums provide up to 40% of total demand for live dolphins from Taiji. So, as of today, the market for Taiji dolphins could be nearly cut in half. Without demand, the hunts won’t continue. It is the first major step towards ending the Taiji dolphin hunts once and for all.”


    Australia for Dolphins filed a lawsuit against the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (Waza) for being complicit in the acquisition of Taiji dolphins by Japanese aquariums and Waza pressured its Japanese branch Jaza to disassociate itself from the dolphin hunts in Taiji. Jaza decided to stop the procurement of bottlenose dolphins from Taiji and it will focus on expanding domestic breeding programmes from now on. I'm not familiar with Australia for Dolphins but its sister group Sea Shepherd has been accused of anti-Japanese racism. It has been pointed out that there is a worrying undercurrent of anti-Asian racism that permeates the Sea Shepherd campaign which connects genuine environmental concerns to nationalism and the racism that accompanies it. I'm not supporting the slaughter of dolphins as a cultural tradition but environmental activists often resort to questionable or violent methods to get their points across.


Share This Page