Dolphin Hunting, part two – separating fact from fiction

Dolphin Hunting: Fact versus Fiction

A veil of myths covers the murky industry of dolphin hunting, but thinly. The documentary has debunked them.

Myth 1: Drive Hunts are a tradition

Japanese drive hunters describe dolphin killing as a time-honored tradition to stem hostile reactions. In truth, the practice started as recently as 1969, when fishermen told the public that they were catching the creatures to put in a museum.

Drive hunting is a multi-million dollar industry. Anyone can see that the process is about cash, not culture.

Myth 2: Stopping dolphin hunts will ruin the economy

Fishermen say that drive hunts are an important financial source for them. Hunting proponents stress that it would hurt the economy. In reality, only a few fishermen profit from it.

Myth 3: Hunting is humane

Drive hunters have townsfolk believe that the killing of dolphins is humane and quick. Nothing could be further from the truth. They smash the dolphins’ spinal cords to make them immobile during the process.

Myth 4: People rely on dolphins for food

There is no doubt that dolphin meat is popular. That said, ask a Japanese person on the street if he eats dolphin meat regularly, and he is likely to stare blankly at you. There are many packets of unsold dolphin meat in Taiji warehouses.

Myth 5: It is essential for conservation

Hunters tell the public that that it is crucial to capture dolphins for their conservation in dolphinariums. The truth is that being in a dolphinarium gives a dolphin stress rather than peace.

The Documentary’s Message

As The Cove emphasizes, there is no justifiable reason for drive hunting. No matter how advocates explain it, it will still appear as a ruthless exploitation of nature.

The amount of unsold dolphin meat shows that it is an impractical, unnecessary and cruel process. The high mercury levels in the meat spoil its taste. Mercury makes the meat unpopular among some consumers. There is no need to kill dolphins if there is little money to be made from selling their meat.

If livelihood is a concern, there are other ways to make one. Perhaps the fishermen who engage in drive hunting need to be taught alternative ways of making a living. Government institutions can introduce programs to develop their skills.

Luring dolphins into a cove are beneficial for dolphins if it is done to protect them for a time. They must always be released into the wild later.

The Cove has made viewers aware of the appalling fate of the quirky bottlenose dolphins at Taiji. It calls people to preserve these friendly creatures before they disappear forever. Dolphin hunts, while still prevalent, are no longer a mystery.

Thanks to Roseville Tow Truck Company for sponsoring this site, helping us to get to the bottom of this serious issue and helping enable us to tell the story.