The video shows blood red waters as a team of divers and fishermen herd and kill 32 striped dolphins in a cove for an annual Japanese dolphin hunt. The hunters, who attempted to hide their actions underneath canopied tarps, chased the pod of dolphins into the cove on fishing boats, where they then drew nets across the mouth, trapping the animals inside. According to the Daily Mail, the video was captured in February 2019 by Dolphin Project, which campaigns to end the annual Taiji hunts.
The hunters began by chasing the sea creatures into the cove by lowering metal poles into the water and then banging on them with hammers, which creates a “wall of sound” that disorients the dolphins, before trapping them inside with a net.
The animals were then ushered towards the back of the cove, where the hunters had suspended large beige tarps over the water to shield themselves from photographers as they began to slaughter the 32 striped dolphins.
Upset dolphins are seen throwing themselves against the walls of the trap, in a desperate attempt to escape their fate.
Once the pod are underneath the tarpaulin, the divers go into the water to catch the animals.
The drone that filmed the video captured at least one severely injured dolphin escaping the tarpaulin and bleeding heavily into the open water of the cove.
This animal was then tethered to the side of a boat before being dragged back underneath the canopy for the slaughter to resume.
Furious members of the public took to Twitter to express their opinions on the horrific spectacle.
One user wrote: “Absolutely appalling. World should ban this immediately.”
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In the 2018/19 hunting season, a total of 234 dolphins were slaughtered in Taiji, which is just over half of the Japanese government’s quota of 450.
Between September to March, the course of the whole season, 556 dolphins were killed and a further 241 were captured at this particular cove.
While the number has reduced to just a quarter of what it was 20 years ago, campaigners are calling for the hunt to be completely stopped.
Japan decided to restart commercial whaling this year, regardless of the decrease in popularity of dolphin and whale products and the backlash that was received worldwide.
Since hunting resumed in July, it is unsure of how many whales have been caught by Japanese fishermen.