Sea Shepherd, the international direct-action conservationists, report that approximately 250 bottlenose dolphins have been corralled into Taiji’s “infamous killing cove,” featured in the 2009 documentary film “The Cove.” They are currently livestreaming from Taiji here.
Sea Shepherd tweeted at approximately 7:30 p.m. Friday EST (9:30 a.m. Saturday JST) that a rare albino bottlenose dolphin calf has been taken to the Taiji Whale Museum. As of 8:30 p.m. Friday EST (10:30 a.m. Saturday JST), Sea Shepherd claims 14 dolphins have been captured.
Fishermen in Taiji herd dolphins into a small cove by banging iron pipes and then harpooning them. Some are taken alive to be sold to aquariums, says the Japan Times. Japan’s fisheries agency says dolphins do not fall under the jurisdiction of the International Whaling Commission.
Sea Shepherd claims it is the largest pod to be brought into the cove in several years. They also claim approximately 176 dolphins have been killed and 24 more taken for captivity since the new year.
Taiji has a history as a whaling town, and came to international attention after Sea Shepherd worked with producers to create the 2009 documentary “The Cove,” which won an Oscar for best documentary that year.
Sea Shepherd has been busy in 2014: They announced that they found Japanese vessels whaling illegally in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary last Monday, and continue to pursue Japanese ships in the area.