Ambassador Kennedy tweets concern over Taiji dolphin hunt.
(CNN.co.jp / January 19, 2014) The annual hunting of dolphins at Taiji Cove in Wakayama again trigger condemnation from conservationists worldwide. Caroline Kennedy, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, tweeted her concern over the custom.
"Deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing," she said. The U.S. government "opposes drive hunt fisheries."
Also, The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has been making a detailed report since Jan. 17 by interactive graphics and twitter on cruel acts such as selection process reporting “bottlenose dolphins had been driven into Taiji’s cove.” and warned that the dolphins would "face a violent and stressful captive selection process. Babies and mothers will be torn from each other's sides as some are taken for captivity, some are killed, and others are driven back out to sea to fend for themselves."
Dolphin drive hunting is the traditional fishing method to capture a herd of dolphins by driving them into coves.
A 2009 Oscar-nominated documentary film, "The Cove," brought the issue of dolphin hunting in Taiji to the fore with bloody scenes of dolphin slaughter and the practice draw fierce criticism.
Local officials have previously defended hunting of dolphins in Taiji, as traditional practice and condemned the film as distorted, biased and unfair to the fishermen. “Taiji dolphin fishermen are just conducting a legal fishing activity in their traditional way in full accordance with regulations and rules under the supervision of both the national and the prefectural governments. Therefore, we believe there are no reasons to criticize the Taiji dolphin fishery."
Celebrities joined in the condemnation of the latest Taiji dolphin hunt via Twitter. Former Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum, who works with the Dolphin Project, posted in support of Kennedy's message, saying he had been to Taiji himself. "You could be a world hero if you can put pressure to stop the cruel slaughter in Taiji," he said to Kennedy.
Actress Kirstie Alley tweeted, "HUNDREDS of DOLPHINS awaiting SLAUGHTER in #THECOVE ... JAPAN, STOP THIS HORROR!!"