In what is being heralded as the beginning of the end of the cruel annual slaughter of hundreds of dolphins and pilot whales near Taiji, Japan, aquariums in Japan bowed to pressure from the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).
Last month the Swiss-based international zoo and aquarium group suspended Japan’s zoo and aquarium association. WAZA characterized the Taiji hunt as “cruel,” and decided that none of its members should acquire dolphins from such methods.
In that hunt, dolphins are scared with banging, herded into a cove and speared by fishermen for their meat. The best-looking ones are sold to aquariums.
In a letter to WAZA, the Japanese group, which comprises 89 zoos and 63 aquariums, said it would abide by WAZA’s decision.
“It is our wish at JAZA to remain as a member of WAZA,” chair Kazutoshi Arai said in a letter addressed to WAZA President Lee Ehmke.
WAZA praised JAZA’s decision but stopped short of reinstating their membership, saying it wanted more details “to fully appreciate the implications of today’s decision.”
Officials in Taiji were combative following the decision by Japan’s aquariums and vowed to continue their annual drive hunts and slaughter.
Awesome Ocean covered the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA) fight against the Taiji hunt last October. The AMMPA was setting the record straight against activists claims that dolphins captured in Taiji hunts were in aquarium facilities in the U.S. They’re not. The Marine Mammal Protection Act prevents the use of these dolphins in American facilities due to unsustainable and inhumane collection methods.
We join with others and condemn this barbaric slaughter and hope this week’s decision by Japan’s aquariums to stop collecting dolphins from the Taiji hunts.
For the full story, check out ABC News.