Save baby, young, mother dolphins! ~ We request a provision on capture by drive hunting ~

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We request Wakayama Prefecture to establish a provision on the capture and killing of dolphins by drive hunting.

1. Introduction

I am Mineto Meguro, the representative of Nonprofit Organization Animal Liberator.
Animal Liberator is an organization aiming to respect the freedom and dignity of animals, acquire their rights and liberate them.

Our activities

Animal Liberator has conducted activities focusing mainly on the following 3 animal-using fields:
(1) Zoo and aquarium issues
(2) Livestock issues and
(3) wild animal issues

Currently, Animal Liberator is based near Taiji Town in Wakayama Prefecture and have carried out field surveys.
And I’m writing a book to overview the entire picture of dolphin industry.
Dolphin drive hunting relates to (1) zoo and aquarium issues and (3) wild animal issues.

2. Dolphin drive hunting

About dolphin drive hunting
Japan has killed and sold the largest number of dolphins in the world.

Dolphins killed are sold for meat around Taiji Town in Wakayama, in Fukuoka and Osaka.

And live dolphins are sold to the aquariums in foreign countries such as China as well as in Japan.

Living creature sale of dolphins is a huge moneymaker, and it is the main purpose of dolphin hunting.

It is said that dolphin drive hunting in Taiji Town is a traditional culture, but in fact the hunting started in 1969.

Its purpose is to capture dolphins who do their performance in shows in Taiji Whale Museum opened in the same year.

And in 1973, dolphins were captured for the first time.

Whaling was certainly a traditional culture in Taiji Town, but dolphin drive hunting was not.
A high-speed fishing boat equipped with a high-power engine cannot be tradition, and the driving method and the tools for driving hunting and slaughter have been originally used in Shizuoka Prefecture and Denmark.

While it is asserted that Japanese whaling is a traditional culture (limited to harpoon whaling and net whaling), there is also a traditional culture that people has protected whales and dolphins and coexisted with them in Japan.
We want to pride ourselves that only the traditional culture to protect them is a Japanese traditional culture.

Aquarium and dolphin drive hunting

The aquariums all over the world need obedient female dolphins with beautiful skin in their early teens.

This is because they look good and are easy to be trained.
Furthermore, aquariums can make them to give birth to children and get commercial creatures for free in the future.

Dolphin trainers and aquarium officials hunt dolphins jointly with dolphin hunters.

Young dolphins captured are confined, and trained using hunger by dolphin trainers to entertain humans until the day they die.

Dolphins who were seriously damaged physically and mentally by drive hunting and confined in aquariums have suffered from abnormal behavior, an expression of mental crisis.

List of abnormal behavior in dolphins
 (Japanese only)

Nursery pod

A group of dolphins is called “pod.”
A pod consists of families, relatives and members, and its scales and functions of pod vary from a pod containing a few dolphins to a pod containing thousands of dolphins. 

There are baby and young dolphins in a pod.
Especially, a nursery pod (a group of family caring for children) is a child-raising pod for baby, young, mother and female dolphins to support them.

Mother dolphins raise their babies and children snuggling up to them.

The female dolphins who support mother dolphins teach them inexperienced in childbirth and child-raising and help them.

And sometimes, when a child of another species of dolphin or whale get lost, the dolphins in a nursery pod raise him/her with their children.

They are the same as human.

Dolphin drive hunting targets baby, young and female dolphins

Baby and young dolphins cannot swim fast and dive deeply.

And as female dolphins swim slowly to protect their children, they are easy to be captured.

Female dolphins who swim snuggling up on both sides of a child to protect them can be seen on the spot of dolphin drive hunting.

In dolphin drive hunting, even baby/young and mother dolphins are cruelly killed or captured to sell them.

*Although some of them are sometimes released, they are damaged physically and mentally by hunting.
And baby and young dolphins who lost their mothers cannot live in the same way as human children cannot.

3. Petition

We think that baby, young and mother dolphins and female dolphins supporting them should be protected.
(*Of course, all dolphins should be protected, but a gradual approach is needed.)

Therefore, we submitted a petition to request the establishment of a provision that “baby and young dolphins and female dolphins accompanied by them shall not be captured” to Wakayama Prefecture on December 11, 2020.

The grounds of petition are reasonableness and equality of laws, ecological preservation and ethics.

Reasonableness and equality of laws

There are 4 types of whaling in Japan: mother ship type whale fishery, small-scale whale fishery, dolphin harpoon fishery and dolphin drive hunting.

In mother ship type whale fishery, small-scale whale fishery and dolphin harpoon fishery, the ordinance stipulates that any suckling calves or female whales accompanied by calves (including suckling calves) shall not be captured.”

However, there is no such provision regarding dolphin drive hunting.

We think that the same provision should be established from the viewpoint of reasonableness and equality of laws.

Ecological preservation

The accurate population of dolphins and whales is unknown because they live in the sea.

Although people who promote the dolphin industry and disagree dolphin protection say, “the population of dolphins is sufficient,” it is unknown in fact.

The number of dolphins captured in the sea near Japan is numerically decreasing.

And eradication of a pod (family) is the same as destruction of the diversity of genes.


Awareness of animal ethics is increasing worldwide.

From humanism that only human is subject to ethics toward animalism that animals whose pain, consciousness emotion and affection are already known are also subject to ethics.
It is unethical that harming animals intentionally for the benefit of humans.

4. New future: Dolphins and Japanese people
I have seen many dolphins being killed with my own eyes.

I don’t want dolphins to be killed anyway and anymore.

If this provision is established, we can actually save many dolphins.

We can protect innocent baby, young, mother and female dolphins and help them live freely and happily in the sea.

Unfortunately, however, we think it may be difficult that this petition is accepted and the provision is established.
But we will submit a similar petition to Wakayama Prefecture by using various strategies.
Until no one makes dolphins feel sad...

We believe that the facts of dolphin drive hunting and aquariums will spread to more people by annual submission of petition, causing awareness and sympathy of animal ethics, and then people who protect dolphins will increase.

It is only you that can protect dolphins.

Let’s rise up together to save dolphins.

Please cooperate with our signature-collecting campaign.



Dolphin drive hunting on video

Project0 Dolphin: reduce dolphins in Japanese aquariums to zero

Details and purposes of petition




目黒 峯人さんは「Mr. KISHIMOTO Takeshi, Chair of the Wakayama Prefectural Assembly: Save baby, young, mother dolphins! ~ We request a provision on capture by drive hunting ~」キャンペーンにあなたの手伝いも必要としています!峯人さんと918人の賛同者と一緒に賛同しましょう。