TORONTO – Hundreds of dolphins are being held in captivity in a cove in a central Japan fishing village, according to an international marine wildlife conservation organization.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society says five separate pods of Bottlenose dolphins were driven into Taiji’s infamous cove Thursday and held overnight.
250+ Bottlenose Dolphins Captured & Held Overnight In The Cove; Captive Selection & Slaughter At ~ 1 Pm PT Today http://t.co/gGIu7zcGzY
— Sea Shepherd USA (@SeaShepherd_USA) January 17, 2014
The organization says the pods now include over 250 dolphins, the largest pod to be driven into the cove in several years. According to the Guardian, U.S. conservationists say some of the mammals will be held in permanent captivity or will be killed for meat.
The fishermen say the hunt is part of their village’s tradition and call Western critics who eat other kinds of meat hypocritical.
Using the hashtag #tweet4taiji , critics turned to social media to express their outrage, including comedian Ricky Gervais.
URGENT: 250 bottle nose dolphins in Taiji cove now. #tweet4taiji please stop the slaughter. RT. Thank You.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) January 17, 2014
Last September, former Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum was in the remote Japanese fishing village protesting against the annual dolphin hunt.
The ongoing global campaign to stop the dolphin kill in Taiji garnered worldwide attention after the 2009 Academy Award-winning film about the hunt called “The Cove.”
With a file from The Associated Press
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