250 dolphins held in Japan’s infamous Taiji cove

Protesters hold dolphin-shaped ballons and anti-dolphin slaughter placards as they march to the Japanese embassy in Manila on September 2, 2013, at a protest against the annual dolphins and small whales hunt known as 'Japanese drive fisheries' in Taiji, Japan. Getty Images

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.

READ MORE: Japan defends annual dolphin hunt in Taiji cove

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society says five separate pods of  Bottlenose dolphins were driven into Taiji’s infamous cove Thursday and held overnight.

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.

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READ MORE: Slaughter of dolphins begins in Japan’s Taiji cove despite criticism

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.

Last September, former Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum was in the remote Japanese fishing village protesting against the annual dolphin hunt.

READ MORE: Fight to stop Japanese dolphin hunt gets help from former Guns N’ Roses drummer

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.”

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With a file from The Associated Press