In mid-January, somewhere between 250 and 500 dolphins were driven into the cove near Taiji, a small town in western Japan made famous in the award-winning film, "The Cove." There, at least 100 of the dolphins were slaughtered for their meat. Others were packed up and sold to aquariums.
The dolphins are herded, butchered and sold every year, but this year, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, together with CNN news uploaded videos of the dolphin hunt. The video, available online, is not for the faint of heart. Despite claims of humane killing methods, the video shows the fishermen hacking into the heads and backs of the panicked dolphins, then leaving them to bleed to death, turning the entire cove bright red.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe defended the practice in an interview with CNN and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters at a news conference that marine mammals including dolphins were "very important water resources." Suga insisted "Dolphin fishing is one of the traditional fishing forms of our country and is carried out appropriately in accordance with the law."