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pwatsonbwMost people throughout the world love and respect dolphins. There are only a few places in the world where these beloved creatures are captured and slaughtered, places like Japan, the Danish Faroe Island, Greenland, the Solomon Islands and a few islands in the Caribbean like St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Only in Taiji, Japan however is the slaughter of dolphins linked directly to the worldwide marine aquarium industry.

In 2003, Sea Shepherd exposed the horrific slaughter in Taiji to the world and ever since there has been a raging controversy over the Taiji dolphin drive.

In 2009, The Cove, a film about the dolphin slaughter received the Academy Award for best documentary. Despite this, the massacre of these beautiful, intelligent, socially complex cetaceans has continued.

The Japanese government has taken a hard stand in defense of the thirty or so fishermen who capture and kill these dolphins. Foreigners who go to Taiji to oppose the drive are being denied entry into Japan and others are harassed by police. Japanese nationals who dare to oppose the killing are treated very harshly with threats and intimidation.

Sea Shepherd has had volunteer Cove Guardians in Taiji every day from September 1st until the end of February to make sure that the killing is never out of sight and out of mind. It is a frustrating and depressing experience for people to participate as Cove Guardians, to witness the brutality and the murder of dolphins and unable to lift a finger to stop it due to a strong policing policy that watches the movements of every person who arrives to defend the dolphins with a camera.

Now, yet another killing season is coming to an end and Sea Shepherd is calling for volunteers, supporters and dolphin lovers around the world to join us on Saturday, Feb. 13 for a the World Love for Dolphins Day.

The message that we must deliver is that to end the killing and the capture of dolphins in Taiji we need stop supporting the facilities that profit from the capture and killing.

The dolphins that are driven into the cove are inspected and the prettiest and most profitable are selected for the captivity industry and the rest are ruthlessly slaughtered for meat. It is the captivity industry that motivates the killers because one dolphin can sell for around $200,000 whereas one dolphin killed for meat brings in only a few hundred dollars.

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