It is not good to be a dolphin in Japan… Every year hundreds of these animals are killed during the dolphin hunt organized in Taiji Bay, a small port city south of Osaka.
From September to May, Japanese fisherman are authorized to capture and kill more than 1000 dolphins, (according to quotas defined by government authorities) before selling the meat, popular in Japanese cuisine.
But for those who escaped this mass killing, things aren't that much better. The animals considered "too beautiful to be killed" are captures and sold to aquariums or aquatic parks around the world.
Source: Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project
This commerce is extremely lucrative, as the average price for the mammals being around 130,000 euros (140,000 dollars). Many of them end up at the Taiji Whale Museum, a local "museum" offering diverse attractions including dolphins, whales, and harpooning paraphernalia.
The living conditions of these animals in the Taiji Whale Museum are deplorable: their days consist of swimming (if you can call it that) in tiny, filthy pools, as these photos show from October 2016.
Source : Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project
The anguish is palpable; when the dolphins aren't putting their heads above water to call for help, they float sullenly against the walls of their enclosure. For members of the Dolphin Project, the Taiji Whale Museum is "the worst aquarium in the world."
Live from Taiji Whale Museum, 11-15-16
Pledge NOT to buy a ticket to a dolphin show: dolphin.fyi/DolphinPledge
Published by Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project on Monday, November 14, 2016
Even aquatic parks offering animals space and hygiene condemn their animals to a sad life, exploited for human entertainment. The volunteer for the Dolphin Project summarized bitterly:
"After the audience goes home, this is what it's like. If ever there was a reason to take the pledge not to buy a ticket to a whale or dolphin show, surely this is it. This is just so depressing to see something so beautiful living in so much horror.